Marisa Porto joined the school as the Knight Chair in Local News and Sustainability in 2023. 

Porto, who specializes in transforming organizations for the digital world, joined UNC Hussman after serving two years as assistant dean of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University. She worked with Hampton University’s administration as an executive in residence in 2019 conducting organizational assessments and leading the strategic planning for the University’s online program.

Prior to joining academia, Porto’s extensive professional experience included positions as reporter, editor, vice president, executive editor and publisher with news organizations in Florida, Ohio, Delaware and Virginia. Her service to industry spans roles with local, national and international organizations dedicated to mentorship, diversity and sustainability in journalism. She has served as a consultant and adviser for news organizations in Ukraine and Georgia, recently returning from a visit to Ukraine to discuss local news sustainability.


  • MBA, University of Maryland Global Campus
  • B.A., University of South Carolina