Knight Foundation elects Marty Baron and Christine Mayer as trustees, names Lynn Ross vice president for community and national initiatives

NEW YORK – Sept. 12, 2016 – Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, and Christine Amer Mayer, president of GAR Foundation in Akron, Ohio, have been elected to the board of trustees of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Lynn Ross, former deputy assistant secretary for policy development at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will join Knight as the new vice president for community and national initiatives.

MARTY BARON (download)


LYNN ROSS (download)

JAI WINSTON (download)

The announcements were made today at the Knight Foundation board of trustees meeting in New York. Jai Winston, who was announced as Knight’s new program director for St. Paul, Minnesota, last month, was also introduced to the foundation’s board today.

Baron became executive editor of The Washington Post in January 2013. He oversees the Post’s print and digital news operations and a staff of about 700 journalists. Newsrooms under his leadership have won 11 Pulitzer Prizes, including four at The Washington Post. Previously, Baron was editor of The Boston Globe. During his more than 11 years there, The Globe won six Pulitzer prizes—for public service, explanatory journalism, national reporting and criticism. Prior to The Globe, he held top editing positions at The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. Baron was named Editor of the Year by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2001, and Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation in 2004.

Baron earned both his bachelor’s degree and Master of Business Administration at Lehigh University.

Since 2012, Christine Mayer has served as president of GAR Foundation, a place-based private foundation located in Akron, Ohio, focused on education, basic needs and independence, arts and culture and civic enhancement. Mayer joined the foundation in 2001 as program officer. An Akron native, she practiced commercial litigation and business law for eight years with Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs. Christine is also vice chair of the board of the United Way of Summit County, where she is involved in the organization’s transformation to a community impact model. She helped lead Ohio’s Summit County Arts and Culture Assessment—a county-wide study of the arts and culture landscape aimed at strengthening the sector. The assessment led to the creation of ArtsNow, a nonprofit with the mission of advancing arts and culture in Summit County, for which Mayer serves as vice chair. Mayer was honored as Woman of the Year for Innovation in 2015 by the Summit County Historical Society and was named as one of Inside Business Magazine’s top 100 most influential people in Northeast Ohio.

Mayer earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University and a law degree from The Ohio State University.

“As editor of one of America’s greatest news organizations and head of Akron’s leading foundation, Marty Baron and Christine Mayer bring two lifetimes of experience in promoting informed and engaged communities,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation.

Working with the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Lynn Ross led a team engaged in policy development, research, analysis and dissemination. She was previously the executive director of the Terwilliger Center for Housing at the Urban Land Institute, where she led programs focused on the development of mixed-income, mixed-use communities with a full spectrum of housing affordability. Under her leadership the center established a new national advisory board, securing over $1 million in external program support. Ross has spearheaded initiatives such as the “America in 2013” survey, which examined views on housing, transportation and community, as well as the Bending the Cost joint research effort with Enterprise Community Partners, which looked at the cost drivers for affordable rental housing. She also held positions at the National Housing Conference and the Center for Housing Policy, first as director of state and local initiatives and then as chief operating officer. She is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners and was honored with the 2009 Design Achievement Award from the Iowa State University College of Design.

Ross earned a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in community and regional planning from Iowa State University. She will start Oct. 3.

“Lynn’s is a national voice in housing and urban development. She has dedicated her life to serving community needs,” said Ibargüen. “Her focus on strategic, collaborative problem-solving that engages public voices and views will help to attract new and diverse interest in Knight’s work across its cities and the nation.”

Since 2014, Jai Winston has served as associate of strategy and corporate development in the office of the chairman at Ariel Investments, a minority-owned money management firm headquartered in Chicago. In this role, he has helped lead many of the firm’s projects, including some of its national work on financial literacy and minority entrepreneurship. Previously, Winston served on the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs working as a liaison to the White House, cabinet members, agency chief of staffs and others. He served as the Illinois deputy finance director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and as the North Carolina deputy finance director for the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee. He will start Sept. 29.

Winston earned a bachelor of arts in political science from Howard University.

“Every community can use a committed fresh voice,” said Ibargüen. “Jai can provide that in St. Paul and, when combined with Knight’s long-term activity and commitment to the city, it means a fresh look at our programs there.”

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit


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