Open Society Names Mary Fitzgerald to Lead Information Democracy Work
NEW YORK—The Open Society Foundations today announced that Mary Fitzgerald will assume the newly created role, director, Information Democracy. She will lead the organization’s work to advance open society values at the intersection of journalism, technology, political accountability, and free expression.
As director, Fitzgerald will work to support high-quality journalism and address challenges in the digital public sphere, including by holding powerful digital actors accountable, exploring new business models for media, and protecting human rights, such as the rights of journalists who are increasingly under attack for their work.
“I look forward to working with Mary. Her unusual blend of experience—as a newsroom leader, a journalist, and an international rights advocate—puts her in a strong position to help us expand our work on information democracy. I am confident she will help the foundations find new ways to support inclusive political participation in the digital realm and explore business models that advance high-quality independent journalism,” said Mark Malloch-Brown, president of Open Society.
Fitzgerald was previously editor-in-chief and CEO of the global news outlet openDemocracy, where she built an award-winning team of journalists and oversaw major growth in the organization’s reach and impact. For example, she established an investigative journalism unit, led and won campaigns to force transparency from governments and tech firms, and created organizational capacity to report in a number of new languages and countries.
In addition to her experience at openDemocracy, she previously served as a senior campaigner with the global organization Avaaz, where she organized campaigns to defend human rights and expose corruption.
“I look forward to leading the organization’s information democracy work at a time when ambitious investment in supporting digital rights and the work of independent journalists is desperately needed,” said Fitzgerald. “This is a critical moment for media and technology, and I’m excited to be working with Open Society colleagues around the world to help re-imagine and reshape our fast-changing information landscape, so that it better serves citizens everywhere.”