Matt Ewalt to Step Down as Vice President of Education, Emily and Richard Smucker Chair
CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution today announced that Matt Ewalt, longtime member of the Institution’s leadership team who currently serves as vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education, will depart at the end of March for a new professional opportunity at The Texas Tribune in Austin. Ewalt has served Chautauqua in a variety of capacities since joining the staff in 2006. Since 2018, he has served in his current role, overseeing the Institution’s signature Chautauqua Lecture Series, Chautauqua Literary Arts, youth and family programs, the Special Studies community education program, and the Chautauqua Climate Change Initiative, along with the Institution’s archives and the Smith Memorial Library.
“There are few people in this century who have had more impact in stewarding Chautauqua’s mission than Matt Ewalt. His care and sense of duty to this place has been instructive to me personally in my six years as president, and his example of servant leadership has provided a generation of young professionals who have flourished under his guidance with the tools to be empathetic, thoughtful, resourceful leaders,” said Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill. “While we will deeply miss Matt’s voice at our leadership and program planning tables, we are excited to see him thrive with this new opportunity, and for the folks at The Texas Tribune to gain such an exceptional leader and colleague.”
In his new role, reporting to editor in chief Sewell Chan, Ewalt will lead the strategic vision and execution of The Texas Tribune’s live journalism, which includes the annual Texas Tribune Festival — the organization’s signature event — and year-round events across Texas aimed at fostering civic engagement and democratic participation. The Tribune is a member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans and engages with them about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Ewalt spent eight of his years at Chautauqua as a collaborator on and then lead curator of the Chautauqua Lecture Series, including driving the development of each summer’s collection of weeklong themes. His tenure has seen continued growth in the diversity of voices invited to speak from Chautauqua’s historic platform in terms of race, gender and age. He also oversaw a redoubling of the Institution’s commitment to present a wide range of political and social viewpoints. Other highlights of his tenure include cultivating program partnerships with the National Comedy Center, National Constitution Center, United Nations Foundation and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and reaffirming the Chautauqua Lecture Series as a platform for significant national speeches, notably during week on “Russia and the West” with speeches by Sen. Chris Coons and Amb. William J. Burns (now director of the Central Intelligence Agency) that coincided with U.S.-Russia Helsinki summit in July 2018.
Previously, Ewalt directly oversaw the Institution’s youth and community education offerings, guiding the evolution of those programs to meet the changing needs and expectations of families and Chautauqua patrons generally. Ewalt joined Chautauqua in 2006 as year-round publications editor and 16th editor of The Chautauquan Daily, the Institution’s seasonal community newspaper. In seven years in that role, he transformed the Daily into a teaching newsroom and expanded a well-regarded journalism internship program, with alumni currently appearing on the mastheads and staff listings of top national and regional media organizations, cultural and social nonprofits, companies and agencies. Before coming to Chautauqua, Ewalt served for several years as a staff reporter then news editor for the Times Observer in nearby Warren, Pennsylvania.
“I am forever grateful to the colleagues, community members and program contributors who helped me find an intellectual and spiritual home at Chautauqua for most of my professional life,” Ewalt said. “To my work in Texas I bring the curiosity, empathy and desire to engage and learn across difference that developed as a Chautauquan. As forces in media and politics continue to drive wedges meant to divide us, it is as important today as ever that institutions like Chautauqua and The Texas Tribune exist to highlight and push us toward our common humanity.”
Save Your Trip
Fill out the form below to save your trip. You will receive a link to your saved list via email.
Save Your Favorites
Fill out the form below to save your favorites. You will receive a link to your favorites list via email.
"*" indicates required fields
You have now entered the season. Some website content may differ depending on the current season we are in: Summer or Fall/Winter/Spring. You can toggle between the two season options at any time.