Bill Adair is the Knight Chair at Duke University. He is the creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning website PolitiFact and a leader in the global fact-checking movement. At Duke, he heads the journalism program as director of the DeWitt Wallace Center and conducts research on fact-checking in the Reporters’ Lab.
He worked for 24 years as a reporter and editor for the Tampa Bay Times and served as Washington bureau chief 2004-13. He launched PolitiFact in 2007 and built it into the largest fact-checking effort in history, with affiliates in 18 states and Australia.
He is the founder of the International Fact-Checking Network, the global association of fact-checkers, and he writes frequently about accountability journalism and digital media.
Peter Adams is the News Literacy Project’s senior vice president for educational programs and is based in Chicago. Adams began his career in education as a classroom teacher in the New York City schools through Teach for America. He has also taught in the Chicago public schools and at Roosevelt University and Chicago City Colleges’ Wilbur Wright campus. In addition, he has worked with the New York City Teaching Fellows program, with After School Matters and as an independent education consultant. He is a graduate of Indiana University and has a master’s degree in the humanities from the University of Chicago.
Elizabeth Arnold is an award-winning journalist who began her career in Alaska.
After 20-plus years of national and international reporting, as congressional correspondent, White House correspondent and national political correspondent for National Public Radio, she returned north and is currently an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage. A well-known voice on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, Arnold was also a regular presence on the PBS NewsHour and Washington Week in Review. Among other notable awards, she was honored with the Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia University Silver Baton, the broadcast journalism equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.
Arnold has extensive reporting experience in the north, and has produced a multitude of stories about the people who live and work in the Arctic, including two expeditions to the North Pole.
Her most recent project is arcticprofiles.com, a series of intimate multimedia portraits aimed at putting a face on the Arctic during a time of extraordinary change.
Marty Baron is executive editor of The Washington Post, where he oversees The Post’s print and digital news operations and a staff of about 700 journalists. Newsrooms under his leadership have won 11 Pulitzer Prizes, including four at The Washington Post. Previously, Baron had been editor of The Boston Globe. During his tenure of more than 11 years, The Globe won six Pulitzer Prizes— including the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its investigation into a pattern of concealing clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, coverage portrayed years later in the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight.”
Prior to The Globe, he held top editing positions at The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. Baron was named Editor of the Year by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2001, and Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation in 2004. He earned a bachelor of arts and an MBA from Lehigh University. A native of Tampa, Florida, he speaks fluent Spanish.
Mike Berkowitz is co-founder and principal of Third Plateau, a social impact strategy firm that partners with people and organizations that have game-changing ideas to improve the world. Berkowitz is a 21/64-certified philanthropy consultant and has counseled numerous individual donors, family foundations and institutional foundations on their philanthropic strategies. He is a senior advisor to the Pritzker Innovation Fund, which supports the development and advancement of paradigm-shifting ideas to address the world’s most wicked problems. Berkowitz has also advised dozens of nonprofit institutions on effective development strategy, community engagement strategy, strategic planning and impact evaluation. He has a B.A. in history, magna cum laude, from Brown University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Berkowitz is co-author of Knight Foundation’s Giving Day Playbook and the report, Beyond the Dollars: The long-term value of giving days for community foundations.
John Bracken is vice president of Knight Foundation’s Technology Innovation Program, which funds projects that improve the creation, sharing and use of information essential to communities. He supervises the Knight News Challenge and the Knight Prototype Fund.
Bracken has 15 years of experience as a philanthropic investor in digital media, media policy and innovation, having previously worked at the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He serves on the board of the Illinois Humanities Council. Bracken earned a master’s degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif.
Jennifer Brandel is the CEO and co-founder of Hearken. She began her career in journalism reporting for outlets including National Public Radio, The New York Times and Vice, picking up awards along the way. In 2012, Brandel founded the groundbreaking audience-first series, WBEZ’s Curious City, and is spreading this public-powered journalism model around the world via Hearken. Her company participated in the Matter VC accelerator in San Francisco and took home the prize for “Best Bootstrap Company” at SXSW in 2016. That same year, Brandel was awarded the Media Changemaker Prize by the Center for Collaborative Journalism.
Whitney Caruso is a director at Third Plateau, a social impact strategy firm that partners with people and organizations that have game-changing ideas to improve the world. At Third Plateau, she focuses her efforts on impact evaluation, fundraising strategy, strategic planning and philanthropic advising for a variety of Third Plateau’s nonprofit and philanthropic clients. She has worked closely with Knight Foundation to evaluate the Giving Day Initiative as well as the Knight Cities Challenge, and is co-author of Knight Foundation’s Giving Day Playbook and the report, Beyond the Dollars: The long-term value of giving days for community foundations. Before joining Third Plateau, Caruso received her masters of international affairs at the University of California San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, where she focused on international development and nonprofit management with a regional specialization in Latin America.
Molly de Aguiar
Molly de Aguiar directs the Informed Communities program for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, fostering robust civic engagement through inclusive, people-powered news and information projects across New Jersey. The Informed Communities program supports a range of projects and ideas and relationships that explore the future of local journalism, with an emphasis on business models, collaborative reporting, community participation, and creative storytelling formats.
She also directs Dodge’s communications initiatives, exploring the intersections of philanthropy, communications, local journalism and community building. She led the overhaul of the Dodge website and brand update, and continues to oversee special projects that shine a spotlight on Dodge grantees, as well as promote the value and impact of philanthropy in New Jersey.
She writes about philanthropy at Philanthropy Sketchbook, co-founded the Local News Lab, and sits on the board of Media Impact Funders.
Marcelle Epley is the president and CEO of the Long Beach Community Foundation. She has created and implemented strategic business plans that carried her previous employer, Long Beach Transit, the largest municipal operator in Los Angeles County, through the great recession without a single layoff for 750 employees. Her current position at the foundation allows her to work with more than 150 philanthropic funds, manage $28 million in charitable dollars, foster philanthropy in her home town and assist the nonprofit sector through endowments. Epley earned her MBA from California State University, Long Beach. She serves on several non-profit boards and committees including the local Rotary Club, City College Foundation, California State University and Memorial Medical Center and is the incoming president of the LB Estate Planning & Trust Council. She has received several honors throughout her career for her efforts to improve the community, including Rotarian of the Year, the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Impact Award and 40 Under 40.
Efrain Escobedo is the vice president in charge of civic engagement, multi-sector collaboration and public policy at California Community Foundation, responsible for promoting collaboration and advocacy efforts across the nonprofit, public and private sectors to address community problems. Escobedo is recognized nationally and locally as an active leader and expert in Latino civic engagement and elections policy and has worked extensively to ways to increase voter participation.
Prior to joining the foundation, Escobedo was the manager of governmental and legislative affairs for the Registrar of Voters in Los Angeles County, the largest election jurisdiction in the nation. Escobedo earned his bachelor’s degree in American studies and ethnicity from the University of Southern California and is a recent graduate of the Los Angeles County Executive Leadership Program.
Jim Friedlich is executive director and CEO of The Institute for Journalism in New Media, the non-profit parent company of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com. The institute was founded by cable television entrepreneur and philanthropist Gerry Lenfest to help support sustainable business models for journalism in the public interest. Prior to joining the institute, Friedlich was CEO of Empirical Media Advisors, a consulting firm assisting news organizations in their transition to digital platforms. For 15 years, he was an executive at The Wall Street Journal where he served as group publisher for The Wall Street Europe, Asia, and Americas and member of the board of directors of CNBC. He was a seed investor in Business Insider and an array of other news-related start-ups. Friedlich attended Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Sam Gill is senior adviser to the president and vice president for learning and impact at Knight Foundation, which he joined in June 2015. Previously, he served as vice president of Freedman Consulting. He has led or participated in projects for elected officials and candidates for office, Fortune 500 companies and many of America’s leading foundations. Gill also co-founded Next Century Cities, the coalition of cities and their elected officials dedicated to investing in and championing next-generation Internet networks. In addition, Gill has led and managed several major research efforts, and he has authored numerous reports, including “Gaining Ground: A Guide to Facilitating Technology Innovation in Human Services” (supported by the Ford Foundation); “A Future of Failure? The Flow of Technology Talent Into Government and Civil Society” (supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation); and “The Collaborative City: How Partnerships Between Public and Private Sectors Can Achieve Common Goals” (supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies). Gill graduated with honors from the University of Chicago and from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Elizabeth Green is the co-founder of Chalkbeat, the nonprofit news organization committed to covering the effort to improve schools for all children. She has written for the New York Times Magazine and many other publications. A former Spencer Fellow at the Columbia School of Journalism, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Liza Gross is director of newsroom practice change at Solutions Journalism Network, an independent, nonprofit organization working to legitimize and spread the practice of Solutions Journalism – the rigorous, critical reporting on responses to social challenges. She is also a lecturer in professional studies at Columbia University.
