Our speaker lineup reflects the richness of the field of media philanthropy.

Maya Ajmera

President and CEO & Publisher
Society for Science & Science News

Maya Ajmera is the President and CEO of Society for Science and Publisher of its award-winning magazine, Science News. Founded in 1921, the Society works to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement.

Maya served as the inaugural Social Entrepreneur in Residence for Duke University and Visiting Professor for the Practice of Public Policy at The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke. She was a Visiting Scholar and Professorial Lecturer at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and continues to serve as an adjunct on the faculty of the International Development Program and teaches the course, “Social Innovations in International Development for Children and Youth.”

Maya founded The Global Fund for Children (GFC), a nonprofit organization that invests in innovative, community-based organizations working with some of the world’s most vulnerable children and youth. Under Maya’s 18 years of leadership, GFC grew from a vision into one of the largest networks of grassroots organizations working on behalf of vulnerable children. To date, GFC has awarded nearly $50 million to over 700 grassroots organizations in over 80 countries, touching the lives of over 11 million children worldwide.

Maya is also an award-winning children’s book author of more than 20 titles, including Back to School, Every Breath We Take, Children from Australia to Zimbabwe and To Be a Kid, with more than 5 million readers worldwide.

Maya is the recipient of the 2020 National Science Board Public Service Award, recognized for her tremendous contribution to increasing the public’s understanding of science and engineering.

Maya holds an A.B. from Bryn Mawr College and a M.P.P. from The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter.

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Kayce Ataiyero

Chief External Affairs Officer
Joyce Foundation

Kayce Ataiyero is the Chief External Affairs Officer at the Joyce Foundation, where she oversees the Foundation’s strategic communications, the Journalism Program and the Lend A Hand community grants fund. She is also a member of the Foundation’s leadership team. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2018, she served as Director of External Affairs for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she led communications and community engagement. She has also led communications for U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly, the Illinois Governor’s Office and the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. A former journalist, Kayce was a staff writer for a number of national newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer. A native of Washington, D.C., she received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Tracy Baim

President and Co-Publisher/Lead
The Chicago Reader and Chicago Independent Media Alliance

Tracy Baim is president and publisher of the Chicago Reader newspaper. She is co-founder and former publisher of Windy City Times. Baim received the 2013 Chicago Headline Club Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, she was inducted into the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the Association for Women Journalists-Chicago Chapter Hall of Fame in 2018. She is also in the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame. She has won numerous LGBTQ community and journalism honors, including the Community Media Workshop’s Studs Terkel Award. Baim has written and/or edited 13 books, including Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Newspapers in America; Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage; and Out and Proud in Chicago.

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Jim Brady

Vice President of Journalism
Knight Foundation

Jim Brady, who joined Knight Foundation in 2021, is a digital media innovator whose experience ranges from leading major brands such as washingtonpost.com and Digital First Media to starting a company that built local news sites in three cities.

Brady is CEO of Spirited Media,  which developed local news sites Billy Penn in Philadelphia, The Incline in Pittsburgh and Denverite in Denver, which differentiated themselves with a mobile-first approach and a business focus on events and membership — rather than advertising — as core revenue lines, In 2019, Spirited Media sold Denverite to Colorado Public Radio, The Incline to digital startup Whereby.us and Billy Penn to WHYY, Philadelphia’s iconic public radio station.

Previously, as editor-in-chief of Digital First Media, Brady was responsible for the strategy and management of the 75 daily newspapers, 292 non-daily publications and 341 online sites owned by Journal Register Company and MediaNews Group. He also built and managed the company’s Thunderdome unit, which comprised more than 50 digitally focused journalists charged with providing cutting-edge national content for DFM’s local properties.

During Brady’s tenure as executive editor of washingtonpost.com, the site won a national Emmy award for its Hurricane Katrina coverage, a Peabody Award for its “Being a Black Man” series, and numerous other journalism awards. He also ran AOL’s news coverage of the 9/11 attacks and 2000 presidential election, and served as ESPN’s public editor from 2015-18.

Brady is a past president of the Online News Association, a two-time judge of the Pulitzer Prizes, and currently serves on the boards of the American Press Institute, NewsMedia Alliance, and the National Press Foundation. He is a graduate of American University.

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Paulette Brown-Hinds

Black Voice News

Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds is founder of Voice Media Ventures, publisher of Black Voice News, and a Stanford University Sr JSK Journalism Fellow.

As second generation publisher of Black Voice News (BVN), Paulette is transforming the half century old weekly print outlet into a solutions-oriented data journalism and justice-focused community news organization.

