Susan Goldberg was formerly editor in chief of National Geographic and editorial director of National Geographic Partners. As editorial director, she led all journalism across platforms, including digital journalism, magazines, podcasts, maps, newsletters, and Instagram. She was named editorial director in October 2015 and editor in chief of National Geographic magazine in April 2014. She was the 10th editor and first female editor of the magazine since it was first published in October 1888.
Under her leadership, National Geographic was honored with nine National Magazine Awards, including four awards in 2020 and the top prize for General Excellence in 2019. In 2020, National Geographic also was named the Webby Media Company of the Year, with a total of 15 awards, as well as earning the Gold Medal as Brand of the Year for the Society of Publication Designers, the most prestigious award for visual journalism in the industry. In addition, National Geographic was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 2019 and for Explanatory Reporting in 2017. The magazine has received numerous other awards for photography, storytelling and graphics. Goldberg also has led reporting that was honored with multiple local, state and national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize at the San Jose Mercury News (1990/Breaking News), and four finalists for the Pulitzer at The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (2008/Commentary; 2009/Feature Writing and Commentary; 2010/Commentary).
Before her employment at National Geographic, Susan was executive editor for federal, state, and local government coverage for Bloomberg News in Washington, D.C. From 2007 to 2010, she was editor of the Plain Dealer, the daily newspaper of Cleveland and the largest newspaper in Ohio. Prior to that, from 2003 to 2007, she was the executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News, and served as the paper's managing editor from 1999 to 2003. From 1989 to 1999, Goldberg worked at USA Today, including stints as a deputy managing editor of the News, Life, and Enterprise sections. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at the Detroit Free Press. She began her career as a reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A Michigan native, Susan has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University, where she now funds the Susan Goldberg Scholarship at the university’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences’ School of Journalism.
In addition to awards for journalism, Susan has been recognized repeatedly for leadership. In 2013, she was voted one of Washington D.C.’s 11 most influential women in the media by Washingtonian magazine; in March 2015, Susan received the Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award from Exceptional Women in Publishing. In 2017 and again in 2019, Washingtonian named Susan among the most powerful women in Washington D.C. across professions. In 2020, InStyle magazine included Susan on its “Badass 50” list, naming her as number seven in its issue about “women who are changing the world,” and she was selected as one of Folio’s Top Women in Media for having an “exceptional impact” on the direction of the industry; and she was recognized by the International Women’s Media Foundation as the Leadership Honoree for her work in uplifting women journalists and telling under-reported stories
Susan lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Geoffrey Etnire, a real estate lawyer. They have one grown son.