Maribel Pérez Wadsworth is the President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as well as a trustee of the foundation. She is the first woman and the seventh president to lead the foundation. Drawing on her experience as the former president of Gannett Media and publisher of USA Today, Wadsworth brings a well-honed commitment to Knight’s mission of informing and engaging communities.
Starting as an editorial assistant with the Associated Press in 1994, Wadsworth’s career evolved from reporter and editor roles to a key position in Gannett’s corporate team, where she led the company’s digital transformation. As president of the USA Today Network and later publisher of USA Today, she led a team of more than 4,000 journalists in more than 200 communities. During her tenure, Gannett newsrooms were recognized with five Pulitzer Prizes.
In addition to her professional achievements, Wadsworth is committed to diversity and inclusion, receiving the News Leaders Association’s Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership in 2019. Actively contributing to the industry, she serves on the governing board of the Pew Research Center and the board of the Associated Press, addressing challenges and shaping the media landscape.