As past president of the California News Publishers Association and current board member of the California Press Foundation, she works to strengthen the state’s information ecosystem as an essential part of the civic and community infrastructure. In 2019 she co-founded Media in Color, a philanthropically funded initiative designed to assist legacy media outlets serving communities of color with digital transformation. She also led the effort to create a guidebook for California-based community foundations, community media, and philanthropy to financially support local journalism.

Paulette has been awarded Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge funding, was a Knight Digital Media Fellow, Salzburg Seminar in American Studies Fellow, and as a Sr JSK Journalism Fellow she is working on a project to expand philanthropic support for California’s news organizations serving communities of color.

She is also a member of the American Press Institute, James Irvine Foundation, and Inland Empire Community Foundation boards of directors.

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Michelle Cann


“A compelling, sparkling virtuoso” (Boston Music Intelligencer), pianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral debut at age fourteen and has since performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

A champion of the music of Florence Price, Ms. Cann performed the New York City premiere of the composer’s Piano Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016 and the Philadelphia premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra in February 2021, which the Philadelphia Inquirer called “exquisite.”

Highlights of her 2021–22 season include debut performances with the Atlanta, Detroit, and St. Louis symphony orchestras, as well as her Canadian concert debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. She also receives the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization, and the 2022 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. Embracing a dual role as both performer and pedagogue, her season includes teaching residencies at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and the National Conference of the Music Teachers National Association.

Ms. Cann regularly appears in solo and chamber recitals throughout the U.S., China, and South Korea. Notable venues include the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), and the Barbican (London). She has also appeared as cohost and collaborative pianist with NPR’s From The Top.

An award winner at top international competitions, in 2019 she served as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s MAC Music Innovator in recognition of her role as an African-American classical musician who embodies artistry, innovation, and a commitment to education and community engagement.

Ms. Cann studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies.

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Nate Chinen

Editorial Director

Nate Chinen is Editorial Director at WRTI, a regular contributor to NPR, and the author of Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century. A former music critic for The New York Times, he has also written for JazzTimes, The Village Voice, Criterion Collection’s Current, Texas Monthly, DownBeat, and VIBE.

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Jelani Cobb

Dean, Columbia Journalism School;
Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism

Jelani Cobb joined the Journalism School faculty in 2016. He has contributed to The New Yorker since 2012, and became a staff writer in 2015. He is the recipient of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Award for Opinion and Analysis writing and writes frequently about race, politics, history and culture.

He was most recently an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut where he specialized in post-Civil War African American history, 20th century American politics and the history of the Cold War. Dr. Cobb is also a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations.

He is the author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress as well as To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic. His articles and essays have appeared in the Washington Post, The New Republic, Essence, Vibe, The Progressive, and TheRoot.com. His collection The Devil and Dave Chappelle and Other Essays was published in 2007. He has also contributed to a number of anthologies including In Defense of Mumia, Testimony, Mending the World and Beats, Rhymes and Life.

He is editor of The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader. Born and raised in Queens, New York. He is a graduate of Howard University and Rutgers University where he received his doctorate in American History.

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Angelica Das

Associate Director, Public Square
Democracy Fund

Angelica Das is an associate director on the Public Square Team at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working toward an open and just democracy. Democracy Fund makes grants in pursuit of a vibrant and diverse public square, free and fair elections, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society. Angelica leads the Equitable Journalism strategy, which aims to grow and sustain journalism that more fully reflects communities, corrects persistent inequities, and responds to help individuals participate meaningfully in democracy.

Angelica joined Democracy Fund in 2019 after working as a consultant and Senior Associate with Dot Connector Studio, a production company that collaborates with funders, journalists, and experts to research and develop social impact media. She was previously associate director at the Center for Media & Social Impact Media at American University, developing resources and programming events for and about social impact media. She directed the Center’s annual Media That Matters industry conference, and produced the report “Dangers Documentaries,” helping filmmakers learn from and exercise journalistic practice to mitigate safety, security, and litigation risks in investigative storytelling. She has held prior positions in communications, operations, and grantmaking with Wild Earth Allies, Machik, and National Geographic.

Angelica holds an M.A. in International Media from American University and a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Rochester.

