Susan Goldberg is Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners and Editor
Susan Goldberg has been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years, beginning her career as a summer reporting intern at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. She also was a reporter at the Detroit Free Press. She then became an editor, and worked in that capacity at the Free Press, USA Today and the San Jose Mercury News. Goldberg went on to become the top editor at the Mercury News and the The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer — the first woman to hold that position at both papers — and ran the Washington Bureau of Bloomberg News, where she also was the first woman in that job. In 2014, she became the 10th Editor in Chief of National Geographic, again the first woman appointed to that job; that role was expanded in 2016 to include Editorial Director, putting her in charge of all journalistic content across print and digital platforms at National Geographic Partners. Goldberg has helped lead reporting that has been honored with multiple local, state and national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in San Jose (1990/Breaking News), and finalists for the Pulitzer at the Plain Dealer (2009/Feature Writing) and National Geographic (2017/Explanatory Reporting). During her tenure at National Geographic, the organization has been honored with 5 National Magazine Awards, including the top prize for General Excellence in 2019. Goldberg, a Michigan native, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University. She is married to Geoffrey Etnire, a real estate attorney, and they live in Washington, D.C. They have one son.
What brought you to Davos in 2019?
During my tenure at National Geographic, I’ve been honored to attend the World Economic Forum, where I help moderate conversations around topics such as the environment, species preservation and the human journey — all subjects that are core to what we cover. In addition, I’ve been delighted to help showcase the important work of our photographers and writers at the conference.
Defining leadership moment at Davos:
I could not single out a particular moment, but have always been struck by the incredible accomplishments of the women who attend the World Economic Forum. The next step is to have many more of these amazing, inspiring and talented women at the conference every year.
Personal motivation to advocate for women and girls:
In my role at National Geographic, there is a great deal we can do to shed light on how gender plays out around the world — and, unfortunately, the way that it limits opportunities for so many women and girls. With our global audience and unforgettable storytelling, we can bring these issues to the forefront and help create discussions that ultimately can reduce the discrimination, and even danger, many women face. We did a story recently in which we talked to 9-year-old children around the world about the role gender played in their daily lives. Too many girls believed gender would limit their futures — whether that meant they could not become a rabbi or herd animals or be elected U.S. president. Watching these children talk about restricting themselves because of their gender — not their abilities — has made me redouble my efforts to challenge and change these global inequities.
Where can people learn more about me/key projects:
There’s a lot of information about me and, more importantly, everything we do at National Geographic on our website — nationalgeographic.com.
It is — finally and for real this time — The Year of the Woman. Maybe even The Century of the Woman.