Katy Locker

Community and National Initiatives Program


Katy Locker joined Knight Foundation in September 2013.

In her role as Detroit program director, Locker focuses on helping the people of Detroit become more informed about and involved in their city’s changes. Locker leads efforts to engage residents, communities and stakeholders so that Detroit can be smarter and more responsive during a period of dramatic transformation.

As a Michigan native who lives in Detroit, Locker 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 civic engagement, particularly improving the availability of quality community information for Detroit residents. She has also supported citywide efforts toward revitalization, including Motor City Match, the New Economy Initiative and the Strategic Neighborhood Fund. As an advocate for Detroit’s thriving arts community, Locker has helped Knight Foundation invest over $20 million in local art and artists.

Previously, 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, worked as a policy analyst with the Judicial Council of California and served community development nonprofits and the public sector in Detroit.

Locker serves on the boards of Downtown Detroit Partnership; Detroit Future City; and several advisory committees, including Invest Detroit, Detroit Revitalization Fellows and New Economy Initiative. She previously served the boards of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, Midtown Detroit Inc. and the Detroit Artists Market.

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