Patrick Morgan will lead Knight Foundation investments in Philadelphia

Press Release

December 10, 2015


New Knight program director in Philadelphia has spent his career giving back to the city

PHILADELPHIA  – Dec. 10, 2015 – Patrick Morgan, an experienced urban policy professional, will join the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as the program director based in Philadelphia.


Morgan, a Philadelphia native, will work with local leaders and other community members to find and invest in opportunities that build on the city’s vibrancy and make it a place where talent thrives. He will start on Jan. 4, 2016. 

For the last six years, Morgan has served as chief of staff to the deputy mayor for environmental and community resources with the city of Philadelphia. In this role, Morgan has helped to develop innovative public initiatives to increase the urban tree canopy, promote an equitable food system, create new public parks and play spaces, as well as advance workforce development, digital literacy and community engagement. 

Through his work on the Green2015 initiative, he collaborated with the community to transform schoolyards and recreation centers into green spaces in city neighborhoods that lack areas for people to meet, connect and pursue activities. Partners on the initiative include the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Water Department and national nonprofit The Trust for Public Land. The initiative was recently extended by the School District of Philadelphia to include another 20 schoolyards over the next five years. 

Previously, Morgan was as a member of the city of Philadelphia’s performance management team in the managing director's office. He served primarily as project manager for Philly311, the city’s first-ever 3-1-1 customer service contact center. The project was heralded by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a “major achievement for the Nutter administration”; no other city of Philadelphia’s size has launched a 3-1-1 system as quickly.

“Patrick has a terrific track record of advancing transformative change in Philadelphia. He has been on the frontlines of efforts to make Philadelphia a city where talent thrives and residents have places to connect and contribute to neighborhood life,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president for Knight Foundation. 

“As Knight’s largest community, it is critical to Philadelphia that the foundation continue the momentum developed through projects such as its talent initiatives and reimagining the civic commons, an effort aimed at ensuring that public places – libraries, parks, community centers – help contribute to the success of our city,” said Marsha Perelman, chair of the Knight Philadelphia Community Advisory Committee. “Patrick’s background is ideal for this work. Through his efforts in city government, he has helped forge strong nonprofit and private partnerships; he brings great experience to the role.”

"Knight Foundation has a strong record of supporting transformational work in Philadelphia,” said Morgan. “I look forward to working collaboratively with many partners to create new opportunities and deeper partnerships to continue advancing the city’s growth."  

Morgan graduated cum laude from the University of Scranton and earned a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Science in education from the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Villanova University and has completed coursework as part of the Brookings Institution’s Executive Education program in Washington, D.C. 

Morgan is active in many of Philadelphia’s civic and community organizations, including the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, Drexel University’s Leading for Change Fellowship Program, Leadership Philadelphia’s Core Program and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia’s Leadership Exchange Program. He and his wife, Lee Ann, live in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia with their two children, Isabel and Charles. 

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.

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