Audrey Cooper is the editor in chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, the first woman to fill the role in the company’s 151-year history. She is also the youngest woman ever named as the top editor of a major U.S newspaper-based company. Under her leadership, the Chronicle has emerged as one of the country’s most innovative newspaper-based media outlets. Among other things, she started an in-house incubator project to transform the newsroom into a digitally focused operation that has successfully forged new storytelling techniques. She has also prioritized investigative journalism. Her newsroom exposed the numerous safety failures that lead to the 2011 San Bruno gas explosion and continues to uncover new details about the mismanaged reconstruction of the Bay Bridge. The Chronicle also has been a rare critical voice in exploring the benefits and costs of the region’s most recent tech boom.
A native of the Kansas City area, Audrey graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with separate degrees in journalism and political science. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, the founder of a medical device company, and their 3-year-old son. In her spare time, Audrey volunteers for San Francisco City Guides, a nonprofit that gives free walking tours of San Francisco. She is also a wicked tap dancer.