Gary E. Knell Becomes CEO of National Geographic Partners


Gary E. Knell, who has served as president and CEO of the National Geographic Society since 2014, will succeed Declan Moore as the new CEO of National Geographic Partners.

The appointment is effective March 1. Knell will oversee all of National Geographic’s global storytelling assets, including the television, magazine, print and digital operations, licensing and travel expeditions. Knell currently serves as chairman of National Geographic Partners and has also held various board positions at National Geographic since 2003.

National Geographic Partners is a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society.

Peter Rice, the president of 21st Century Fox, said: “Declan has been a tremendous champion of National Geographic, and his steady leadership in the founding of National Geographic Partners has created a foundation for it to thrive as one of the world’s most iconic media brands for years to come. Gary is ideally situated to build on that momentum. Nobody understands National Geographic better than Gary, and his breadth of media experience, strategic mindset and global perspective make him the perfect leader of the organization at this exciting time of transformation.”

Jean Case, the chairman of the board of trustees of National Geographic Society and member of the board of National Geographic Partners, added: “I have tremendous respect for Gary’s outstanding leadership. His passionate commitment to science, exploration and storytelling—combined with his deep expertise in media and his love of the National Geographic brand—makes him ideally suited to lead National Geographic Partners to its next level of success. I also want to express my gratitude to Declan for his extensive contributions to National Geographic Partners and Society.”

Knell said: “I’m thrilled to build on the enormous momentum that’s already been generated by Declan and his team at National Geographic Partners and to continue to leverage National Geographic’s full portfolio of amazing assets to drive positive change through the best in science, exploration and storytelling. At the Society, we’ve succeeded in developing an impact-driven agenda for the most pressing issues facing the planet, and are well positioned to continue to execute on that ambition thanks to the fantastic leadership team we’ve put in place.”

Moore said: “I’m grateful for the 23 years I’ve dedicated to this extraordinary organization, and am so proud of the teams, the businesses and the brands that we have developed and nurtured in that time. It’s been immensely rewarding working so closely with Peter and Gary and am happy to be leaving NGP in their extremely capable hands. I know that the work we’ve done to scale and modernize National Geographic Partners has positioned the brand for tremendous future success.”