Gross has worked for over three decades as a journalist and media executive of news organizations and nonprofits. Previously, she served as executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation, was managing editor of presentation and operations at The Miami Herald, executive deputy editor at El Nuevo Día in Puerto Rico and publisher of Exito, the Spanish-language newspaper of the Chicago Tribune. Gross received her undergraduate degree in History and Journalism from the City University of New York and holds a master’s in Public Affairs Reporting from The Ohio State University.
Kathryn Hill is the president of the Levine Museum of the New South. She began her career at the Field Museum of Natural History, where she pioneered one of the nation’s first visitor services programs. Later, she joined the charter management team at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where she developed the front-of-house operations, and worked as COO of History Colorado.
Hill has consulted for dozens of top museums and cultural organizations across the country. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke College and pursued graduate work at Northwestern University. As a Gates Family Foundation fellow, Hill completed a course in state and local government leadership at Harvard University.
Michelle Holmes is vice president of content at Alabama Media Group, overseeing the state’s largest news website (al.com); its three largest newspapers (Birmingham Times, Press-Register of Mobile and Huntsville Times); AL.com Studios and This Is Alabama (thisisalabama.org).
She was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, focusing on journalistic innovation; was responsible for content partnerships with some of the world’s largest media companies as director of business development at UstreamTV in San Francisco; and spent several years leading award-winning local newspapers in the Chicago area.
She serves on the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences Board of Visitors, and the Center for Collaborative Journalism’s National Journalism Advisory Board. She is a graduate of the Duke Integrative Medicine coaching program.
Alberto Ibargüen is president, CEO and a trustee of Knight Foundation. He is the former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. During his tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in journalism. He studied at Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Between college and law school, he served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela’s Amazon Territory and was the Peace Corps Programming and Training Officer in Colombia, based in Bogotá. After law school, he practiced law in Hartford, Conn., until he joined The Hartford Courant, then Newsday in New York, before moving to Miami. He is a former chair of the World Wide Web Foundation, founded by Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee to promote a free and universal Web. Over time, he has served on the boards of arts, education and journalism organizations, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Wesleyan University and Smith College. He also chaired the board of PBS and served on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Committee to Protect Journalists and ProPublica.
In 2015, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Julia Kumari Drapkin
Julia Kumari Drapkin is the executive producer and founder of ISeeChange, an award-winning citizen journalism and citizen science venture that empowers communities to connect to each other and their changing environment. Drapkin created ISeeChange after spending more than a decade covering natural disasters and climate change science as a reporter, producer, and photojournalist across the globe and in her own backyard. Drapkin serves on the board of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and is a consultant for NASA and the D.C.-based think tank Resources for the Future. Prior to journalism, Drapkin did research anthropology and archaeology in Latin America.
Judy Lee Haworth
Judy Lee Haworth is a design thinking expert who looks at world with a designer’s eye and sees solutions. With a decade of experience at IDEO, Haworth is a coach and facilitator experienced in human centered methodologies. She moves clients from strategy to action by embedding with teams, supporting them through the entire project lifecycle with one-on-one coaching and real-time experiments, helping them to shift and pivot when needed. Haworth builds capacity in her clients to learn new behaviors and mindsets that are needed to make shifts in process and culture. She emphasizes the user’s voice, amplifies its value, and helps her clients infuse it into their plans, products, and services.
Eddie Johnson is superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, where he commands the second largest police agency in the United States. With nearly three decades of service to the city, Johnson was appointed to implement systemic reforms around police accountability, transparency and build a culture within the department to strengthen public trust and reduce gun violence. He joined the department in May of 1988 and has served the majority of his career within the detective division and gang/tactical units and patrol bureau where he rose to the rank of chief. Johnson has his bachelor’s degree from Governors State University, and is expecting his masters in public policy and administration, with a specialization in public safety and national security, from Northwestern University in Spring 2017.
Adnan Mahmud is the founder and CEO of LiveStories, a Seattle-based startup building data tools for non-data people, simplifying data analysis, visualization and presentation for everyone. LiveStories is being used by governments and large nonprofits, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, government of Nigeria, and county health departments in California, to make smarter decisions. Prior to LiveStories, he founded and grew Jolkona.org, a non-profit focused on supporting up-and-coming social entrepreneurs around the world. He also worked at Microsoft, where he managed the two biggest data pipeliness for the company, obtained a few patents around data analysis and visualization and ran incubation projects in Microsoft Research.
Aminda (Mindy) Marqués Gonzalez
Aminda (Mindy) Marqués Gonzalez is executive editor and vice president for news at the Miami Herald.
Born in New York to Cuban immigrant parents, Marqués began her career as an intern at the Miami Herald and rose through the ranks to become the paper’s first Hispanic editor in 2010. She is only the second woman to hold the post.
Her career has included assignments as a metro reporter, assistant city editor and deputy metro editor, directing the Miami Herald’s local, state and community news operations. She left the paper in 2002 to work as Miami bureau chief for People magazine, overseeing coverage for the southeast U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America.
Marqués is a 1986 graduate of the University of Florida, where she was honored as an Alumni of Distinction by the College of Journalism and Communications in 2012. She serves on the board of the Pulitzer Prize and is the current president of the Florida Society of News Editors.
Alan C. Miller
Alan C. Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is the president and CEO of the News Literacy Project. He was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times for 21 years, including 14 years as a member of the Washington bureau’s investigative team, before leaving the paper in 2008 to establish the project. He received more than a dozen national reporting honors, including the George Polk Award, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal for breaking the 1996 Democratic National Committee campaign finance scandal. His series on the Marine Corps Harrier attack jet won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. He also worked as a reporter at the Times Union in Albany, N.Y., and the Record in Hackensack, N.J. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and received a master’s degree in political science from the University of Hawaii.
Terry Mazany is president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s leading community foundations. With assets of more than $2.3 billion the trust partners with donors to distribute over $150 million annually. Mazany was selected as the sixth executive in the Trust’s hundred year history in 2004. Mazany is also chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board and principal investigator for the CAPriCORN CDRN, the Chicago Area Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Network. He was a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the first community foundation, Mazany and his colleague, David Perry, co-edited “Here for Good: Community Foundations and the Challenges of the 21st Century.” Prior to his work in philanthropy, Mazany enjoyed earlier careers in public education, archaeology, and dendrochronology and has degrees in anthropology, business and education.
Rebekah Monson is co-founder and VP of product of WhereBy.Us, a local media startup that connects people to their cities through storytelling and experiences. Its publications, Miami’s The New Tropic and Seattle’s The Evergrey, produce email newsletters, original stories and events that reach more than a million curious locals each year. WhereBy.Us will enter new markets in 2017. Previously, Monson worked in many journalism jobs and later ran communications at the University of Miami School of Communication, where she pursued a master’s in interactive media. She co-founded Code for Miami and Hacks/Hackers Miami. She frequently speaks and conducts trainings on working at the intersection of technology, storytelling and civic engagement for professional journalism and technology organizations, governments and nonprofits.
