Paula Ellis Named to New Position as Vice President for National and New Initiatives

MIAMI — Paula Ellis, an experienced corporate news executive with extensive community connections, has been named to a new position of Vice President/National and New Initiatives at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Ellis will oversee the foundation’s national programs, will manage its newly created fund for special initiatives called the Transformation Fund, and will oversee the foundation’s internal and external evaluation efforts. She will report to Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen and will begin in September.

For the past two years, Ellis was vice president for operations at Knight Ridder in San Jose, Calif., overseeing 15 newspapers. She was also a member of the company’s management committee and led companywide reader innovation and cost-containment initiatives. Previous experience includes president and publisher of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for seven years; managing editor and assistant to the publisher of The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C.; an editor in the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau and at The Post-Tribune in Gary, Ind. 

“Paula Ellis will bring insight, a sense of urgency and a focus on community to her new role at Knight Foundation,” said Ibargüen. “Her greatest contributions will come in identifying opportunities and big ideas in Knight’s communities and journalism programs that promise impact far beyond the dollars granted. Paula is genuinely market-focused and will ensure that our evaluations are both true and practical.”

Ibargüen added that “We are in search of those ‘tipping point’ opportunities in the communities where we work and where our dollars and expertise can leverage truly transformational change. To do that effectively, Paula will partner with Knight Foundation Vice President/Programs Mike Maidenberg and the program field staff to find and support ideas and programs that meet Knight’s criteria.”

Ellis’ professional affiliations include past service as chair of the Poynter Institute National Advisory Board, president of the South Carolina AP News Council, and service on the executive committee of the South Carolina Press Association and APME Board. 

Her community service in South Carolina includes leadership roles with the Waccamaw Community Foundation, the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Wall School of Business Administration at Coastal Carolina University. She chaired Knight Foundation’s local community advisory committee in Myrtle Beach.

Ellis earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics at the University of Maryland, where she was editor of the student daily. She graduated from Northwestern University with a master’s degree in journalism.

She is married to Gary Galloway, a 30-year newspaper reporter, columnist and editor, now retired. She has four stepchildren and 12 grandchildren. 

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. To see and hear stories of Knight’s transformational funding, visit

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