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Jos Duncan Asé

Founder, Executive Producer & Publisher
Love Now Media

Founder, Executive Producer & Publisher with Love Now Media, an empathy-centered media company that uses storytelling to amplify acts of love at the intersection of social justice, wellness, and equity. She uses her voice and platforms to empower diverse communities to create and tell their own stories. A thoughtful, creative business leader with a demonstrated commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice. An authentic communicator who cares deeply about people and the human experience. An empathy-focused, design-thinker and story generator with the ability to synthesize and contextualize information to solve problems. With a background in technology, software testing, and media production, she leverages over 15 years as an entrepreneur to tell stories, analyze and evaluate processes, and implement changes to produce viable outcomes. She holds a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) from the City College of New York and a Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA), with a concentration in Information Technology, from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

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Galina Espinoza

President and Editor in Chief
Rewire News Group

Galina Espinoza is the president and editor in chief of Rewire News Group, where she leads a team of editors and journalists reporting on reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice.

Galina is a 25-year journalism veteran and one of the most prominent Latina voices in media leadership. She brings experience as an editorial director and a journalist covering issues central to RNG, including reproductive health-care access, gender violence, and more.

A graduate of The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, her writing has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, and Glamour. During her time as president and editorial director at Latina Media Ventures, the parent company of Latina magazine and Latina.com, Galina grew annual revenue by 20 percent and social media reach by 300 percent. She has held executive roles at NBC News and People, appeared on virtually every major morning show and news network, including Today and CNN, and interviewed high-profile political leaders, including former President Barack Obama and former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Galina is a proud daughter of immigrants. She is a lifelong activist on behalf of women and equality and is a former board member of Girls Write Now, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for underserved young women and gender non-conforming youth to find their voices through the power of writing and community.

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Jon Funabiki

Founder and former director
Renaissance Journalism

In a career spanning journalism, philanthropy, and academia, Jon Funabiki has concentrated
on ways to wield the power of media to promote community building, equity, and social justice
in the United States and beyond. He has now retired from “jobs” to turn to passion projects,
including serving as producer of a documentary film, “Beyond Yellowface,” and designing an art
exhibit, “The Lost Pottery of a Nisei Soldier.”

Funabiki is an Emeritus Professor of Journalism at San Francisco State University, where he
concentrated on community and ethnic news media and social justice journalism. In addition to
teaching, he launched the Lab for Media & Community and the Dilena Takeyama Center for the
Study of Japan & Japanese Culture.

He is the founder and former director of Renaissance Journalism, a nonprofit that works
with journalists throughout the U.S. on equity issues, including housing insecurity; Covid-19; the
2020 U.S. Census; the financial crisis in Detroit; educational equity in public schools; and the
legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam. In collaboration with Images & Voices of Hope, he helped
develop restorative narrative approaches and applied them to projects in Japan and Bhutan.
Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Media, Arts & Culture at the Ford Foundation,
one of the world’s leading philanthropies. He developed the foundation’s multimillion-dollar
grant strategies on the news media, with concentrations on social justice, diversity, ethics,
ethnic and community media, and freedom of expression.

Prior to joining Ford, Funabiki was the founding director of San Francisco State University’s
Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, the nation’s first university-based center
on diversity and the media.

Funabiki is a former reporter and editor with The San Diego Union, where he specialized in
East and Southeast Asia. His writings also have appeared in The New York Times, San Francisco
Chronicle, National Civic League Journal, and other publications.

A graduate of San Francisco State University, Funabiki was awarded the John S. Knight
Professional Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, where he studied East Asian politics
and economics; the Jefferson Fellowship at the East-West Center of Honolulu, where he studied
East and Southeast Asian economics; and a National Endowment for the Humanities
Professional Summer Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studied
the cultural dimensions of U.S. history.

He has been honored with the Distinguished Service to Journalism Award from the Society
of Professional Journalists, Northern California; the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the San
Francisco State University Journalism Department; the Gerbode Foundation Fellowship; the
Lifetime Achievement Award from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism
Workshop on Journalism, Race and Ethnicity; the Ethnic Media Champion Award from New
America Media; and a Special Recognition Award from the Asian American Journalists

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Nancy Gibbs

Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Nancy Gibbs is the director of the Shorenstein Center and the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice of Press, Politics and Public Policy. Until September 2017, she was Editor in Chief of TIME, directing news and feature coverage across all platforms for more than 65 million readers worldwide, as well as Editorial Director of the Time Inc. News Group. Gibbs was named TIME’s 17th editor in September 2013, the first woman to hold the position, and remains an Editor at Large. Under her leadership, TIME’s digital audience grew from 25 to 55 million, video streams passed 1 billion a year, and TIME won a primetime Emmy award for its two-part “A Year in Space” documentary, produced with PBS. During her three decades at TIME, she covered four presidential campaigns and is the author of more cover stories than any writer in TIME’s near-100 year history, including the black-bordered “September 11” special issue, which won the National Magazine Award in 2002.

