Lynn McKnight

Strategic Advisor


1317 W. Pettigrew St. L203


(919) 660-3654


After a career in journalism, Lynn McKnight returned to her Duke alma mater in 1998 to join the CDS team building a dynamic place devoted to the documentary arts.
First serving as communications director, over the years she added external relations, program planning and management, and development to her duties. She has degrees from Duke University (public policy) and the University of Mississippi (southern studies) and has completed graduate studies in communications at the University of Florida.

A true believer in the power of words, images, and narrative to nurture change, she has been a newspaper reporter, editorial writer, opinion pollster, magazine editor, and journalism teacher. Her master’s thesis, “Lessons in Freedom: Race, Education, and Progress in a Mississippi Delta Community Since 1965,” won the Glover Moore Prize from the Mississippi Historical Society.

At CDS, in addition to engagement with all of the organization’s many programs, from exhibitions and artist awards to radio and book series, her work has supported national initiatives such as Indivisible: Stories of American Community, locally oriented projects such as Youth Document Durham, and multifaceted educational programs such as Literacy Through Photography.

She also has served on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Student Action with Farmworkers and the Morehead Hill Neighborhood Association. Her other interests include music across genres (with a particular affinity for the piano), culinary creativity, and architecture and design.

A photo of Lynn McKnight