Kristen Muller is director of content innovation and programming at KPCC, the NPR affiliate in Los Angeles. Muller joined the station in 2010 to create a morning news magazine and later served as the senior managing editor. Muller joined KPCC after spending more than a decade at CBS News, where she was a producer for the CBS Evening News and an associate producer at 60 Minutes II. In 2015, she was named a John S. Knight journalism fellow and spent the year focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship at Stanford University. She has received numerous honors throughout her career including a News & Documentary Emmy and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia award.
Annie Neimand is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology, Criminology & Law at the University of Florida. Neimand’s areas of research include social movements, public interest communication, science communication, moral psychology and gender. She is the research and digital strategy director for frank, an organization housed in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. frank is the go-to resource for people who use strategic, science-based communication to drive positive social change. Neimand is also the communication manager for the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida.
Shazna Nessa is Knight Foundation’s journalism program director. She has more than 15 years of journalism experience with beginnings in Internet technology and interactive design. Previously, she was a deputy managing editor at the Associated Press in New York, where she supervised editorial products and innovation. She was also part of the team that launched the website of the monthly business magazine Conde Nast Portfolio, and was later a consultant with the organization’s product group.
Nessa has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York. As an adjunct professor at CUNY, she created and taught the school’s inaugural design course.
Nessa graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris with a Bachelor of Arts in French and English and was a 2014 John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University.
Mauricio Palma is the director of initiatives and special projects at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. With over 20 years of local and national experience, Palma has worked as an organizer and consultant working with interdisciplinary community based initiatives, and has extensive senior organizational and program management experience in the nonprofit sector. At the foundation, Mauricio leads the Civic Innovation and Technology Hub and encourages communities and their organizations to conceive initiatives that lead to effective, equitable and sustainable solutions. An immigrant from Nicaragua, he resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and daughter.
Luis Patiño is the senior vice president and general manager of Univision Local Media in Los Angeles, at Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America. Univision Local Media owns and/or operates 128 local television and radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico. Patiño is responsible for the day-to-day management of station operations, sales, news, marketing and promotions for Univision Los Angeles. Prior to his current position, he served as senior vice president of Univision Television Group, where he led operations, sales, news, marketing and promotions for Univision’s owned and operated TV stations in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, Phoenix, Tucson, San Antonio and Austin. Earlier in his career, Patiño worked for Univision flagship stations in Los Angeles in several positions including national sales manager and local sales manager. Before joining Univision, he worked as National Sales Manager for Entravision Communications.
Tracie Powell is a senior fellow with the Democracy Fund and the founder of AllDigitocracy.org, which is focused on the media and its impact on diverse communities. She is also a 2016 John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University, where she is researching how techniques used in online advertising to reach specific customers could be used by newsrooms to reach specific news consumers and to grow audience. She has written regularly for the Columbia Journalism Review and her work has been highlighted by Harvard’s Neiman Lab.
Powell’s early career involved reporting and editing jobs at The Augusta Chronicle, The Austin American-Statesman and BlackAmericaWeb.com.
Powell earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and clerked for the U.S. Department of Justice. Having developed expertise in media policy and regulatory issues, Powell began writing for the Poynter Institute, CJR, and later launched All Digitocracy.
Jennifer Preston is Knight Foundation’s vice president for journalism. Previously, Preston was an award-winning journalist for The New York Times for almost 19 years, with broad experience as a digital journalist, reporter and senior editor. In 2009 she became the company’s first social media editor. In 2011, she returned to a reporting role where she focused on the impact of social media in politics, government, business and real life. Her most recent work as an editor focused on extending digital media and social media storytelling and curation across the newsroom.
Since 2007 she has taught journalism, primarily at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. She frequently speaks about the role of social media in journalism at media and technology industry conferences.
Preston is the winner of several awards for reporting, including the New York Press Club’s Gold Typewriter Award for Public Service and the New York State Bar Association’s Award for investigative reporting. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a degree in journalism and was a 2010 fellow in the Sulzberger Leadership Program at Columbia University.
Emily Ramshaw is the editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan digital news organization that produces politics and policy news, data and events statewide and operates the largest statehouse reporting bureau in the nation.
Under her leadership, the Tribune — billed as “one of the nonprofit news sector’s runaway success stories” — has won several national Edward R. Murrow Awards and top honors from the Online News Association, and been recognized for innovation in investigative reporting. By way of its free syndication model, the Tribune has filled the pages of Texas newspapers, broadcast on TV and video airwaves statewide, and provided Texas-specific reporting for The Washington Post and The New York Times.
Before joining the Tribune, Ramshaw spent six years at The Dallas Morning News. She serves on the board of the Pulitzer Prizes.
Robin Robinson is an award-winning journalist and respected broadcaster whose three decades of Chicago-based reporting is marked by in-depth coverage of social justice issues, politics, significant events and people. Robinson has covered everything from sports championships to presidential inaugurations.
In June of 2016, Robinson’s activism around social justice, and her citywide grassroots collaborations led Chicago Police Superintended Eddie Johnson to appoint her director of community affairs. In what she considers the most important communications mission of her career, Robinson is helping to implement the Chicago Police Department’s Bridging the Divide process, providing safe spaces for authentic conversation among people in law enforcement and the people they share community with, so they can co-create peace and security in their neighborhoods.
Victoria Rogers is Knight Foundation’s vice president for arts, where she works to make art general in Knight’s eight resident communities. She joined the foundation in May, 2015. Previously, Rogers was the executive vice president of New World Symphony, where she helped set the strategic plan for the orchestral academy that prepares distinguished music graduates for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles around the world. At New World, Rogers orchestrated the successful $200 million capital campaign for the Frank Gehry-designed campus, one of the world’s most technologically advanced venues for concerts. Before joining New World Symphony, Rogers served as assistant vice president for central development at the University of Miami, where she was the architect of its billion-dollar capital campaign, Momentum. A native of Louisville, Ky., Rogers lived in Atlanta for 21 years where she held positions in management and development. Rogers earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Jacksonville University and a master’s degree in business communications from Georgia State University.
Jack Rosenthal has had four related careers, in journalism, government, philanthropy and academia. He is president-emeritus of The New York Times Company Foundation and now serves as senior adviser at UNICEF and at Civic Hall.
Rosenthal came to this country as a child from Tel Aviv. He began in journalism at age 15 as a copy boy at The Oregonian in Portland. In 1956, he graduated from Harvard, where he was an executive of The Harvard Crimson. After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned to The Oregonian as legal affairs reporter. In 1961, he went to Washington and served as special assistant to Attorneys General Robert F. Kennedy and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach. In 1966, the Washington press corps voted him the outstanding public information officer in the U.S. Government.
He then served in a senior position in the Department of State. In 1968, after returning to Harvard as a fellow at the Institute of Politics, he also served as the principal editor of the Kerner Commission report, the presidential report on urban riots. In 1969, he returned to journalism, joining The New York Times as its first national urban affairs correspondent.
In 1977, he moved to The Times editorial board, first as the deputy editor and then editor of the editorial page. In 1982, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished editorial writing. From 1993 to 2000, he served as editor-in-chief of The Times Magazine.
In 2000, as new president of The Times Company Foundation, he launched what has become a series of 75 immersion courses for journalists on cutting-edge issues, many at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Starting in 2010, he managed the media portfolio of The Atlantic Philanthropies. In 2014-15, he served as distinguished lecturer at Hunter College, where he directed the Roosevelt House public policy center.
Christopher Ruddy is CEO of Newsmax Media, Inc., one of the nation’s leading online news companies. In 1998, Ruddy founded Newsmax Media, a broadcasting and multimedia publishing company whose content covers news, politics, health, lifestyle and finance.
In 2014, Newsmax launched Newsmax TV, a 24/7 informational and lifestyle network. The company’s flagship website, Newsmax.com, is consistently ranked as one of the country’s most trafficked news websites with comscore reporting its “total reach” at 50 million Americans monthly.
As a journalist, Ruddy previously worked at the New York Post and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. He has conducted interviews with political, business, and world leaders, including Bill Clinton, the late Sir John Templeton, Donald Trump and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Karen Rundlet is a journalism program officer at Knight Foundation. A journalist, Rundlet spent the first part of her career working as a television news producer in Miami (WPLG-TV), Atlanta (WAGA-TV) and New York (WNBC-TV). During those years, she produced long-form programs and live newscasts, covering events such as 9/11 and Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.
In South Florida, she launched the Miami Herald’s first video studio and led initiatives to make video integral to miamiherald.com’s audience experience. During that time, she also spent almost four years as a contributing reporter to various public radio newsrooms, including WLRN/Miami Herald News and American Public Media’s “Marketplace.”
A native of Jamaica, Rundlet was raised in Miami. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and was a Maynard Media Academy Fellow. Rundlet also serves on the board of Miami’s Lyric Theater.
David Sassoon is the founder and publisher of InsideClimate News, the non-partisan and non-profit news organization that won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2013, and many other national honors. He has been a writer, editor and publisher for 25 years, involved with public interest issues: human rights, cultural preservation, healthcare, education and the environment. He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where he majored in history, and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Jim Schachter is vice president for news at WNYC, where he is responsible for an enterprise-focused radio and digital newsroom, as well as programs including On The Media, Studio 360, The Takeaway, The Brian Lehrer Show and The Leonard Lopate Show. He also leads development and production of a range of WNYC digital properties, such as the highly-regarded narrative reporting podcasts There Goes the Neighborhood, The United States of Anxiety and The Season.
Coverage directed by Schachter has won the Peabody Award, the DuPont Award, the National Headliner Award, the first-ever Corporation for Public Broadcasting Community Lifeline Award and numerous other journalism honors. During a period of contraction in the news industry, he has led a significant expansion of WNYC’s staff and news services.
Before coming to WNYC, Schachter worked at The New York Times for 17 years, rising to the position of associate managing editor. He is a board member of The Texas Tribune.
Frank Sesno is director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University. He is the author of “Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions and Spark Change” and is an internationally-recognized journalist and interviewer with more than 30 years of experience reporting from around the world. Sesno spent 21 years at CNN, serving as White House correspondent, anchor and Washington bureau chief. He hosted the network’s Sunday interview program, Late Edition with Frank Sesno. At George Washington, Sesno launched Planet Forward, a user-driven multimedia platform that focuses on inspiring stories to move the planet forward. Sesno has interviewed some of the most influential people in the world, including five U.S. presidents, world leaders, innovators, scientists, CEOs and Nobel Prize-winning scientists.
Matt Sheehan is a journalist who has spent his career working in established and emerging media and is now on the journalism faculty at the University of Florida. As director of stories and emerging platforms, he helps lead the college’s content and product incubator, Hatch. Previously, as director of the Innovation News Center, he served as news director and executive editor for the university’s nine media properties, including the NPR, PBS and ESPN affiliates serving north Florida. He is a former assistant news editor at The Washington Post, previously taught and worked at University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and was chief operating officer of a digital publishing company in Washington, DC.
Osama Siblani is the publisher of The Arab American News, the largest Arab-American publication in the United States, based in Dearborn, Mich. He was inducted in the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2013 and is a recipient of the “Spirit of Diversity in Journalism Award” from Wayne State University. He has also received many local and national awards for excellence in journalism and for his leadership.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Siblani immigrated to the United States in 1976 to pursue his education, and earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Detroit. In 1980, he became vice president at Energy International, Inc., a major import-export firm, a position he held until he founded The Arab American News in 1984. He is a frequent lecturer on U.S.-Arab relations and the role of ethnic, minority and alternative media in America at several universities, including the Columbia University School of Journalism, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
Javier Alberto Soto is President and CEO of The Miami Foundation, a community foundation using civic leadership, community investment and philanthropy to improve quality of life in Greater Miami. Prior to joining the foundation, Soto served as senior vice president and general counsel at Grayling, a multi-disciplinary public affairs firm. He spent much of his career in the public sector as a litigator in the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office; the county’s director of intergovernmental affairs; and as chief of staff to County Mayor Alex Penelas. Soto also worked as a litigation associate at Holland & Knight. He is active on a number of community and professional association boards including the board of directors for TotalBank, chairman of Knight Foundation’s Miami Community Advisory Committee and board of directors of the Council on Foundations. Soto graduated cum laude in history and political science from Florida State University and earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is also a 2013 Henry Crown Fellow, a two-year leadership program of the Aspen Institute.
Marlowe Stoudamire is the project director for Detroit 67: Looking Back to MOVE FORWARD, the Detroit Historical Society efforts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Detroit’s historic summer of civil unrest in 1967. The multi-year community engagement project features diverse voices, programs and exhibitions that bridge gaps in understanding Detroit’s past – and challenges the region to realize its full potential.
He is also the owner and chief engagement strategist of Butterfly Effect Detroit and founder of Mash Detroit. He has over 15 years’ experience with local, national and multi-national companies in areas of business development, community engagement, project management, and marketing. A graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, he earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Wayne State University, and a Master of Science Administration from Central Michigan University. Prior to launching his business, he served as chief of staff at the Skillman Foundation in Detroit.
Charles Thomas is the Charlotte program director for Knight Foundation. He is the former executive director of Queen City Forward, a hub for entrepreneurs who have business ideas that address social needs. As founding executive director, he was responsible for launching the organization and building programs to catalyze and support social entrepreneurship, college entrepreneurship and civic innovation. Prior to leading Queen City Forward, he served as the director of education of The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film. During his tenure he expanded the museum’s outreach program, increasing impact and earned revenue. A professional photographer, Thomas co-published a book of photography and stories with author Valaida Fullwood titled “Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists.” In addition to winning the 2012 Terry McAdam Book Award, Thomas and Fullwood partnered with Johnson C. Smith University to create and launch a traveling exhibition titled the “Soul of Philanthropy: Reframed and Exhibited.” Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University.
Claire Wardle is the executive director of First Draft, a non-profit dedicated to finding solutions to the challenges associated with trust and truth in the digital age. She was previously the research director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, head of social media for the United Nations Refugee Agency and director of news services for Storyful. She is one of the world’s experts on user-generated content, and has led two substantial research projects investigating how it is handled by news organizations. She also sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Information and Entertainment.
Amy Webb is an author, futurist and Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading future forecasting and strategy firm that researches technology and answers “What’s the future of X?” for a global client base. Now in its second decade, the institute advises Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, government agencies, large nonprofits, universities and startups around the world. Webb is an adjunct faculty at the NYU Stern School of Business, where she teaches a popular MBA-level course on futures forecasting. She is the author of three books, including “The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream” (PublicAffairs, December 2016), which explains how to predict and manage technological change. It was selected as Amazon’s best book of December 2016 and was a #1 Bestseller.
Webb has a bachelor’s in political science, game theory and economics from Indiana University and a master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Lilly Weinberg is the program director for community foundations, managing Knight’s $140 million investment in 18 nonresident communities. Previously she was special assistant to President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen.
Weinberg graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School and the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she concurrently earned master’s degrees in public administration and business administration. While attending graduate school, she worked with the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the New York City Economic Development Corp., in both cases creating strategies to promote economic development, entrepreneurship and business growth.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and environmental studies from Emory University.
Mike Wilson has been editor of The Dallas Morning News since February 2015. He started his career at The Miami Herald, then worked for 18 years at the Tampa Bay Times. As a reporter in Tampa Bay, he was on a team that was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. His staff won two Pulitzer prizes during his tenure as an editor. In 2013, he moved to ESPN in New York to become managing editor of Nate Silver’s data journalism website, FiveThirtyEight. During this time, he also served on ESPN’s editorial board. He is the author of two books, “Right on the Edge of Crazy” and “The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison.”
Lisa Adkins is president and CEO of Kentucky’s oldest community foundation, Blue Grass Community Foundation. An attorney, Adkins is a recognized leader in growing philanthropy and community engagement. In addition to increasing gifts and grants under Adkins’ leadership, the foundation launched GoodGiving.net, the GoodGiving Challenge and charitable Giving Cards, strategies and services to make charitable giving simple, effective and accessible community-wide. In addition, the community foundation is working to make Lexington an even greater city, with a focus on downtown and neighborhood revitalization, healthy food access and improvements to the built environment, including the Legacy Trail, the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden and Town Branch Commons.
