The GroundTruth Project today announced the appointments of Maribel Perez Wadsworth, the former president of Gannett Media and publisher of USA Today, and Jordan Meranus, the CEO and co-founder of Ellevation, to its board of directors.
The GroundTruth Project is an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up. Its flagship programs, Report for America and Report for the World, place talented, diverse journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues and communities.
“Maribel and Jordan are incredible people and experienced mission-driven leaders who will help our board and our organization in its next phase,” said Rob Zeaske, GroundTruth’s CEO and president. “As an organization committed to supporting sustainable local journalism, these two new board members bring diverse experiences and perspectives, years of organizational growth and humanity to our work.”
Maribel Perez Wadsworth recently completed a 27-year career at Gannett, where she began as a reporter in 1996 and left at the end of 2022 as president of Gannett Media and publisher of USA TODAY, a nationwide network with more than 4,000 journalists at 230 local news organizations.
“Never before has independent local journalism been more important. I am honored to join the GroundTruth Project board at this critical time for the news industry, and to help support its important mission to train the next generation of journalists while solving critical gaps in coverage across America and the world,” Wadsworth said.
Wadsworth, who is Cuban-American, was the first person of color to serve as publisher for USA TODAY, when she assumed the role in 2018. Prior to that, she was Gannett’s first chief strategy and transformation officer in 2015. Under Wadsworth’s leadership, Gannett newsrooms were recognized with five Pulitzer Prizes.
Read Wadsworth’s full biography here.
Jordan Meranus is an entrepreneur who has helped start and lead a number of high-impact education organizations. Meranus is the CEO and co-founder of Ellevation, a software company that serves English language learners and education professionals in US schools.
“Local journalism is both more important than ever and disappearing at an alarming rate. The GroundTruth Project is extremely well positioned to support and grow local journalism, and to rally others, and I am honored to help the team and organization in the coming years,” Meranus said.
Prior to Ellevation, Meranus was a partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, a firm that helps entrepreneurs develop innovative organizations to address some of the most intractable challenges in public education. Meranus is also a co-founder of Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization that provides intensive early literacy services to low-income children in Head Start in dozens of cities across the country.
Read Meranus’ full biography here.
About The GroundTruth Project
The GroundTruth Project is an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up. GroundTruth serves under-covered communities by supporting the next generation of journalists to do on-the-ground reporting and to advance sustainability, innovation and equity in journalism worldwide. GroundTruth’s flagship programs — Report for America and Report for the World — place talented, diverse local reporters in the newsrooms that need them most.