Gibbs has also served as a consultant to CBS News and an essayist for the News Hour on PBS. She is the co-author, along with Michael Duffy, of two best-selling presidential histories: The President’s Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity (2012), which spent 30 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, and The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House (2007). She has interviewed five U.S. presidents and multiple other world leaders, and lectured extensively on the American presidency, including at the Bush, Reagan, Carter, Johnson and Truman libraries, the Aspen Institute, the Dallas World Affairs Club, the Commonwealth Club and the National Archives. She is a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.

Gibbs was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from Yale summa cum laude, with honors in history, and has a degree in politics and philosophy from Oxford, where she was a Marshall scholar. She has twice served as the Ferris Professor at Princeton, where she taught a seminar on politics and the press.

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Sarah Glover

Vice President, News and Civic Dialogue

Sarah Glover is the vice president of News & Civic Dialogue at WHYY. Glover is the former managing editor at MPR News, Minnesota Public Radio.

Previously, she worked as a social media editor and strategist at NBC Owned Television Stations and NBC10 Philadelphia for nearly a decade. She also previously worked as a staff photojournalist at Philadelphia Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Glover served two historic terms as the 21st president of the National Association of Black Journalists ,  the largest organization in the U.S. for journalists of color founded in 1975.

She is an undergraduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Glover finished her MBA coursework at Temple University Fox School of Business and has a master of arts degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (PennWest). Glover was a 2021 Nieman Visiting Fellow at Harvard University.

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Céline Gounder

Senior Fellow and Editor-at-Large for Public Health
Kaiser Health News

Céline Gounder, Senior Fellow and Editor-at-Large for Public Health, is the creator and host of American Diagnosis, a podcast on health and social justice, and Epidemic, a podcast about infectious diseases, now produced by KHN. An internist, infectious disease specialist, epidemiologist, she volunteers on the wards at NYC Health + Hospitals’ Bellevue Hospital, which is affiliated with NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She regularly appears on CBS News programs on all of the network’s platforms by special arrangement, part of a larger editorial partnership to bring KHN’s on the ground reporting from across the nation to CBS. She was an Assistant Commissioner of Health in New York City. Between 1998 and 2012, she studied tuberculosis and HIV in South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Brazil. Dr. Gounder also served on the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.

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Errin Haines

The 19th News

Errin Haines is a Founding Mother and Editor at Large for The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom covering the intersection of women, politics and policy, and an MSNBC Contributor.

An award-winning political journalist focused on issues of race, gender and politics, Errin was previously the Associated Press’ National Writer on Race and Ethnicity. She has also worked at The Washington Post, The Orlando Sentinel and The Los Angeles Times.

Errin was a Fall 2019 Ferris Professor at Princeton University, teaching a class on black women and the 2020 election. She joins Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics as a fellow in their fifth anniversary class in Fall 2020.

Originally from Atlanta, Errin is based in Philadelphia with her dog, Ginger.

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Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro

CEO and Co-Founder
National Trust for Local News

Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro is the CEO and co-founder of the National Trust for Local News, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping local news in local hands. The National Trust for Local News transforms local and community media organizations by providing the financing, new ownership structures, and business model transformation needed for established local and community news organizations to thrive and remain deeply grounded in their communities.

Dr. Hansen Shapiro was previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. At the Tow Center, Dr. Hansen Shapiro’s work focused on the future of journalism in public media and public policies to support local news. She has published research on the impact of local media collaboratives; combining audience revenue and engagement strategies; the relationship between news publishers, social scientists, and social platforms; and the opportunities and challenges of funding local and single-subject news. From 2017 – 2020, Dr. Hansen Shapiro led the news sustainability research at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She also served as the Research Director for the Membership Puzzle Project’s Guide to Membership in News. From 2016 – 2017 she was a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She received her PhD in Organizational Behavior and Sociology from Harvard Business School.

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Bill Johnson

General Manager

Bill Johnson has worked in the non-profit sector for three decades. He’s held positions in development and leadership in higher education, the arts, and public media. As WRTI’s general manager he has established WRTI as one of America’s leading public media music institutions.

He has leveraged WRTI’s unique format of classical music and jazz as a strength and an opportunity to stretch the boundaries of music discovery, is a tireless advocate for the power of music as a convening force for social and civic good, and a passionate champion of public media’s news and cultural role in serving American democracy.

