Francisco Borges becomes Knight Foundation board chair – Knight Foundation

Francisco Borges becomes Knight Foundation board chair

Contact: Kenny Ma, Communications Director, Knight Foundation, 305.908.2646, [email protected] 

MIAMI — Dec. 10, 2019 —  Francisco L. Borges, chairman and managing partner of Landmark Partners, LLC,  two-time Connecticut state treasurer, and former Hartford deputy mayor, has become the new chair of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Board of Trustees. 

Borges succeeded John Palfrey during the trustees’ December meeting. Palfrey, who became president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on Sept. 1, will continue to serve as a trustee on Knight’s board, where he is up for re-election in March.

Francisco L. Borges (pictured)

“Knight is helping communities across the United States shape their own futures by supporting innovative ideas for public spaces, the arts and local journalism,” Borges said. “Ever since I was a deputy mayor, I’ve seen that the local level is where real change happens. I am proud to be part of a foundation that supports people who are making positive change in their communities.” 

Borges has headed Knight’s program committee since 2013. During his tenure, Knight has committed $300 million to the future of local news, funded the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, and created one of the largest place-based arts programs in America.

“Frank Borges is a visionary, disciplined leader with great generosity of spirit who will help Knight Foundation to thrive,” Palfrey said. “His leadership will assure Knight’s ambitious goals are grounded in the rigor that produces real impact.”

Borges, whose family immigrated from Cape Verde Islands when he was a child, grew up in New Haven, Conn. and won a scholarship to the Millbrook School before earning a B.A. from Trinity College and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. 

After starting his professional career as a lawyer for The Travelers Insurance Company, he became a rising star in Connecticut local and state politics, serving on Hartford’s city council and as deputy mayor. He was then elected twice as Connecticut state treasurer, the first time at the age of 35. During his tenure, he divested state pension assets from Northern Ireland and South Africa when many institutional investors refused to do so.

After moving to New York City to pursue a career in finance, Borges eventually joined Landmark Partners, an alternative investment management firm, and became chairman and managing partner in 2000. Landmark specializes in private equity and real estate secondary market acquisitions. 

Borges chairs the board of directors of Assured Guaranty Ltd., and serves on several boards of trustees, including the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network and the Millbrook School.

Francisco Borges accepts the board gavel from his predecessor, John Palfrey.

“All of us on the staff of Knight Foundation look forward to working with Frank Borges,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president. “He understands how cities and public-private partnerships work, and has an unwavering belief that people in communities can best determine their own futures. Combined with his deep financial expertise, he is the ideal choice to lead the Knight board.”

Borges is a member of the Knight board’s audit and investment committees. His expertise and leadership have been instrumental in adding women- and minority-owned companies to manage Knight’s $2.3 billion investment portfolio, in a commitment to diversify the asset management industry. Diverse-owned firms currently manage more than one-third of Knight’s endowment.

With the election earlier this year of former Google senior vice president Shona L. Brown, Borges will lead a board of trustees that also includes Christopher M. Austen, managing director of BPEA; Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post; Stephanie Bell-Rose, senior managing director and head of the TIAA Institute; Adriana Cisneros, CEO of the Cisneros Group and president of Fundación Cisneros; William H. Considine, CEO emeritus of Akron Children’s Hospital; Susan D. Kronick, former vice chair of Macy’s; Christine Amer Mayer, president of GAR Foundation in Akron; Anna Spangler Nelson, chair of Spangler Companies, Inc. in Charlotte, NC; Beverly Knight Olson; and Ray Rodriguez, former president of Univision.

Knight’s trustees unanimously elected Borges in September during their quarterly board meeting, in St. Paul, Minn., one of eight cities where the foundation has offices. It is headquartered in Miami.


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