Knight Foundation Board Elects Two New Trustees

MIAMI – Mariam C. Noland, president of a community foundation working to improve the well being of the citizens of Detroit and its surrounding communities, and Robert W. “Rob” Briggs, board chairman of Akron, Ohio’s largest law firm, have been elected to the board of trustees of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Mariam Noland, 55, is president of the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, a position she has held since 1985. Under Noland’s leadership, the community foundation’s endowment has grown from an initial $5 million to approximately $350 million. She is a vice chair of the board of the Henry Ford Health System and previously served as a member of a national committee advising Knight Foundation on community funding issues. She has been board chair of the Council of Michigan Foundations and vice chair of the board of the Council on Foundations.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s degree in education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

Rob Briggs, 61, has been with Buckingham Doolittle & Burroughs in Akron since 1971. He served as president and CEO of the firm from 1990 to 2000. He specializes in corporate, business and foundation matters. An active member of the Akron community, Briggs sits on the board of a number of local nonprofit organizations, including the Music Arts Association (Cleveland Orchestra), the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Summa Health Systems, the Summit Education Initiative, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation and the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education. He is co-trustee and executive director of the GAR Foundation, which is the largest foundation in the Akron area and the third-largest in Northeast Ohio. The GAR Foundation makes grants to nonprofits to improve the quality of life in Akron and adjacent communities. He has been honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the Akron Community Foundation, the Hope Award from the Northeastern Ohio chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, an Honorary Alumnus Award from the University of Akron and the Community Service Award from the Boy Scouts.

Briggs earned his bachelor’s degree at Duke University and his law degree at Ohio State University’s College of Law. He began his law career as a staff judge advocate for the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG).

“Mariam Noland and Rob Briggs have been very active in the civic life of two of Knight Foundation’s 26 communities,” said Dr. W. Gerald Austen, M.D., chairman of Knight Foundation’s board of trustees. “They are very familiar with Knight Foundation’s programs and mission and will make outstanding contributions to our board.”

Briggs and Noland replace board members Alvah H. Chapman Jr., who retired in March after 31 years of service to Knight Foundation, and John D. Ong, who left the board in February when he became U.S. ambassador to Norway.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.