Bill currently serves on the boards of Greater Public, the Station Resource Group, Eastern Region Public Media, “Play On, Philly!”, Jazz Philadelphia, and the noncomMUSIC Alliance Advisory Council. He holds a degree in Policy Analysis from Cornell University.

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Tim Lambert

Special Projects Editor
WITF Radio Station

Tim has been in journalism for more than 29 years and has worked at WITF since August 2001. He was served as Multimedia News Director for 11.5 years and recently moved into the role as Special Projects Editor. Lambert also serves as the station’s Morning Edition host.

He is a six-time recipient of the Radio Television Digital News Association’s (RTDNA) National Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in digital and broadcast journalism and previously served as one of four national coaches for the Trusting News project. Tim’s reporting has also been honored on the state, regional and national levels. In the summer of 2021, he worked with his former colleague, Scott Detrow, to produce an hour-long documentary (Sacred Ground) about Flight 93 ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Lambert has helped lead WITF’s participation in the Democracy SOS program and co-authored the station’s unprecedented accountability policy toward lawmakers over the 2020 Election lie.

The Aliquippa native is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 2021, he was honored with IUP’s 2021 College of Education and Communications IMPACT Award for the Department of Communications Media.

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Allison Taylor Levine

Vice President for Marketing & Communications
Delaware Community Foundation

Allison Taylor Levine, MPA, APR, is passionate about democracy, journalism and community – especially in Delaware. After starting her career as a reporter at several newspapers, Allison has spent the past 20 years in various communications and community leadership roles. She is currently vice president for marketing and communications at the Delaware Community Foundation, where she also leads work around local news and information initiatives. Allison also is the president of the Local Journalism Initiative of Delaware, a nonprofit organization she founded in 2021.

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Shawn McCaney

Executive Director
William Penn Foundation

Shawn brings more than 10 years of leadership experience at the Foundation to his role as Executive Director. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director, he was the founding program director for the Creative Communities program and also managed National Initiatives for the Foundation, seeking to expand philanthropy in the region and share the Foundation’s learnings with others focused on similar issues nationwide.

As part of the Foundation’s 2012 strategic planning process, Shawn led the creation of the Great Public Spaces grantmaking strategy. Through this work the Foundation is seeking to expand access to high quality public spaces that engage, connect, and serve communities in Philadelphia and Camden. As part of this work Shawn led the formation of a partnership with the Knight Foundation to pilot a new national initiative – Reimagining the Civic Commons – in Philadelphia, which has now been replicated in Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, and Akron. He also developed the Foundation’s two largest grants in its history, a $25 million grant in support of the Free Library’s 21 Century Libraries Initiative and a $100 million commitment to support the City of Philadelphia’s Rebuilding Community Infrastructure initiative, which will transform the city’s libraries, parks and recreation centers.

Previously, Shawn initiated and oversaw the Foundation’s Central Delaware Riverfront Initiative, which engaged over 4,000 Philadelphians in 150 meetings and led to the creation of a new waterfront management organization, a new master plan, updated zoning ordinances, and the construction of a series of early-action capital projects, including Race Street Pier Park, Washington Avenue Pier Park, Pier 68 Recreation Pier and the new Central Delaware Riverfront Trail — all intended to model the central tenet of the Central Delaware Civic Vision, which is to promote waterfront public access as an organizing principle for riverfront redevelopment. As part of this work, the Foundation is also supporting the construction of a new, $250 million, 11-acre park lid over I-95 that will reconnect the city’s historic district to the riverfront.

Shawn received his graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his undergraduate degree from Temple University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Society of Landscape Architects, and is a licensed Professional Planner in the State of New Jersey. Shawn serves on the board of the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation and is a member of the Haddonfield Borough Planning Board.

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Shawn Mooring

Program Director
The Lenfest Institute

Shawn Mooring is the Program Director for The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. In this role Shawn provides leadership to the Institute’s grant making, programs and initiatives to support journalists and news organizations striving to build sustainable and equitable models of local news that meet the needs of Philadelphia communities.

Shawn also leads the institute’s learning and impact efforts. Shawn has both led and supported numerous initiatives focused on social innovation as a funder and practitioner. Shawn’s philanthropic experience includes positions with the Ford Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, and The Twenty-First Century Foundation. Shawn also has extensive experience in capacity building, program design, strategy planning and organizational development honed though positions held at national consulting firms such as Public/Private Ventures; the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning (now Equal Measure), and Frontline Solutions, Inc.

Shawn earned a BA in Political Science from Hampton University, and earned a MPA from the University of Delaware. Shawn is native Philadelphian, currently living Wynnewood, PA with his wife and two sons.

