Hearst today announced that Donna Kalajian Lagani will join the Hearst Foundations after nearly 25 years at Hearst Magazines. Kalajian Lagani had been senior vice president and group publishing director of Hearst Magazines Young Women’s Group, encompassing Cosmopolitan, Seventeen and Women’s Health. The announcement was made by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz. Kalajian Lagani assumes her new role February 4. Her replacement at Hearst Magazines will be named shortly.
“Donna has done an outstanding job leading our flagship magazine brand for more than two decades, and I am thrilled that she has chosen to take the next step in her career journey at the Hearst Foundations,” Swartz said.
The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health and social services. The Foundations identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. Created by William Randolph Hearst, the Foundations are independent, private philanthropies operating separately from Hearst. Since 1945, the Foundations have made over 20,000 grants totaling more than $1.1 billion.
“Philanthropy is an important part of my life, and this is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Kalajian Lagani said. “I’ve had the absolute best job on the planet for more than two decades, overseeing Cosmopolitan, the most powerful young women’s media brand in the world, and more recently, adding Seventeen, Women’s Health and brand licensing to my purview. Now, after a ‘fun and fearless’ career generating revenue and profits, I feel truly blessed to work with the Foundations and its directors, Paul ‘Dino’ Dinovitz and George Irish. The Foundations’ grants profoundly change people’s lives, and I’m honored to join them to uphold the legacy of William Randolph Hearst and his philanthropic efforts.”
In a joint statement, Dinovitz and Irish said, “We have known for some time of Donna’s interest in philanthropy and impacting lives for the better, and we’re pleased that she will be joining us, bringing her philanthropic interest and executive talent to the Foundations.”
Kalajian Lagani joined Hearst Magazines in 1995 as publisher of Cosmopolitan and was named publishing director in 1999. She added oversight of Seventeen in 2014 and of Women’s Health in 2018, following Hearst’s acquisition of Rodale. During her career at Cosmopolitan, Kalajian Lagani introduced groundbreaking initiatives, most recently through mobile and artificial intelligence technology. She developed and immortalized the “fun fearless female” mantra used by Cosmopolitan editions worldwide. During her tenure, she helped launch CosmoGIRL! and Cosmo for Latinas, and was a strong force in bringing Cosmopolitan to new platforms, including Snapchat and Sirius XM Radio.
Kalajian Lagani conceived and produced a Cosmopolitan “takeover” of Times Square on New Year’s Eve in 2015 to celebrate the brand’s 50 birthday and developed the “Fun Fearless Life” conference in New York City to empower young women. She initiated a multi-year brand partnership with the USO and received the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010. Kalajian Lagani also launched the $100,000 Cosmopolitan “Practice Safe Sun” research grant and was honored as a cosmetic industry leader at the prestigious DreamBall in 2005 for her support of the “Look Good Feel Better” program and the American Cancer Society.
Kalajian Lagani sits on the Board of Directors of Circle of Generosity and the Fragrance Foundation.