Paula Ellis, a former Knight Foundation officer, senior publishing executive and journalist, has long been a leader in journalism innovation and community engagement. She has decades- long experience in the for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors.
As vice president for strategic initiatives at Knight Foundation, Ellis shaped the “informed and engaged” strategy; shifted the evaluation focus and launched a series of initiatives that would become signature efforts.
Ellis began her career as a journalist at several metropolitan newspapers. In 1980, she joined Knight Ridder Inc. where she worked for 26 years rising through the ranks as an editor, publisher and vice president/operations of the Fortune 500 firm she helped sell in 2006. Known for innovation and collaboration, Ellis often was tapped to lead key strategic efforts. A respected national journalist, she also delivered operational excellence. The Sun News in Myrtle Beach was Knight-Ridder’s top performing news organization for five of the seven years she led it.
Ellis is a trustee of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and a senior associate at the Kettering Foundation. She is president of Paula Ellis Strategies, LLC and is the lead author of a recently-published journalism textbook entitled “News for US: Citizen-Centered Journalism. See paulaellis.com.
Ellis earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics at the University of Maryland, where she was editor of the student daily recognized as the nation’s best the year she led it. She graduated from Northwestern University with a master’s degree in journalism and has been an adjunct faculty member at several universities.