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Eric Newton

Writer and Media Consultant

Eric Newton is a writer and media consultant. He was managing editor of the award-winning Oakland Tribune under Robert and Nancy Maynard. He led the news history content team at the original Newseum, the acclaimed museum of news. At the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, he developed or managed more than $500 million in journalism and news innovation grants. At Arizona State University, he was innovation chief, helping advance the “teaching hospital model” at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He has won or shared in many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, a Peabody Award and a Freedom of the Press Award.

Newton has a B.A./Journalism from San Francisco State, where he was named a distinguished alumnus, and an M.A/International Relations from the University of Birmingham in England, where he was a Rotary International scholar. His books include Searchlights and Sunglasses and Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs. When Mary Ann Hogan, his partner of 40 years, died in 2019, he finished Circle Way, her book about her father, longtime San Francisco Chronicle literary editor William Hogan. Newton is based in Mill Valley, California.

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Imtiaz Patel

The Baltimore Banner

Imtiaz Patel is the CEO of The Baltimore Banner. Imtiaz is a former executive with Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal where he led circulation strategy and served as GM of key business verticals. Previously, Imtiaz was a consultant with Kurt Salmon Associates and Deloitte focused on growth strategy and business turnarounds. Most recently, Imtiaz advised several news organizations, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gannett and USA Today, and also led the efforts to acquire The Baltimore Sun and Tribune Publishing. Imtiaz holds a B.Sc. in Economics, Accounting & Finance from The London School of Economics, as well as an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Tracie Powell

The Pivot Fund

Tracie Powell is a leader in philanthropic efforts to increase racial equity and diversity in news media. She is the founder of The Pivot Fund, which seeks to support independent BIPOC community news.
Powell is a Fall 2021 Shorenstein Center Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, where she is researching mechanisms for funding and capacity building for media outlets run by and for BIPOCTM (Black, Indigenous, other people of color, and traditionally marginalized) communities. Powell is also the board chair of LION Publishers, a professional journalism association for independent news publishers where she has served on the board since 2017.

Prior to her work with The Pivot Fund and Harvard, Powell was founding fund manager of the Racial Equity in Journalism (REJ) Fund at Borealis Philanthropy. Powell is also the founder of AllDigitocracy.org, which focuses on the media and its impact on diverse communities. She was a senior fellow with the Democracy Fund, where she worked on the Public Square initiative that seeks to support informed dialogue through nonprofit journalism investments. Powell was a 2016 JSK (Knight) Fellow at Stanford University and has written regularly for the Columbia Journalism Review and Poynter Online. Her work has been highlighted by countless journalism and academic institutions, including Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and The University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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Andrew Ramsammy

Chief Content and Collaboration Officer
Local Media Association

Andrew Ramsammy currently serves as the Local Media Association’s Chief Content and Collaboration Officer. He leads Word In Black, a groundbreaking collaboration of the nation’s leading Black publishers, and co-leads the Knight x LMA BloomLab, a $3.2 million dollar sustainability initiative supporting Black locally owned and operated media.

He is a multiple Emmy Award winner with more than 20 years of global experience in creative, content, and production. Ramsammy’s career efforts in media and journalism have resulted in more than $15 million in revenue.

Before joining LMA, Ramsammy served as director of digital content for Global Sport Matters, a media enterprise at Arizona State University; director of audience strategy for Arizona PBS; executive director of United Public Strategies; director of content projects and initiatives at Public Radio International; and was executive producer of the hit Texas PBS travel show, The Daytripper.

Originally from NYC, Andrew graduated LaGuardia High School of the Arts, where he majored in drama & technical theatre, and received his BFA in film from the School of Visual Arts.

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David Rousseau

Vice President, Media and Technology, Kaiser Family Foundation; Media Impact Funders Board Chair

David Rousseau is vice president and executive director of Media and Technology at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Based at the Foundation’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, he oversees the Foundation’s media programs, including Kaiser Health News and all journalism programs, and directs the Foundation’s technology and online activities. Previously, Rousseau was director of the Foundation’s statehealthfacts.org project and was an associate director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Rousseau serves as chair of the Media Impact Funders board, is a member of the Grantmakers in Health board, and advises Crisis Text Line on data ethics issues. Rousseau has been a member of the adjunct faculty of the George Washington University School of Public Health as a lecturer in the department of Health Policy, and has served on numerous task forces and advisory groups for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Academy of Sciences, and the City of New Orleans (his hometown). His work has appeared in journals including Health Affairs and the Journal of the American Medical Association, where he created and edits the Visualizing Health Policy series in partnership with the Journal. He has spoken on health policy and journalism topics at a wide range of conferences and events. Prior to joining the Foundation, Rousseau worked as a consultant at the Lewin Group. Rousseau received his Masters in Public Health from Yale University’s School of Medicine, and his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Yale College.

