Dawn Garcia is the director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships. She is a passionate advocate and mentor for diverse and emerging leaders who are working to transform journalism around the world.
She ensures the JSK Fellowships is continually evolving to stay relevant to journalism.
Dawn’s leadership style is collaborative and compassionate. Her “no brilliant jerks” motto is widely quoted by JSK Fellows and alumni – so much so that some fellows put it on a needlepoint sign for her office. It sets the tone for the entire program.
Dawn, who is an alum of the program, works directly with fellows as an advisor. She helps them chart career paths and personal transformations through their Stanford experience.
Earlier, as deputy director of JSK, Dawn helped lead the program’s transformation from a sabbatical model to one that coaches and challenges fellows to become innovative leaders and change agents who reinvent journalism. She also has ensured the program maintains its commitment to press freedom. Under her leadership, JSK actively supports fellows and alumni working in hostile and oppressive environments around the world.
Prior to joining JSK, Dawn worked as a reporter and editor at various California newspapers, ultimately as the assistant managing editor leading state and local coverage at the San Jose Mercury News.
Dawn co-founded and initially co-taught Stanford’s Exploring Computational Journalism course, which has led to innovative tools currently being used in newsrooms. She serves on the boards of Open News, the Constructive Institute and KQED public media.
She has a master’s degree in liberal arts from Stanford and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon.