Board of Directors
JAMES A. KIERNAN, chairman of the Board of Directors, is a former partner in and currently of counsel to Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, the New York-based international law firm. He has spent most of his legal career in Europe, first in Paris and then in London, where he played a leading role in building the firm’s European practice. Jim has a longstanding interest in public affairs and international relations, beginning in 1961 when he spent the summer in Germany as an AFS exchange student and then in 1966 – 1967 when he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Jim was one of the initial members of the editorial staff on the award-winning PBS public affairs series, The Advocates, from 1969 to 1971 while still in graduate school. He has also served as the lead independent director of the Fondation des Etas-Unis in France for more than 25 years. Jim is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard law School and was a Littauer Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
RICHARD M. LOBO, co-vice chair, is an entrepreneurial leader in American broadcasting, a veteran of NBC, CBS, PBS and international media who started in front of the camera in Miami and New York in the turmoil of the 1960s. A second-generation bi-lingual, Cuban American, he was born and raised in a community of cigar factory workers in Tampa, Florida. Educated at the University of Miami, Lobo has held senior roles in media organizations in New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Miami, Tampa, Denver and Cleveland. He describes his specialty as innovation and transforming organizations by building effective management teams, a diverse and dynamic workforce and establishing relevance in the community. In 1994, President Bill Clinton named Lobo Director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in the United States Information Agency. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed him Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau, the administrative and technical arm of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Lobo resigned in December 2013 and retired to South Florida. He is a member of the Latino Advisory Council of the Kennedy Center. He’s also a father of three, grandfather of five and lives in Miami and New York City with with his wife Caren.
ELSPETH REVERE, co-vice chair, has had a long career in philanthropy, including directing the MacArthur Foundation’s support for journalism and media. In December 2015 she retired as Vice President for Media, Culture and Special Initiatives at MacArthur after 24 years of service. Her work has been devoted to using philanthropic tools to support civil society organizations and fields. She has recently worked to strengthen American democracy, support a set of public interest news organizations including those that conduct deep investigative reporting, nourish a vibrant arts community in Chicago, and produce documentary films on social issues that educate their audiences and inspire action. Her earlier work addressed human rights, copyright in the digital age, and community service for young people. She started her career as a city planner in Chicago, her home town.
GEORGE ALVAREZ-CORREA is an international investment manager with a history of senior roles in private and public sector organizations, including Strategic Investment Group, of which he was a co-founder, and the World Bank, where he was Senior Investment Officer in its pension fund. Born and raised in Santiago, Chile and with Dutch nationality, Alvarez-Correa has lived in Switzerland and worked in Venezuela and Curacao among other locations. He earned both his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Italian. He lives in Virginia.
BRUCE A. FINZEN, past board chair, is a former partner in and currently of counsel to the law firm of Robins Kaplan LLP, in Minneapolis. As a mass-tort litigator, Finzen is recognized as a highly successful manager of cases involving multistate, multiple plaintiff, and class-action issues, and has played a leading role in some of the most important product safety and consumer health cases of the last several decades. He was one of the partners from his firm in charge of litigation on behalf of the government of India arising out of the Bhopal gas leak disaster, and the firm’s principal negotiator in the $6.4 billion settlement of the State of Minnesota/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota tobacco case. He graduated from the University of Minnesota and the University of Kansas, School of Law.
JENNNIFER 8. LEE is a journalist and author who spent nine years at The New York Times. There, she covered technology, Washington, crime, poverty and culture. Lee has played a lead role in the Knight News Challenge, a $25 million initiative to support news innovation, and worked on bringing journalism content to the 2011 SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. She is also one of the lead organizers of Hacks/Hackers, a rapidly expanding global grassroots group that brings technologists and journalists together. Lee is also the author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food. She also serves on the Nieman Foundation advisory board, chairs the Asian American Writers Workshop board, and is a past member of the Poynter Institute national advisory board. Lee graduated with a degree in applied math and economics from Harvard.
WESLEY LOWERY is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author and correspondent for CBS News. Lowery was previously a national correspondent at the Washington Post, specializing in issues of race and law enforcement. He led the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2016 for the creation and analysis of a real-time database to track fatal police shootings in the United States. His project, Murder With Impunity, an unprecedented look at unsolved homicides in major American cities, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2019. His first book, They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement, was a New York Times bestseller and was awarded the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose by the LA Times Book Prizes.
CRAIG NEWMARK is the founder of craigslist and a Web pioneer, philanthropist, and a leading advocate on behalf of trustworthy journalism, voting rights, veterans and military families, women in tech, as well as other civic and social justice causes. He is a founding funder and executive committee member of the News Integrity Initiative administered by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. In 2016 he created the Craig Newmark Foundation, which funded the Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics at the Poynter Institute. In addition to the Center for Public Integrity, Craig also serves on the board of directors of the Columbia Journalism Review, Poynter Foundation, Sunlight Foundation, Blue Star Families, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, VetsInTech, Girls Who Code, Women in Public Service Project and Consumers Union/Consumer Reports. He also serves on the advisory boards of nearly twenty other nonprofit organizations. Born in Morristown, New Jersey, he now lives in San Francisco.