Anusha Alikhan joined Knight Foundation in March 2013. She came to Knight from the National Parkinson Foundation.
She is a strategic communications professional with a diverse background in the non-profit sector, as well as journalism and law. Most recently, Anusha was marketing manager for the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF), where she developed brand awareness campaigns and promotional strategies that helped increase community impact and program results. Previously, she served as a communications officer with the United Nations in New York contributing to the advancement of global peacekeeping initiatives, as well as a communications consultant with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She has also worked as a freelance journalist and editor. Before embarking on a professional career in communications, Anusha practiced employment and human rights law in her hometown of Toronto, Canada.
Anusha has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, a law degree from Queen’s University in Ontario and an honors bachelor of arts from the University of Toronto.
Raney Aronson-Rath runs FRONTLINE, PBS’ flagship investigative journalism series, and is a leading voice on the future of journalism. She has been internationally recognized for her work to expand FRONTLINE’s reporting capacity and reimagine the documentary form across multiple platforms. From the emergence of ISIS in Syria to the hidden history of the NFL and concussions to the secret reality of rape on the job for immigrant women, Aronson-Rath oversees FRONTLINE’s acclaimed reporting and directs the series’ evolution and editorial vision. She has developed and managed nearly 30 in-depth, cross-platform journalism partnerships with outlets including ProPublica, The New York Times and Univision. Under her leadership, FRONTLINE has won every major award in broadcast journalism and dramatically expanded its digital footprint. Prior to FRONTLINE, Aronson-Rath worked at ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, and MSNBC. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and her master’s from Columbia Journalism School.
Chris Barr is Knight Foundation’s director for media innovation. He manages the Prototype Fund, a program dedicated to research and development for early-stage media and information projects. With a background in design and new media, Barr previously served as an assistant professor of graphic design at West Virginia University. He has worked as a designer for a variety of organizations to combine technology development and design thinking. Barr holds a Master of Fine Arts in media study from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in fine art from West Virginia University.
John Bracken is vice president of Knight Foundation’s Media Innovation Program, which funds projects that improve the creation, sharing and use of information essential to communities. He supervises the Knight News Challenge and the Knight Prototype Fund. Bracken has 15 years of experience as a philanthropic investor in digital media, media policy and innovation, having previously worked at the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He serves on the board of the Illinois Humanities Council. Bracken earned a master’s degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif.
Ben Bradlee Jr. spent 25 years, from 1979 to 2004, with The Boston Globe – 10 years as a reporter and 15 as an editor. As the Globe’s deputy managing editor, he oversaw the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church from July 2001 to August 2002, and also supervised the production of a book on the subject, “Betrayal,” which Little, Brown published in June, 2002. “Spotlight,’’ a major feature film on the Globe’s investigation, was released in the fall of 2015 and has received six nominations for Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Bradlee is portrayed in the film by actor John Slattery. His most recent book: The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams, was published by Little, Brown in December of 2013. The book was received with critical acclaim, made the New York Times best-seller list and has been optioned for a movie. A graduate of Colby College, Bradlee served in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan from 1970-72.
Jim Brady is the CEO of Spirited Media, which operates the Philadelphia-based mobile news platform Billy Penn. He is also currently serving as the public editor for ESPN. Before launching Billy Penn, Brady also served as executive editor of washingtonpost.com, editor in chief of Digital First Media, general manager of TBD.com and programming director of News & Sports for America Online. He is a past president of the Online News Association, and has also served on the boards of the American Society for News Editors and National Press Foundation.
Matt Carroll runs the Future of News initiative at the MIT Media Lab, where he is a research scientist. The initiative provides space for journalists to discuss the thorny issues of the day, works with members to create projects that address real-world media issues and looks for cutting-edge storytelling and reporting tools that students and others in the MIT community are developing. Previously he was a reporter for the Boston Globe for more than two decades, working often on data stories. He was a member of the Globe’s Spotlight team which won a Pulitzer in 2002 for its coverage of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis.
Nichole M. Christian uses her skills as a veteran journalist to communicate the stories of InsideOut Literary Arts Project, Detroit’s largest arts education nonprofit. She is a Detroit native who began her career as a staff writer for some of the nation’s top news outlets: The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, The New York Times, The St. Petersburg Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is the co-author of Canvas Detroit, an award-winning book that profiles 40 of the artists at the center of the city’s creative revival. Her work also appears in Portraits 9/11/01: The Collected “Portraits of Grief” from The New York Times; The Detroit Anthology and Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood. She holds a bachelor’s in journalism from Wayne State University’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity.
Raphael Clemente joined the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority in January of 2006, bringing with him a multi-disciplinary background and local knowledge. With experience in land use and transportation planning, human scale design and project management, Clemente has used his skills to find solutions to community problems in ways that have carried downtown West Palm Beach toward its long-term goals of economic growth and a high quality of life for residents. Since being named executive director, Clemente has guided the authority to some noteworthy successes. These include the formation of an arts and entertainment district, a new streetscape project for Clematis Street (recently named as one of America’s Great Streets by the American Planning Association), the recruitment of dozens of new businesses to the downtown, and securing private funding for a bike sharing program serving the entire downtown area. Clemente holds a master’s Degree in urban planning from Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions, where he received the program’s Environmental Growth Management Fellowship.
Betsy Whitaker Covington is the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley. Since joining the community foundation in 2001, Covington has worked alongside the board to position this 17-year-old organization to enable and promote philanthropy that inspires, facilitates and fosters a vibrant and engaged Chattahoochee Valley. Under her leadership, the organization has grown from $7 million in assets to over $110 million. Since its inception, the community foundation has received gifts of more than $200 million and has made grants totaling more than $120 million to efforts across the area from its more than 250 charitable funds. Prior to joining the community foundation, Covington served for 11 years as the director of development at the Columbus Museum. Before that, she enjoyed a career in advertising and public relations. A native of Columbus, Covington is a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a degree in communications.
Molly de Aguiar directs the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s Informed Communities grants, which strengthen and expand New Jersey’s news and information ecosystem, support and experiment with collaboration and resource-sharing among local journalism organizations and encourage deep community engagement throughout the state. She also directs Dodge’s communications initiatives, exploring the intersections of philanthropy, communications, local journalism and community building. She led the overhaul of the Dodge website and brand update, and continues to oversee special projects that shine a spotlight on Dodge grantees as well as promote the value and impact of philanthropy in New Jersey. She writes about philanthropy at Philanthropy Sketchbook and also contributes regularly to the Local News Lab. Prior to joining the Dodge staff in 2005, de Aguiar spent 10 years working for arts and education nonprofits in Philadelphia and was active in independent media issues. de Aguiar has a bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Alejandro de Onís joined Knight Foundation in January 2015.
Alejandro is a social entrepreneur and formerly Director of Digital Strategy for the documentary production company, Skylight Pictures (skylight.is). In his role as Digital Director, he increased social impact and audience engagement with platforms that made it easy for people to get involved with social issues. Some projects include The Toolbox (thetoolbox.org), Granito: Every Memory Matters, and International Justice Central. Alejandro has also worked on various programs for PBS, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and A&E. In years past, he dabbled in freelance photography, composing music for broadcast television, and was the co-owner of a successful restaurant in Brooklyn, NY.
Andrew DeVigal is the chair in Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement at the University of Oregon’s Agora Journalism Center, the gathering place for innovation in communication and civic engagement. In this moment of profound transformation, the Agora Journalism Center is reimagining and redefining communication for the social good. The center believes that the future of journalism and the future of democracy are intertwined, and seeks the highest and best expression of public interest journalism and communication in an interconnected, digital world. The center catalyzes conversation and collaboration across traditional and emerging communications platforms to promote media innovation in service to civic engagement, and civic engagement to inform media innovation.
