Lisa Gibbs Appointed CEO of the Pulitzer Center

The Pulitzer Center’s board of directors is pleased to announce that Lisa Gibbs has agreed to become CEO and president of the Pulitzer Center.

Gibbs is currently vice president for philanthropic development at The Associated Press. She served previously as director of news partnerships for the AP and led a staff of 60 as global business editor. Earlier in her career, she was executive business editor for the Miami Herald and an investigative reporter for Money magazine.

“The Pulitzer Center makes possible the kind of rigorous, in-depth journalism that people need more than ever to help make sense of the world’s complex challenges,” Gibbs said. “I’m thrilled to have the chance to help the Center deliver on this mission.

“I’m particularly excited by the Center’s unique education and engagement programs that make sure the journalism is reaching wide and diverse audiences,” she added. “Competition for people’s attention is so fierce these days, and our industry needs to be creative in our approaches. I absolutely can’t wait to start digging in!”

Gibbs succeeds Jon Sawyer, who founded the Pulitzer Center in 2006. Sawyer will continue to be involved in the Center’s work, as senior adviser to the new CEO and to the board of directors. Gibbs will assume her new position on June 17.

Emily Rauh Pulitzer, chair of the Pulitzer Center’s board of directors and a member of the search committee, praised the choice of Gibbs:

“With her journalism, global management, and fundraising experience, I think that Lisa Gibbs is an ideal choice to build on what Jon Sawyer and his team have so brilliantly achieved.”

Dick Moore, the board’s vice chair and search committee chair, said that “throughout her exceptional career, Lisa Gibbs has shown herself in so many ways to be a gifted journalist and leader.  She is the perfect individual to inspire the extraordinary group of individuals who have made the Center so important in today’s world.”

Sawyer said he was excited about Gibbs’ appointment and her commitment to the Center’s mission.

“Lisa has had a distinguished career at The Associated Press, first as head of its global business reporting team and for the last seven years as the person who built from scratch AP’s highly successful program of philanthropic support,” Sawyer said. “We think she is uniquely suited to lead and complement a Pulitzer team that is already super strong; she is also collegial, creative, and fun.”

Gibbs will work closely with the Center’s existing senior leadership team: Marina Walker Guevara, executive editor; Mouhamad Alem, chief financial and operating officer; and Flora Pereira, chief engagement and education officer.

Sawyer noted the Pulitzer Center’s dramatic growth over the past 18 years. It is today an organization that supports more than 200 reporting projects a year, works in partnership with dozens of universities and hundreds of primary and secondary schools, and includes a highly diverse staff now based in 15 countries across the globe.

“When Emmy Pulitzer and I first discussed the idea of a Pulitzer Center we had no idea that its scope would grow so large,” Sawyer said. “In our conversations the past few years we’ve focused, along with the rest of our superb board and staff, on the steps required to ensure the Center’s permanent presence as a resource for journalists, educators, and the public at large.

“In pursuing that goal we knew there was nothing more important than choosing a successor as CEO who shares our values and passion for the work—and who will also bring her own bold ideas to make the Center stronger yet. We’re confident we’ve found that leader in Lisa Gibbs.”

The Pulitzer Center champions the power of stories to make complex issues relevant and inspire action. In 2024, we launched five core focus areas to drive our mission forward.