DR. GILBERT OMENN is professor of internal medicine, human genetics, and public health and director of the Center for Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics and the Proteomics Alliance for Cancer Research at the University of Michigan. He served as executive vice president for medical affairs and as chief executive officer of the University of Michigan Health System from 1997 to 2002. Omenn was dean of the School of Public Health and professor of medicine and environmental health, University of Washington, Seattle, from 1982-1997. He was associate director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget in the Carter administration. He chaired the Presidential/Congressional Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management in the 1990s. Omenn has a B.A. from Princeton University, an M.D. from Harvard University, and a Genetics Ph.D from the University of Washington.
AMIT PALEY, CEO of the Trevor Project, is a former Washington Post foreign correspondent, investigative journalist, and associate partner at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. He covered numerous beats at the Post, including as a foreign correspondent based in the paper’s Baghdad bureau, where his work was nominated for a Pulitzer; a financial investigative journalist; and the paper’s national education reporter. Amit also worked in The Washington Post Company’s corporate strategy office. At McKinsey, he has counseled numerous Fortune 500 companies, governments, and non-profit organizations on strategy, digital, growth, and human capital topics. Amit has been an adjunct professor of entrepreneurial journalism at the City University of New York and sits on the boards of The Harvard Crimson and The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. He holds degrees from Columbia Business School, Columbia Journalism School and Harvard College, where he graduated magna cum laude and served as president of The Harvard Crimson.
ERIN SCHULTE COLLIER is an editor and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She was a senior editor at Fast Company and at Hearst Magazines Digital Media, where she ran HarpersBazaar.com and Town & Country Travel’s website. She was a reporter and columnist for WSJ.com
for five years, covering the U.S. equities market, and was the executive editor for Huge, the Brooklyn-based digital agency. She began her career as a city hall reporter at The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, Arkansas, and worked at newspapers in Nebraska, Washington, Michigan and Iowa. She is a new member of the Dow Jones News Fund’s Alumni Advisors Group, and served for six years on the board of elders of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
DANIEL SULEIMAN is a partner in Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. He specializes in white collar defense and investigations, representing institutions and individuals in sensitive matters presenting significant criminal and civil risk. Daniel is a zealous advocate who was previously named one of Washington’s “40 most promising lawyers age 40 and under” by the National Law Journal. Before rejoining Covington in 2013, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. Born in Los Angeles and raised in New Jersey, Boston, and Paris, Daniel speaks fluent French and conversational Spanish. He maintains an active pro bono practice and writes frequently on issues of criminal law, having published pieces in the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, National Law Journal, Bloomberg, Inside Counsel, and Law360. Before becoming a lawyer, Daniel was a high school teacher in Morocco at The American School of Tangier. He earned his law degree from Columbia Law School, where he was a two-time James Kent Scholar and Articles Editor on the Columbia Law Review, and his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he served as Co-Editorial Chair of the Harvard Crimson and won the 22nd Rolling Stone College Journalism Competition for Essays and Criticism. Daniel lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with his wife and four children.
ANDRES TORRES is a Program Officer at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. He leads the Foundation’s investments in journalism, working to foster sustainable and inclusive reporting for the Chicago region’s diverse communities. The Foundation’s goal is to create an information-rich environment that empowers all residents to take an active part in our democracy. Prior to McCormick, he worked on statewide early childhood policy in Illinois to close achievement gaps that adversely affect communities of color. His work in public policy began at the City of Chicago and continued at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, managing projects ranging from tourism to transportation initiatives. A native Chicagoan, he was raised in a bilingual Spanish/English home, while learning German. He studied at Yale University and the London School of Economics.
CHARLES WHITAKER is dean and professor at Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He previously served as the Helen Gurley Brown Professor and associate dean of journalism for the school. Since joining the Medill faculty in 1993, he has taught courses in news writing, magazine writing, magazine editing and blogging. For nine years, Whitaker directed the Academy for Alternative Journalism, a summer fellowship program that trained young writers for work at the member publications of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies in an effort to address the field’s lack of diversity. Before joining the Medill faculty, Whitaker was a senior editor at Ebony magazine, where he covered a wide range of cultural, social and political issues and events on four continents, including two U.S. presidential campaigns and the installation of the first Black members of the British Parliament. He was the co-director of Project Masthead, a program designed to encourage students of color to consider careers in magazines on both the editorial and business side of the industry, and he is one of the co-curators of the Ida B. Wells Award, presented by both Medill and the National Association of Black Journalists to individuals who are working to increase newsroom diversity and improve the coverage of communities of color. He has received commendations for his work from a number of journalism societies, including the National Association of Black Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists and National Education Writers Association.