St. Louis Public Radio’s General Manager Tim Eby has led the organization through a period of enormous growth since arriving in 2009. In the past seven years, the station has moved into a state-of-the-art facility, completed a transformative merger with the non-profit, online news outlet the St. Louis Beacon and significantly increased its broadcast and digital audience as well as its fundraising revenue. Eby is a leader in the public radio system serving as chair of the NPR Board of Directors from 2004-07 as part of his board term from 2002-08. He currently sits on several local, regional and national non-profit boards. Prior to coming to St. Louis, Eby was the radio station manager at WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio from 2004-09 and station manager at WVPE Public Radio in South Bend, Indiana from 1982-04. Eby is a graduate of the University of Evansville in Indiana.
Judy looks at world with a designer’s eye and sees solutions. With 10 years experience at IDEO, Judy is a Design Thinking expert, coach, and facilitator experienced in human centered methodologies. She moves clients from strategy to action by embedding with teams, supporting them through the entire project lifecycle with one-on-one coaching and real-time experiments, helping them to shift and pivot when needed.
Judy builds capacity in her clients to learn new behaviors and mindsets that are needed to make shifts in process and culture. She emphasizes the user’s voice, amplifies its value, and helps her clients infuse it into their plans, products, and services. Judy maximizes progress and assures strategic direction by testing assumptions up front, experimenting earlier to get tangible results more quickly. Judy brings the right people to the table and leverages the best approach by advising teams on stakeholder involvement in their design process.
Mitch Gelman, currently senior fellow of media and technology at the Newseum, has previously overseen product management at Gannett, for key digital services for the company’s media properties, including USA TODAY and the 92 local properties that make up the USA TODAY NETWORK. He led the company’s efforts in experiential storytelling, applying virtual reality, gaming interaction and 360-degree 3D video to news coverage. That work was recognized by the National Press Foundation in 2016 for Best Use of Technology in Journalism. Prior to coming to Gannett, Gelman headed editorial and operations at CNN.com as senior vice president and executive producer, was editor-in-chief of ESPN.com and served as a reporter at New York Newsday (1986-95) when it won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for spot news coverage of a fatal subway crash.
Joanne Hovis is president of CTC Technology and Energy, where she directs all of the organization’s business consulting, strategic planning, market assessment and management consulting work. An attorney with a background in communications and commercial litigation, she is a recognized authority on the broadband market and community broadband topics, and on the evolving role of government in the provision of communications services to the public. She advises public and not-for-profit clients regarding strategic and business considerations for building community broadband networks, and provides guidance on funding opportunities including E-rate and other federal programs. In one area of particular interest, Hovis helps communities to develop innovative public-private partnerships that enable creative risk-sharing between the public and private sectors, with greater net benefits to both. Hovis serves as a director of the Benton Foundation, the Fiber to the Home Council, and OneCommunity, and is co-founder and CEO of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice, the public-private coalition dedicated to enabling local government participation in next-generation broadband and Internet development.
Alberto Ibargüen is president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. He is the former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. During his tenure, The Miami Herald won three Pulitzer Prizes and El Nuevo Herald won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for excellence in journalism. He studied at Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Ibargüen serves as a member of the boards of PepsiCo, American Airlines Group and AOL. He is a former chair of the World Wide Web Foundation, founded by Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee to promote a free and universal Web. Over time, he has served on the boards of arts, education and journalism organizations, including theLincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Wesleyan University andSmith College. He also chaired the board of PBS and served on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Committee to Protect Journalists and ProPublica. In 2015, he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Jackie Jones is the chair of the Department of Multimedia Journalism at Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism & Communication and editor of the Morgan Global Journalism Review, the school’s online magazine. Before joining Morgan, the veteran journalist taught as an adjunct at Howard University. Jones began her career as a radio writer, tape editor and weekend sports show producer at Mutual Broadcasting. Jones was also a producer for “Inside Sports,” a sports talk show on WYCB-AM in Washington, D.C. Jones ultimately switched to print and her career took her around the country as a writer and editor at several newspapers, including the Detroit Free Press, the Philadelphia Daily News, New York Newsday and The Washington Post. She also did a turn as a writer for several online publications, including BlackAmericaWeb.com, the site affiliated with urban drive-time radio’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” In addition to her work at Morgan State, the native Washingtonian is founder and director of Jones Coaching, a career coaching firm.
Beth Kanter is an internationally recognized thought leader in networks, social media and data. She has more than 35 years working in the nonprofit sector in capacity building and has facilitated trainings for nonprofits on every continent in the world (except Antarctica). She is an in-demand keynote speaker and workshop facilitator and was named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company. Her past and current clients include Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Gates Foundation, Brainerd Foundation, Knight Foundation, Knight Digital Media Center, Edutopia and others. She is author of the award-winning Networked Nonprofit Books published by J.Wiley and is currently working her next book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Impact with Burnout.
Stuart Kennedy is the director of program strategy and innovation at The Miami Foundation. He leads the foundation’s civic leadership work focused on addressing critical quality of life issues in Miami-Dade County. In addition, he oversees the Our Miami Report, a biennial research platform examining the data, trends, indicators and stories behind Greater Miami’s biggest challenges and opportunities, and the Public Space Challenge, a contest for the community’s best ideas to improve, create and activate public spaces. Prior to joining the foundation, Stuart was the program associate at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation working with the local and national arts programs.
Matthew Lister is a creative urban place-maker, real estate development strategist, and designer. As director of Gehl Studio New York, he focuses on the intersection of real estate strategy and the design and activation of public spaces. Lister approaches project development and implementation holistically, understanding that creating or enhancing urban places requires the integration of creative programming and design, policy, management, market strategies, financial feasibility, stakeholder capacity and buy- in, and the power of a compelling project narrative. Lister currently teaches graduate level urban redevelopment planning at Pratt Institute in New York City and has taught both undergraduate and graduate level classes at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Lister has a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Master of Architecture and a Master of Suburb and Town Design from the University of Miami School of Architecture. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from the University of Colorado.
Michael Marsicano is president and CEO of Foundation For The Carolinas. Managing assets, owned and represented, of approximately $1.7 billion, the foundation holds 2,500 charitable funds and ranks as the ninth largest community foundation in the United States. Since Marsicano has been at the helm of the foundation, contributions have totaled more than $3 billion and grant awards more than $1.9 billion. Marsicano joined the Foundation in 1999 after serving as president and CEO of the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte for 10 years. With Marsicano at its helm, the Arts & Science Council became one of the largest endowed arts councils in the United States. Marsicano has been active in several national and local organizations. He currently serves on the Governing Boards of Duke University, Duke University Health System, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Center City Partners, and is Chair of the Queens University Board of Trustees. A native of New York, Marsicano received his Bachelor of Science, Masters of Education and Doctor of Philosophy from Duke University.
Terry Mazany is president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s leading community foundations, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. With assets of more than $2.3 billion the trust partners with donors to distribute more than $150 million annually. Mazany was selected as the sixth executive in the trust’s hundred-year history in 2004. In 2011 Terry also served as the interim chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools. In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the first community foundation, Mazany and his colleague, David Perry, co-edited Here for Good: Community Foundations and the Challenges of the 21st Century. Prior to his work in philanthropy, Mazany enjoyed earlier careers in public education and archaeology; with degrees in anthropology, business and education. He has also been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from DePaul University and Lewis University.
Michele McLellan is a writer, editor and consultant who works on projects that help strengthen the emerging local news ecosystem, whether on online news start ups working to become sustainable or traditional news organizations that are trying to shape their new role in the digital world. In addition to being the senior program consultant for Knight Digital Media Center, McLellan has served as a Knight Community Information Challenge Circuit Rider who advises community foundations that are supporting news and information projects in their areas. She founded the Block by Block Community News Summit for independent online community publishers and she created and publishes Michele’s List, a database of promising local news start ups, in collaboration with the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. She has reported in depth on the emerging local news ecosystem and revenue models for news, including “Best Practices for Advertising Sales at Digital News Startups” and “2015 State of Local News Startups.” She also authored the KDMC report “Digital Leads: 10 keys to newsroom transformation.” McLellan is an author of two books and numerous studies on leadership and the emerging news landscape. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2001-02 and a Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow at the Missouri School of Journalism in 2009-10.
