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NPR's Michele Norris Returning As Host/Special Correspondent

Michele Norris, who stepped away from the hosting duties at All Things Considered during the 2012 presidential election because her husband took a senior position with President Obama's re-election campaign, is returning to NPR "in a new role as host/special correspondent," Margaret Low Smith, senior vice president for news, just announced.

In an email to NPR staff, Margaret writes that Michele will produce "signature profiles of leaders in politics, pop culture, business and other fields." And:

"While on sabbatical, Michele has spent a good deal of time traveling the country and developing two successful initiatives: The Race Card Project and NPR's Backseat Book Club. Her new role will allow her to continue this work while producing in-depth segments for all NPR programs.

"Michele created The Race Card Project to foster a wider conversation about race after her 2010 family memoir, The Grace of Silence, was published. Michele asked people to share their thoughts about race in just six words. More than 14,000 people from all over the globe submitted their thoughts, observations, fears, hopes and experiences about race. Those six word stories are a rich archive of views about a complex subject.

"They also represent a meaningful opportunity for Michele to share her distinctive style of storytelling with NPR listeners on this important topic. To that end, I've asked Michele to develop features around The Race Card Project on and related segments for broadcast, in addition to producing in-depth profile segments on newsmakers. Michele will continue to develop The Back Seat Book Club feature aimed at cultivating NPR's youngest listenership and she will do a variety of live events and roundtable discussions to help NPR increase its visibility. Michele will also lend her unique hosting style as a guest host on NPR news programs."

Also this morning, NPR announced that Audie Cornish, who moved into a host role at All Things Considered when Michele stepped aside, will be staying with that show. Rachel Martin has been named permanent host on Weekend Edition Sunday, where Audie had been before moving over to All Things Considered.

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