Amy McCombs – Moderator

AMY MCCOMBS is the Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies. She spent the majority of her career in media with executive management responsibilities at both the Chronicle Publishing Company in San Francisco and the Broadcast Division of the Washington Post Company. She was the president and CEO of Chronicle Broadcasting with properties in San Francisco, Omaha and Kansas.

McCombs has been recognized a chief executive and business leader with broad-based experience in the information media, financial service, higher education and nonprofit sectors. She is widely acknowledged for transforming traditional, legacy-based organizations into proactive businesses ready to respond to changing competitive, regulatory and technology environments. McCombs was at the forefront of technological advances and the creation of news content for multiple media platforms.

McCombs also holds a professor appointment at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri and is the Executive Editor of the Global Journalist. Headquartered at the Missouri School of Journalism, the Global Journalist reports on the state of press freedom around the world, on global issues, and serves international journalists. It is delivered across multiple media platforms.

McCombs recently served as the interim president of the Presidio Graduate School. Heralded as a pioneer, Presidio offers a range of degree programs including an MBA, MPA and dual MBA/MPA in sustainable management. Based in San Francisco, Presidio is regionally accredited and has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the top five green MBA programs in the country.

She serves on the advisory board of, a digital media innovator combining news content with emerging technologies. For nearly 20 years, McCombs was a member of the board of directors of the Auto Club Group (ACG) in Dearborn, Michigan serving as board chair, and over the years, chair of the investment, finance and executive committees. ACG is one of the largest and most influential members of the American Automobile Association with revenues over $1.25 billion.

McCombs has been included in the San Francisco Business Times 50 Most Influential Business Women in the Bay Area and is the recipient of numerous media awards and honors including the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism and the First Amendment Freedom Award from B’Nai Brith Anti-Defamation League.

McCombs is actively involved in professional associations as well as national and local cultural organizations. She has spoken extensively at conferences and symposia on technology and the media and has received numerous awards and recognition. McCombs holds a master’s degree in journalism and bachelor’s degrees in political science and journalism, all from the University of Missouri. McCombs continued her education at the senior executive program of Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and the National Association of Broadcasters General Management Program at the Harvard Business School, Harvard University.

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