Daniel X. O’Neil is the executive director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic organization devoted to making lives better in Chicago through technology. O’Neil is the creator of the Civic User Testing Group, a new model for UX testing, digital skills development, and community engagement in technology. He also helped create Foodborne Chicago, a website that connects people who complain about food poisoning on Twitter to the Chicago Department of Public Health. O’Neil and Smart Chicago also run Youth-Led Tech, a technology mentoring program in Chicago neighborhoods and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. Prior to the Smart Chicago, O’Neil was a co-founder of and People Person for EveryBlock, a neighborhood news and discussion site serving 16 cities.
Shazna Nessa is the journalism program director for Knight Foundation. Nessa has more than 15 years of journalism experience with beginnings in Internet technology and interactive design. Previously, she was a deputy managing editor at the Associated Press in New York, where she supervised editorial products and innovation. She was also part of the team that launched the website of the monthly business magazine Conde Nast Portfolio, and was later a consultant with the organization’s product group. Nessa has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York. As an adjunct professor at CUNY, she created and taught the school’s inaugural design course. Nessa was born and raised in London and has lived in Paris, New York and Palo Alto, Calif. She graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris with a Bachelor of Arts in French and English and was a 2014 John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University.
Michael Oreskes is NPR’s senior vice president of news and editorial director. He leads an award-winning team of journalists and seasoned newsroom executives who are committed to excellence, innovation and the highest quality reporting and multi-platform storytelling. Oreskes has 40 years of professional journalism experience, ranging from reporter to senior managing editor, and expertise in shepherding the transition of traditional media to multi-media enterprises. He joined NPR in 2015 following seven years with The Associated Press. During his tenure at AP, Oreskes supervised the timeliness and quality of AP’s global news coverage and worked with business and news colleagues to redefine the journalistic goals of the 169-year-old organization to better reach online and mobile users. He also coordinated closely with member newspapers and broadcasters of the AP for more collaborative journalism tailored to respond to regional and local news. Oreskes is co-Author (with Eric Lane) of “The Genius of America, How the Constitution Saved Our Country and Why It Can Again” and has written for publications including the American Journalism Review, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics and Insights on Law & Society. He was awarded three Emmys and an Alfred I. DuPont Columbia University award for documentary television production. He is a member of the board of the American Society of News Editors, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia Journalism Review and Media Leaders Council, World Economic Forum. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from City College of New York.
Cynthia Perez joined The Dallas Morning News in 2014 to lead the Hispanic Families Network community project. Prior to joining the news, Perez was an elementary school teacher and a high school counselor. As an educator, Perez recognizes the need for parental engagement yet understands that language may create a barrier for Hispanic families to access information. Through the Hispanic Families Network, parents are learning how to use technology and social media to access, translate, and share information with other parents. Perez graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s degree in communications and nonprofit management and holds a master’s degree from Texas A&M in educational administration.
A print and broadcast journalist, Sacha Pfeiffer was a member of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its stories on clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church. That reporting is the subject of the movie “Spotlight,” in which Pfeiffer is played by actress Rachel McAdams. Pfeiffer has also been the host of All Things Considered and Radio Boston at WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, where she won a national 2012 Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast reporting, and a guest host of NPR’s nationally syndicated On Point and Here & Now. Pfeiffer was a 2004-5 John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University, is a co-author of the book “Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church,” and has been an adjunct faculty member at Boston University’s College of Communication. She currently writes about wealth, philanthropy and nonprofits for the Globe.
Vikki Porter is director of the Knight Digital Media Center and supervises professional development programs for new media journalists at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles. She also was the founding director of the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the Annenberg School. During her 30-year journalism career, Porter worked in five Western states, started a newspaper, served as top editor for three community newspapers, and shared a 1986 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal as part of a five-person team while city editor of The Denver Post. Most recently, she was executive editor of The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, Calif. Porter was a Knight Professional-in-Residence at the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas in 1987-88 and a Knight Journalism Fellow in Studies of Law at Yale Law School in 1988-89, where she earned her masters in studies of law. She is active in the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Associated Press Managing Editors, and has been invited to participate in conferences hosted by the Pew Foundation for Public Journalism, the Freedom Forum, Harwood and Associates and the American Press Institute.
Jennifer Preston is Knight Foundation’s vice president for journalism. Previously, Preston was an award-winning journalist for The New York Times for almost 19 years, with broad experience as a digital journalist, reporter and senior editor. In 2009 she became the company’s first social media editor. In 2011 she returned to a reporting role where she focused on the impact of social media in politics, government, business and real life. Her most recent work as an editor focused on extending digital media and social media storytelling and curation across the newsroom. Since 2007 she has taught journalism, primarily at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. She frequently speaks about the role of social media in journalism at media and technology industry conferences. Preston is the winner of several awards for reporting, including the New York Press Club’s Gold Typewriter Award for Public Service and the New York State Bar Association’s Award for investigative reporting. Preston graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a degree in journalism. In 2013, she was elected to the board of directors of the Online News Association, and Fast Company named her as one of the top 25 women to follow on Twitter. She is the author of “Queen Bess,” a biography of Bess Myerson.
Pedro A. Ramos is the president and CEO of The Philadelphia Foundation. Appointed to this role in July, 2015, Ramos is charged with leading the southeastern Pennsylvania region’s oldest and largest community foundation into a new era of philanthropy, collaboration and innovation that will drive broad civic engagement and lasting positive change for the region’s most vulnerable populations. Ramos oversees the foundation’s 900 charitable funds, the awarding of more than $25 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofits and individuals each year, management of the Fund for Children and the development and implementation of social impact programs. Previously, Ramos had been a partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, LLP where he co-chaired the Higher Education Practice Group and was a member of the Business Services Department, the Nonprofit Organizations Group and the Diversity Committee. He had also served the City of Philadelphia both as its managing director – a role in which he oversaw most of the City’s public safety, public works and human services – and as the City Solicitor. Ramos grew up primarily in North Philadelphia and Olney, attended public schools and graduated from Central High School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. In 2014 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Human Letters from Drexel University. Ramos also completed an Eisenhower Fellowship that encourages innovative leaders to enhance their skills, enrich our world and encourage justice and peace.
Martin G. Reynolds is senior fellow for strategic planning at the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Currently, he is overseeing the 38-year-old journalism training organization’s effort to reimagine itself to serve journalism in the digital age. Reynolds is the former editor-in-chief of The Oakland Tribune and co-founder of the Voices program, which trains residents from diverse communities to become storytellers. Reynolds was named Digital First Media’s 2013 Innovator of the Year for his work developing Voices and forging relationships with philanthropic organizations to support media collaborations.
Michael Rezendes is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Boston Globe Spotlight Team. In more than two decades with the Globe, he has worked as a reporter and editor covering presidential, state and local politics. And as a member of the Spotlight Team, he has played a key role in many of the Globe’s most significant investigations, including those probing the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, financial corruption in the nation’s charitable foundations and abuses in the debt collection industry. In 2003, Rezendes shared a Pulitzer Prize for revealing the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and is played by Mark Ruffalo in the movie “Spotlight,” which chronicles the Globe’s investigation of the Boston Archdiocese. He also shared a 2014 Pulitzer awarded to the staff of the Globe for its reporting on the bombing of the Boston Marathon. Before arriving at the Globe, Rezendes was a staff writer at the Washington Post, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Boston Phoenix, and was the editor of the East Boston Community News. He is a co-author of “Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church,” and a contributing author to “Sin Against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church.”
