Ellen Hwang will lead Knight Foundation investments in Philadelphia

April 18, 2019

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PHILADELPHIA – April 18, 2019 – Ellen Hwang will join the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as the program director based in Philadelphia. She is leader in driving and building programs that advance innovation in local government.

Ellen Hwang (pictured) Hwang will work with local leaders and other community members to find and invest in opportunities that support a more informed and engaged Philadelphia. Knight’s Philadelphia program has recently included significant investments in building public spaces that connect people to place and to each other, including the Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative. She will start on April 22, 2019. 

For the last four years, Hwang has served the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology, where she oversaw the creation of SmartCityPHL, the city’s first roadmap to guide the use of technology in serving the community and improve government services.

“Ellen brings to Knight a deep understanding of Philadelphia, both as a lifelong resident and a leader in public administration,” said Sam Gill, vice president of communities and impact for Knight Foundation. “Her dedication to innovation that begins with residents and her deep knowledge of technology promise to keep Knight at the cutting edge of this rapidly changing community.” 

“Philadelphia has always captured my heart and soul.  I’m honored and excited to join the Knight Foundation team and be a part of an organization that has deeply invested in the city that I love so much.  I look forward partnering with residents and the many organizations who share a vision for a more vibrant, united and engaged city,” said Hwang.

Before working with the City of Philadelphia, she directed programs at the city’s Asian Arts Initiative, collaborating with the community, as well as artists, culture-based organizations and schools to develop and implement youth programs. These efforts worked to empower young people to find their voice and hone their passions by engaging them in arts and community development projects.

Hwang is a member of American Planning Association PA Emerging Professionals, and the CoLab Philadelphia Task Force with Jefferson University. She also formerly served as member of the executive committee and chair for the Artists Committee for Build-a-Bridge Hopeful Cities. 

Hwang has lived in the Philadelphia for 13 years; she grew up in Greater Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Temple University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Master of Science in city and regional planning.  She is a regular speaker on topics such as Smart Cities, community-driven technology planning and design, and engagement strategies for local government, presenting at prominent events including SXSW, the Smart City New York Conference, and Tech Foundations for Congressional Staffers at the Georgetown University Law Center.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org

Contact: Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646, [email protected]