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Nina Sachdev

Communications Director
Media Impact Funders

Nina Sachdev brings more than 20 years of journalism, news editing and marketing experience to her role as a communications director for Media Impact Funders (MIF). Nina began her career in journalism at The Dallas Morning News, where—as an intern on the copy desk—she was tasked with editing the obituaries of famous people who hadn’t yet died. Since then, Nina has worked at The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, The Philadelphia Daily News and The Philadelphia Weekly in almost every editorial capacity imaginable. Nina is the creator and editor of the award-winning The Survivors Project: Telling the Truth About Life After Sexual Abuse, which exposes the reality of healing from the effects of sexual abuse. Nina holds an M.A. in journalism from Temple University.

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Mazin Sidahmed

Co-Executive Director

Mazin Sidahmed previously worked for the Guardian US in New York during the 2016 US elections, where he covered a variety of issues including surveillance and criminal justice, as well as the rise of hate crimes following the election. Mazin left the news desk to join the award-winning Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab where he helped develop new mobile-specific story formats. He started his career writing for The Daily Star in Beirut. He reported on the Syrian refugee crisis, weapons transfers to Lebanon and the plight of migrant domestic workers. Upon moving to the U.S., Mazin also contributed to Politico New York where he covered real estate, with a focus on the New York City Housing Authority, and City politics.

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Vince Stehle

Executive Director
Media Impact Funders

Before joining Media Impact Funders in 2011 as executive director, Vince was program director for Nonprofit Sector Support at the Surdna Foundation, a family foundation based in New York City. Prior to joining Surdna, Stehle worked for 10 years as a reporter for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, where he covered a broad range of issues about the nonprofit sector. Stehle has served as chairperson of Philanthropy New York and on the governing boards of VolunteerMatch and the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

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Anthony Tidd

Composer, producer, audio engineer, educator and musician

Anthony Tidd is a composer, producer, audio engineer, educator and musician. He plays bass, guitar and piano/keyboards.

Tidd’s musical palette as a composer and performer is diverse. He holds a deep knowledge of jazz, R&B, Hip-hop, classical, and new music, as well as a particular affinity for creative improvisation. Born and raised in the United Kingdom, he has been living and working in the United States since 1997.

He has performed and toured all over the globe with artists such as Steve Coleman, The Roots, Meshell Ndegeocello, +Gang Starr, Goapele, Common, Greg Osby, Marsha Ambrosius, Bhekki Mseleku, Wayne Krantz, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Steve Williamson, Ari Hoenig, Ursula Rucker and Dapp Theory.

Tidd has produced recordings for Jill Scott, Macy Gray, Zap Mama, Lady Gaga, Pink, The Jazzyfatnastees, Ursula Rucker, The Black Eyed Peas, Joy Denalane, and the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop collective The Roots, among others. He has worked with such other artists as Bilal, Soul Asylum, and Erykah Badu. He has composed music for the United Nations, the BBC, American Airlines, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as film & television.

Tidd attended the Newhan Academy of Music in London, Thurrock College of Music, as well as Goldsmiths University of London, where he received a B.A. in Composition & Music technology. As a student, he studied composition, upright and electric bass, piano, music technology, and film scoring. Tidd has taught music and music technology at the Oval House Theatre (London), St. Pauls Way School (London) and has held master classes and collaborated with the London Symphonietta, NYU, U.C Berkley, The Berlin Philharmoniker, The Pavorotti Center (Mostar), Durban University (South Africa), and various others.

His own musical project, Quite Sanes last release, entitled The Child of Troubled Times has garnered critical acclaim. Tidd currently curates “Sittin’ In Jam Sessions,” a performance series at the Kimmel Center For The Performing Arts in Philadelphia, where he also serves as director of the Creative Music Program, A position he has held since 2010.

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Lea Trusty

Senior Associate, Public Square
Democracy Fund

Lea Trusty is a Senior Associate at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Lea supports the Public Square Program in its mission to invest in innovations and institutions that focus on creating audience-centered, inclusive, and trusted newsrooms that reflect the diversity of their communities.

