Katy Locker

Community and National Initiatives Program


Katy Locker joined Knight Foundation in September 2013.

In her role as Detroit program director, Locker has focused on Detroit’s unique opportunity to rebuild the city’s civic infrastructure to attract and nurture talent, promote economic opportunity and foster civic engagement. As a Michigan native who lives in Detroit, she is passionate about championing the city’s talented residents to drive economic growth, job creation and neighborhood revitalization. 

During her tenure at Knight Foundation, Locker has spearheaded efforts that promote economic opportunity, particularly supporting Detroit’s entrepreneurs. She has also advanced planning for Detroit’s signature places of civic engagement, including Eastern Market and the Detroit Riverfront. As an advocate for Detroit’s thriving arts community, Locker has helped Knight Foundation invest over $20 million in Detroit art and artists.

Prior to joining Knight Foundation, Locker served at the Hudson-Webber Foundation for five years, departing as the vice president of programs. During her tenure at Hudson-Webber Foundation, she led grant-making focused on revitalizing greater downtown Detroit as a catalyst for improved quality of life throughout the city.

Locker holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration degrees from Cornell University and is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. She previously practiced redevelopment and public law in California, served as a policy analyst with the Judicial Council of California, and served community development nonprofits and the public sector in Detroit.

Locker is the chair of the board of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. In addition, she serves on the executive committee of Midtown Detroit Inc., the board of Downtown Detroit Partnership, and several advisory committees, including Invest Detroit, Detroit Revitalization Fellows, and New Economy Initiative.

In 2016, Crain’s Detroit Business named Locker one of the state’s 100 most influential women.