Building Adaptive Philanthropy

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Alberto Ibarguen Photo

Alberto Ibargüen
President & CEO
Knight Foundation


Rhodes Conference Room
Sanford Building
201 Science Drive


About the Event: Building Adaptive Philanthropy; Promoting Informed and Engaged Communities
At the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the focus is on social investing rather than charity. The road to this change was not seamless. Alberto Ibargüen, President/CEO, will outline how Knight Foundation’s program priorities have adapted to the changes that are taking place in the ways Americans receive and talk to one another about news and information and how Knight builds communities through talent, opportunity and engagement. This will be illustrated through examples of managerial transitions, new grant making strategies and vision for the future.

About the Speaker: Alberto Ibargüen is president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. He is the former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald.  He studied at Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Between college and law school, he served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela’s Amazon Territory and was the Peace Corps Programming and Training Officer in Colombia, based in Bogotá. He practiced law in Hartford, Conn., until he joined The Hartford Courant, then Newsday in New York, before moving to Miami.

Ibargüen serves as a member of the boards of PepsiCo, American Airlines Group and AOL. Over time, he has served on the boards of arts, education and journalism organizations, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Wesleyan University and Smith College. He also chaired the board of PBS and served on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Committee to Protect Journalists and ProPublica. For his work to protect journalists in Latin America, Ibargüen received a Maria Moors Cabot citation from Columbia University. Wesleyan University, The George Washington University, University of Miami, Mercer University and Stephens College have awarded him honorary degrees.

The Knight Foundation is one of the few American foundations that focus on journalism and the media. It has been especially interested in increasing the amount and quality of local community news available to the public by means of various digital technologies. In a major departure from its primary focus on communications and journalism, the Knight Foundation was one of the foundation partners that made large contributions to the “Grand Bargain” that helped preserve the Detroit Art Institute’s collection of art and thereby helped facilitate the City of Detroit’s emergence from bankruptcy in December 2014. Mr. Ibargüen was one of the primary leaders of the group of foundations which joined the foundation collaborative that donated almost $400 million to that effort. It was an unprecedented collaboration of American foundations for an effort of that kind devoted to a single city.  


About the Seminars: The Foundation Impact Research Group (FIRG) is a seminar series hosted by the Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society. FIRG seminars explore the relationship between strategic choice-making and impact measurement in foundations and not-for-profit organizations.



Blog Posts

Start Spreadin’ the News

October 3, 2018

The Charles H. Revson Foundation and six philanthropic partners this week launched a new local news outlet in America’s largest city.