Lea supports Democracy Fund’s Engaged Journalism strategy, leading their grants portfolio centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This work focuses on supporting newsrooms led by and serving communities of color; the recruitment, training, and promotion of student and professional journalists from historically marginalized communities; and creating more equitable and inclusive practices in traditionally white-led and centric news organizations. Current investments include the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, the Ida B. Wells Society, and the Maynard Institute.

Lea joined Democracy Fund in summer 2017. Prior to joining the team, Lea was a Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow, a program for recent graduates interested in philanthropy and social impact. She was placed at WSHU Public Radio, an NPR affiliate in Connecticut. She covered a wide breadth of stories, from minority teacher recruitment to the first family suing ICE for detention center abuses.

Lea is a former member of the EPIP DC steering committee. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where she studied politics and Latin America.

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Steffie van Rhee

Documentary Filmmaker & Co-Producer

Hailing from the Netherlands, Steffie van Rhee is a multimedia journalist turned documentary filmmaker and producer. Located in New York, she tries to combine her background in journalism with her love for documentary storytelling, finding the roots for stories in extensive research. She believes that sharing people’s personal stories can catalyze (social) change and create a deeper understanding of different realities and experiences. Dedicated to amplifying female narratives and bringing projects into the world that highlight other underrepresented perspectives, she is often found working on projects focusing on women’s issues, or that are driven by diverse creative teams.

Steffie is a 2021 Film Independent Doc Lab fellow and a 2020-2021 Impact Partners Documentary Producers fellow. She holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht and a graduate degree in Documentary Media Studies from The New School. There she first took her own seat in the director’s chair and debuted with the short documentary A LIFE BEFORE THIS (2016), about a mother who lost her son to police brutality. It went on to screen at multiple film festivals and was awarded with the Special Jury Mention for Student Documentary at the March on Washington Film Festival.

She is the co-producer of Netflix original six-part documentary series RACE: BUBBA WALLACE (2022), about NASCAR’s only Black driver. Steffie is the co-producer of BATTLEGROUND (Tribeca 2022), about the fight for the future of abortion in America, by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Cynthia Lowen and the associate producer of Lowen’s previous feature documentary NETIZENS (Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs 2018, HBO Max), about three women fighting back against online harassment.

In 2019, under the banner of her own small production company Before Films, she produced her first ever fiction project, short online dating thriller SWIPE from director Niels Bourgonje (Golden Calf Competition at NFF 2019). That same year Steffie was involved as a researcher & producer in various projects that were broadcasted in the Netherlands, including Juul Op Den Kamp’s AT ALL COSTS (VPRO) and an episode of international climate change series AFTER THE DELUGE (NTR).

As freelance researcher and (field) producer she has worked with production companies such as Boardwalk Pictures, XTR, C41 Media, Film45, Bureau NY and Atlantic Pictures. As a director she has contributed to PBS’ American Portrait Project. Additionally, Steffie is an active member of the Documentary Producers Alliance, Brown Girls Doc Mafia and New York Women in Film and Television, and one of the co-founders of #girlcrew collective, an internationally based all female artist collective.

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Steven Waldman

President & Co-Founder, Report for America; Founder and Chair of Rebuild Local News Coalition

Steve is the President and Co-Founder of Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. He crafted the plan for it after authoring the Federal Communications Commission landmark report “Information Needs of Communities,” which NPR described as “one of the most comprehensive overviews of the U.S. media ever produced.” An experienced entrepreneur, he co-founded the multi-faith religion website Beliefnet.com, which won the National Magazine Award, and LifePosts.com, a platform for online memorials. Earlier, he was National Editor of U.S. News & World Report and National Correspondent for Newsweek. He was Senior Advisor to the CEO of the Corporation for National Service and wrote a book on the creation of AmeriCorps called “The Bill.” He’s also the author of the national bestseller, “Founding Faith.” Steve is on the Board of Directors of The GroundTruth Project.

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Irving Washington

CEO, Online News Association; Vice Chair, American Journalism Project

Irving Washington is the CEO of the Online News Association (ONA), the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists. As a media diversity advocate, Irving has led programming and fundraising initiatives for journalists, media professionals, and students worldwide.

Before joining ONA, he worked for the National Association of Black Journalists and the Radio-Television Digital News Association. He earned the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE) by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He’s an ASAE Fellow, Columbia University Punch Sulzberger Executive Leadership Fellow, and ASAE Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) Scholar. He serves on the board of directors of the American Journalism Project, News Revenue Hub, and the Journalism Alumni Society of his alma mater, Ball State University, from which he received a degree in Journalism. Irving has also been recognized as a 40 under 40 honoree by the Washington Business Journal and USAE/Association Forum.

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