Christopher M. Austen – Knight Foundation

Christopher M. Austen

  • Chair of the Board and Trustee
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Christopher M. Austen was elected to Knight Foundation’s board of trustees in March 2014. He chairs the Investment and Nominating committees. In March of 2024, he became Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Austen is the managing partner of BPEA Private Equity, a Boston-based private equity firm. He joined BPEA in 2006 and directs the firm’s investment activity, strategy implementation and operations.

Previously, he was CEO of a SaaS-based collaboration and communication company. Early in his career, Austen was a partner at Southeast Interactive Technology Funds, an early-stage IT-focused venture capital fund based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

With a diverse background as an entrepreneur and private equity investor, Austen currently serves on the limited partner advisory boards of numerous private equity funds.

Austen is also a past president and emeritus trustee of the Meadowbrook School of Weston, Massachusetts, a private, nonprofit, coeducational independent day school for students in grades K-8. 

He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He and his wife, Penny, have three children.