Walter V. Robinson is editor at large at the Boston Globe. Robinson, who led the Boston Globe Spotlight Team that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its investigation of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, returned to the newspaper in 2014 after seven years as distinguished professor of journalism at Northeastern University. In the mid-1970s Robinson covered politics and government for the Globe, and went on to cover the White House during the Reagan and first Bush Administrations. In 1990 and 1991, Robinson was the paper’s Middle East Bureau chief during the first Persian Gulf War. In 1992, Robinson became the Globe’s city editor, and then for three years the metro editor. In the late 1990s, he was the Globe’s roving foreign and national correspondent, and spent much of that time reporting on artworks looted by the Nazis during World War II that ended up in American museums; and the illicit international trade in looted antiquities. He was the editor and lead reporter for the Spotlight Team for seven years. In 2001 and 2002, the team’s groundbreaking investigation of sexual abuse by priests exposed a decades-long cover-up that in Boston alone, shielded the crimes of nearly 250 priests, and is featured in the film “Spotlight.” As a journalism professor, Robinson and his investigative reporting students produced 26 Page One investigative stories for The Boston Globe. Before joining the Globe in 1972, he served four years in the US Army, including a year in Vietnam as an intelligence officer with the First Cavalry Division. Robinson is a 1974 graduate of Northeastern University. He is co-author of the 2002 book, “Betrayal: Crisis in the Catholic Church.”
Stephanie Rudat blends an array of eclectic entrepreneurial and life experiences to organize summits, deliver trainings and interactive talks, and consult social enterprises. She co-founded Movements.org, a nonprofit empowering the oppressed with a platform, effective tech tools and strategies in 2008, and has designed social good campaigns, curriculums for leadership development, and marketing strategies for numerous organizations. Stephanie consults social enterprises in fundraising, communications, infrastructure development, and partnerships. She has presented at spoken at innumerable international conferences on social responsibility, collaboration, social media, content curation, altruistic leadership, and community building. Many of the organizations and innovators she has trained and mentored over the years continue to successfully transform spaces they serve. Peer learning facilitation both online and off is something she’s particularly passionate about because it allows her to personally engage with many people committed to being their best to achieve their personal and professional objectives. She has worked extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and lived in Latin America training nonprofits and youth leaders who work on a wide-range of issues including women’s reproductive health, civic engagement, countering extremism, censorship, education and more.
Ahmed Shihab-Eldin is an Emmy-nominated journalist and a correspondent and producer for VICE on HBO. In 2015, he was featured on the Arabian Business power list of the planet’s 100 most influential young Arabs. In 2012 he was featured on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list of ‘young disruptors, innovators and media entrepreneurs impatient to change the world.’ He joined VICE from HuffPost Live, an award-winning online network he helped launch in 2012. There, he produced and hosted World Brief, a 30 minute interactive global news show, averaging one million views a day. In 2010, Ahmed created, produced and co-hosted Al Jazeera English’s “The Stream,” an award-winning interactive talk show that earned him an Emmy nomination for Most Innovative Program in 2012. Before joining Al Jazeera English, Ahmed helped launch the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar where he worked as a correspondent and ran the site’s editorial content. Before Qatar, Ahmed worked in New York as a digital producer at PBS’s award-winning series Wide Angle, a videographer for FRONTLINE/World and for The New York Times foreign desk. In 2009 Ahmed began teaching digital media courses as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School Of Journalism, his alma mater. He graduated from the program in 2007 with honors. In 2013, Ahmed published his first book, “Demanding Dignity,” with a co-editor. .
Michelle Srbinovich leads WDET, Detroit’s Public Radio Station. She has earned national respect for her commitment to bringing new audiences to public service media and is one of the youngest general managers in public radio. A self-described “problem solver with a digital toolkit,” Srbinovich came to the station in 2009 from Campbell-Ewald Advertising where she managed digital projects for Chevy and ran the award-winning online community NavyForMoms. She is a proud alumni of the German Marshall Fund’s Marshall Memorial Fellowship and has been recognized as one of Crain’s Detroit Business 20 In Their 20s and United Macedonian Diaspora’s 40 Under 40. In addition to her work in media, Srbinovich is a passionate advocate for the city of Detroit and and serves on many non-profit boards. She is co-founder of the Detroit chapter of Girl Develop It, chair of the Belle Isle Conservancy’s Emerging Patrons Council, and a founding member of the United Way Emerging Philanthropists.
Josh Stearns is the director of journalism and sustainability at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where he works to support and expand community-driven local news. For more than 15 years, Stearns has worked as a civic strategist, educator and journalist. Prior to joining Dodge, he served as Press Freedom Director at Free Press, where he spent seven years running national advocacy campaigns in support of digital rights, freedom of expression and media diversity. He is a nationally-recognized leader in community engagement, digital innovation and communications and helped found the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the First Draft News Coalition. His articles have appeared in The Guardian, Columbia Journalism Review, BuzzFeed, Orion Magazine, and Boing Boing. Stearns is a visiting scholar in the Journalism and Communication Departments at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an instructor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He has a bachelor’s in creative writing from St. Lawrence University and an master’s in American studies from the University of Massachusetts.
Andaiye Taylor is the founder and editor of BrickCityLive.com, a local news site that covers business, arts, entertainment, and lifestyle in Newark, New Jersey’s most populous city. BrickCityLive.com is a member site in Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s Local News Lab. Taylor is also director of content marketing at LA-based technology company Rubicon Project. She has spent her professional career working in business development, product management and content marketing roles at digital technology companies in New York’s “Silicon Alley.” Taylor holds a master’s degree in digital journalism from Columbia University.
Teresa Tomlinson was elected the 69th mayor of Columbus, Georgia on Nov. 30, 2010 with 68 percent of the vote. On Jan. 3, 2011, she was sworn in as the city’s first female mayor. On May 20, 2014 she was re-elected to a second term with 63 percent of the vote, making her the first mayor since the city’s consolidation in 1971 to win re-election in a contested race. She has four times been named to Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians, and she holds a national security secret clearance with the Department of Defense. In 2015, Tomlinson, together with other alumnae, led the effort to save her undergraduate alma mater, Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Today, the college thrives and Tomlinson serves as the chairwoman of the college’s the Board of Directors. Tomlinson moved to Columbus in 1994. For 16 years, she practiced with the law firm of Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison and Norwood, where she specialized in complex litigation and was the firm’s first female partner. She served from 2006-10 as executive director of MidTown, Inc., a non-profit community renewal organization. Tomlinson is a graduate of Sweet Briar College, in Virginia (where she was a 2011 Distinguished Alumnae), and a 1991 graduate of Emory University School of Law, in Atlanta.
Amy Webb is the founder of the Future Today Institute; lecturer, future of technology at Columbia University; and co-founder of SparkCamp. Her future forecasting work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Fast Company and more. Her research has also been cited in several academic papers. She is a lecturer on emerging technology and media at Columbia University and was a 2014-15 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Webb holds many professional affiliations and collaborates with a number of institutions: she was a delegate on the former U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission and served on the Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Libraries, where she worked with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt and others on the future of libraries. Every year, Webb lectures about the future of media and technology at a number of universities, which have included Institut d’études politiques de Paris, Temple University, New York University, Tokyo University and National University of Kyiv. Webb co-founded Knowledgewebb Training, which facilitates hands-on digital media training and workshops and Spark Camp, a next-generation convener that facilitates important conversations on the future of a better society. In 2013, Amy published “Data, A Love Story” (Dutton/ Penguin), a bestselling memoir about the world of online dating, consumer behavior and finding love via algorithms. Her third book, “How Did We Miss That?” is about what the future holds––and what you can do about it in the present (PublicAffairs, December 2016).
Brian Weinberg – more to come.
Lilly Weinberg is Knight Foundation’s director for community foundations, managing Knight’s $140 million investment in 18 communities. Previously she was special assistant to President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen. Weinberg graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School and the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she concurrently earned master’s degrees in public administration and business administration. While attending graduate school, she worked with the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the New York City Economic Development Corp., in both cases creating strategies to promote economic development, entrepreneurship and business growth. Prior to entering graduate school, Weinberg worked with the Connected by 25 Institute, where she specialized in simplifying complicated foster care policies and implementing them. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and environmental studies from Emory University, which allowed her to study and research sustainable development in Botswana, Namibia, Peru, and Turks and Caicos. A resident of Coconut Grove, Weinberg is active in Miami civic life. She graduated as a member of the 2012-13 Leadership Miami class and was a fellow of the 2013 New Leaders Council. She currently serves as executive director of the New Leaders Council Miami chapter.