The Staff and Board of MRG Foundation are pleased to announce Samantha Bakall as Communications Director effective March 1, 2021.

Ms. Bakall will be staff lead on MRG’s communications programs, including our overall communications strategy, our growing storytelling arm and all editorial support for our development and programmatic goals. Samantha comes to us as an accomplished, Chinese American freelance writer whose work has centered on amplifying diverse communities through food and restaurant writing across the Pacific Northwest. She helped plan and execute Portland International Airport’s fall 2020 – spring 2021 editorial strategy for its ongoing, $2 billion renovation and has mentored underrepresented youth interested in journalism for five years. In 2019 and 2020, she also designed and ran Amplify, a summer internship for high school journalists from underrepresented communities, in partnership with Metro and Pamplin Media Group.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Sam on our team—her solid skills, strong professional background and lived experience as a person of color navigating dominant-culture spaces resonated with us throughout the hiring process,” said Executive Director Se-ah-dom Edmo. “We really felt she belonged with MRG from the get-go.”

Previously, she was the only staffed food writer of color in the state while at The Oregonian from 2013-2018. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Eater, The San Francisco Chronicle, Travel Oregon, Oregon Humanities Magazine and shortly, National Geographic UK.