Audrey Cooper is the editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, the first woman to fill the role in the company’s 150-year history. At 37, she is also the youngest woman ever named as the top editor of a major U.S newspaper company.
Under her leadership The Chronicle has emerged as one of the country’s most innovative newspaper-based media outlets. In 2014 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 probed the mismanaged reconstruction of the Bay Bridge. The Chronicle also has been a rare critical voice that explores the benefits and costs of the region’s most recent tech boom.
In 2013, Editor & Publisher magazine named Audrey one of the world’s “Top 10 Women to Watch.” A native of the Kansas City area, Audrey attended Boston University, where she graduated magna cum laude with separate degrees in journalism and political science. She married her high school sweetheart, Dr. Kirk Seward, founder of a medical device company. They have a 2-year-old son and live in San Francisco.
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.Member Directory