Boston — The Christian Science Board of Directors Wednesday named Earl W. Foell Editor in Chief of The Christian Science Monitor and Katherine W. Fanning of Anchorage, Alaska, the paper's new Editor.
Mr. Foell has been Editor since 1979 and before that was the Monitor's Managing Editor.
Mrs. Fanning has been Editor-Publisher of the Anchorage Daily News since 1971 . She has been an active member of the Christian Science Church for many years and is well known in American newspapering.
The appointments follow a reorganization of principal Monitor news room posts. Mrs. Fanning's assignment is keyed to the Directors' desire to free Mr. Foell to represent the Monitor on the world scene and to write a regular column.
The editorial changes announced Wednesday will be effective June 1.
The announcement of the news room changes was made by Hal M. Friesen, a member of The Christian Science Board of Directors, the five-member group that oversees the Monitor's editorial responsibilities. The paper is published by The Christian Science Publishing Society.
''We are eager to have Earl set a pace for the Monitor staff,'' said Mr. Friesen at a 9:30 meeting Wednesday morning to the assembled news room staff, ''in terms of the paper's outreach to mankind, in terms of journalistic excellence, in terms of the unique service the Monitor was founded to provide.''
Mr. Foell said: ''I hope to bring our readers ideas from policymakers in all fields on matters that affect every life on earth.''
Foell has won numerous journalism awards and once reported for the Monitor from United Nations Headquarters in New York. His interviews with world leaders - including a 1980 interview with Deng Xiaoping, vice-chairman of China's Communist Party - attracted wide attention.
Mrs. Fanning is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, and winner of the 1979 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award of Colby College, in Maine.
The Lovejoy Award is presented to a member of the newspaper profession who has contributed to ''the country's journalistic achievement.'' She was only the second woman to receive the award in its 31-year history. The late Erwin D. Canham, former editor of the Monitor, was recipient of the Lovejoy Award in 1971 .
In introducing Mrs. Fanning to the news room, Mr. Friesen said: ''Our aim is to broaden and strengthen the course of this important newspaper in the spirit of its founding mandate: 'to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.'
''We are proud of its staff and of this new editorial leadership and immensely expectant about its capacity to bring to readers around the world the balance, insightfulness, courage, and hopeful attention compelled by the great issues before us. This has been the hallmark of Monitor journalism.''
Mrs. Fanning led the Anchorage paper to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for meritorious public service, which honored the paper for a series of 15 investigative reports on the growth of Alaska's powerful Teamsters union.
She told the news room that she approached ''with great humility'' the challenge of shifting journalistic perspective ''from that of a small newspaper in a distant state to those of an international daily newspaper.'' She said she looked forward to the support of a team ''recognized for integrity, professionalism, and loyalty to excellence.''
Mr. Foell, Mrs. Fanning, and Richard A. Nenneman, who was named Managing Editor of the Monitor Jan. 1 (he is the paper's former Business and Financial Editor), will report directly to the Board of Directors on all matters of editorial policy.
A broad-scale program of innovation and development is being introduced at the Monitor at the present time, including expansion of circulation and advertising operations in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
The Christian Science Monitor was established in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, who , in 1866, discovered Christian Science and, in 1879, founded the Church of Christ, Scientist.
The Monitor itself has won five Pulitzer Prizes and numerous Sigma Delta Chi-Society of Professional Journalists awards and Overseas Press Club honors. The paper circulates daily throughout North America and weekly overseas. The Monitor is celebrating its 75th anniversary year.