Mother Jones, the independent, progressive nonprofit investigative news organization, announced today that its board of directors has unanimously named Madeleine Buckingham as its new chief executive officer and Steven Katz as its new publisher. Buckingham and Katz take on these positions after serving as interim leaders for the group following the November 2009 departure of Jay Harris, who had been publisher at Mother Jones since 1991.
"We can't think of a better choice than Madeleine and Steve to guide Mother Jones forward. We wanted a leadership team that knows the business, has deep experience in the nonprofit world, and who are agents of change and innovation," says board chair Phil Straus. "As longtime senior staff at Mother Jones, they’re also committed to the rich talent and unique voice that we bring to American journalism and the cause of social change."
Buckingham joins Mother Jones' editors-in-chief Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery as part of a small group of media organizations with women leading both business and editorial functions.
Prior to joining Mother Jones in 2002, Buckingham spent almost 20 years in senior finance and management positions in the publishing and high-tech industries. She worked for a range of Internet startups, including Sony's Internet incubator, and at International Data Group.
Katz joined Mother Jones in 2003, after serving as vice president of development for Earthjustice, the nation's leading nonprofit environmental law firm. He has more than 30 years of experience in management and fundraising for the arts, neighborhood-based organizing, environmental advocacy, and journalism. At Mother Jones, Steve cofounded The Media Consortium, a national network of more than 40 independent, progressive media organizations.
"As Mother Jones looks to further develop as a force in American journalism, it's extraordinarily fortunate to have these two inspiring and experienced leaders," adds former publisher Harris. "I am confident they'll succeed in seizing the rich opportunities of these times."
Harris left Mother Jones to work on new projects that apply recent media innovations toward a reinvigorated sense of shared civic purpose. He currently sits on the boards of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the First Amendment Coalition, and he recently joined the communications advisory committee of Human Rights Watch.
Known for in-depth reporting and compelling narrative, over the past few years Mother Jones has delighted observers with, as one columnist put it, its "almost rollicking" spirit. The 35-year-old nonprofit's bicoastal team of staff reporters (including an eight-person Washington bureau) has both reinvigorated the print edition (circulation 210,000) and produced a destination website filled with original daily reportage (more than 800,000 unique visitors per month). No matter the medium or the story, readers say they value Mother Jones for its integrity and its independent perspective.