ST. PETERSBURG — Stephen Buckley, an award-winning reporter who has served as dean of the faculty at the Poynter Institute for four years, is leaving to run a youth leadership initiative for orphans in Zambia, Poynter president Tim Franklin announced Tuesday.
The move, Buckley wrote in a note to the faculty, "isn't so much about my leaving the institute as it is about my chasing a wonderful opportunity. The chance to build a leadership development institute for young people in one of the world's neediest nations was simply too enticing."
Buckley first set foot on the campus of Poynter, a school for journalists that owns the Tampa Bay Times, at age 13, when as a middle school student he talked his way into a summer journalism program intended for high schoolers.
A graduate of Duke University, Buckley worked as a metro reporter and foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, at one point serving as its Africa bureau chief.
He joined the St. Petersburg Times, now the Tampa Bay Times, as a national reporter in 2001. He became managing editor in 2005, then served as publisher of the paper's website, tampabay.com, before moving to Poynter in 2010. He also serves on the board of directors of Times Publishing Co.
A St. Petersburg native, Buckley is married and has two children. The family will move to Zambia, where he will become the dean of a youth leadership development institute for Family Legacy, a Dallas-based, nongovernmental organization focused on providing a quality education to orphans in Africa.