Susan Goldberg has been named the next President and CEO of GBH, the public media company announced Monday. She is the first woman to hold this role since the company was founded in 1951.
From 2014 to 2022, Goldberg was editor-in-chief at National Geographic before taking on the additional role of editorial director in 2015. She was the brand’s first woman EIC and transformed the newsroom’s editorial strategy by diversifying and modernizing its staff and messaging across print and digital platforms, evolving the legacy print magazine into a digital media brand with more than 15 million readers a month and over 350 million followers on social media.
During her time at NatGeo, the company won 11 national magazine awards, was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times and won hundreds of other awards for its work and coverage. Goldberg also expanded the magazine’s partnerships and created content with outlets like ABC News, ProPublica and The Undefeated.
“At a time when the media industry is changing at a rapid pace, Susan is a direct, focused, empathetic, and visionary leader who has the operational and editorial savvy to understand what resonates with our audiences, along with deep experience in executing a multi-platform transformation,” Ann Fudge, chair of the GBH Board of Trustees and head of the search committee, said in a statement. “She shares the core values of our organization – passionate about trusted journalism and its role in a free society, committed to building a diverse, people-driven organization, and an understanding of GBH’s role in the community. We are thrilled to welcome Susan to GBH.”
Of her hire, Goldberg said she is honored to be part of GBH’s next chapter.
“GBH is a trusted local and national media leader, steeped in excellence, with a proud history of investigative journalism, groundbreaking innovation, and care for its community,” Goldberg said. “I have spent my life telling stories that make a difference. As a journalist who is committed to helping and reflecting the communities we serve, I’m honored to be a part of GBH’s next chapter.”
Goldberg has been widely recognized for her leadership in the industry. She made Folio’s Top Women in Media list in 2020; she was ranked seventh on the “Badass50” list by InStyle magazine in 2020; she was on Washington’s “most powerful” women list in Washingtonian Magazine in 2017, 2019 and 2021; and she was honored with the “Exceptional Woman in Publishing” Award in 2015.
She is additionally a six-time juror for the Pulitzer Prize, a board member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and President of the Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Prior to joining GBH, Goldberg began her career as a reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She has also worked in the Washington, D.C., Bureau for Bloomberg News, where she was an executive editor; as editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer; and as managing editor and executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News. She also worked as deputy managing editor at USA Today, and as a reporter and editor at the Detroit Free Press.
Goldberg has a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University.