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 chairman, 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.
SUSAN LOEWENBERG is the founder and producing director of L.A. Theatre Works, a nonprofit organization that provides cultural programming for public radio through their weekly series, The Play’s The Thing. Additionally, LATW’s Audio Publishing division has the largest library of recorded stage plays in the world, available in over 8,000 public libraries, through bookstores, iTunes, and other distributors. She has produced more than 400 recordings, which are also used by both secondary schools and institutions of higher learning. She has served on many boards, commissions, and panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, the President’s Commission on White House Fellows, and Federal Prison Industries, also a presidential appointment.
OLIVIA MA is the head of partnerships for the News Lab at Google, an effort whose mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to build the future of media with Google. Previously, she was Head of News and Media Partnerships for Google+, where she managed Google+’s partnerships with the media industry, and a founding member of YouTube’s News and Politics team, where she oversaw the site’s news programming and product strategy. In her role at YouTube, Olivia ran YouTube’s 2012 Election strategy, managed YouTube’s response to major breaking news stories like the Arab Spring and Hurricane Sandy, and produced three YouTube Interviews with President Obama. Prior to joining YouTube and Google, Olivia was the product manager for Plum, a social media-sharing website, and ran Current, a national college news magazine published in partnership with Newsweek. Olivia graduated from Harvard University with a degree in History and Literature. As well as holding the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Center for Public Integrity, Olivia was a Co-Chair of the 2013 Online News Association conference.
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 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.
SCOTT SIEGLER formed Mediasiegler, Inc. in 2010 after seven years as a managing partner at ZelnickMedia, the NY-based investment/management firm. Prior to joining ZelnickMedia, Mr. Siegler was president/COO of Knowledge Broadcasting, an internet content and technology company backed by Larry Ellison and Michael Milken’s Knowledge Universe. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Siegler founded and ran the television production entity Granada America, a division of ITV plc. ITV is the largest broadcast production/distribution company in the UK. Before that, Mr. Siegler was president of Columbia Pictures Television and oversaw the combined television operations of the studio when it was renamed Sony Television. Siegler has also worked with Warner Bros., and CBS.
MARIANNE SZEGEDY-MASZAK is an editor in the Washington Bureau of Mother Jones magazine. Her book, I Kiss Your Hands Many Times: Hearts, Souls and Wars in Hungary, was published August 2013 by Speigel & Grau and she has ghost written several memoirs and nonfiction books. A former professor of Journalism at American University, senior writer at U.S. News & World Report and a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Timeshealth section, she was also a winner of the prestigious Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship. She was the founding editor of the Center for Public Integrity’s award winning newsletter, The PublicI. Szegedy-Maszak lived in Hungary and covered Central Europe for several publications during the collapse of communism. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, The New Republic, Newsweek, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post and Newsday, among others. Szegedy-Maszak is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University’s School of Journalism where she won the prestigious Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship.
MATT THOMPSON is the executive editor of The Atlantic. He was an editorial product manager at National Public Radio, where he worked with NPR member stations on the development of multiple local websites. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the Poynter Institute, having completed a four-year term on the organization’s National Advisory Board in 2010. Before coming to NPR, Thompson served as an interim online community manager for the Knight Foundation. Earlier in his career, Thompson was deputy web editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the first online reporter/producer for the Fresno Bee. He holds a degree in English from Harvard.
JESSICA YELLIN is an award-winning television journalist who has covered Washington politics and policy, and reported from around the globe. Yellin, 46, a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Harvard University, has covered domestic politics, state and national elections, the culture wars and issues facing women in the workplace. She has reported from Russia, China, Europe, Latin America and Mongolia. Over the course of a six-year stint at CNN, Yellin served as Capitol Hill correspondent, national political correspondent and chief White House correspondent. She previously worked for ABC News and MSNBC, and began her career in local television news in Florida. Her work has been published in the New York Times, The Daily Beast, Details, Entertainment Weekly and The Los Angeles Times. Yellin is also a fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communications, Leadership and Policy.