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Lester Holt is an award-winning journalist and anchor of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” the network’s flagship broadcast. He also leads NBC News’ special reports, breaking news, prime-time political coverage, and anchors “Dateline NBC,” which is currently in its 27th season. He joined CPJ’s board of directors in 2019.
Holt was named to the role of “NBC Nightly News” anchor in June 2015 after eight years as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” weekend editions and 12 years as co-anchor of “Weekend TODAY.” In addition, he has served as principal anchor of “Dateline NBC” since September 2011. He joined NBC News in 2000 as an anchor on MSNBC.
Holt has spent over four decades in journalism focused on the most important issues impacting Americans and their families. He has been one of the leaders in reporting on the criminal justice system and the efforts to reform it. In 2019, “NBC Nightly News” launched a series, “Justice for All,” which focuses on unjust sentencing and unreliable convictions, highlighting the stories of the wrongfully convicted and new ways of seeking justice. Most recently, he traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam to lead NBC News’ coverage of President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s second meeting. He was also on the ground in Singapore for the two leaders’ first meeting. In July 2018, he traveled to London and Helsinki to lead NBC News’ coverage of President Trump’s first trip to the United Kingdom and the president’s summit with President Putin in Finland. For the 2018 Winter Olympics, Holt travelled to PyeongChang where he anchored NBC News’ coverage of the games. He reported from Manchester, Brussels and Paris on the terrorist attacks that took place across Europe.
Previously, Holt anchored from South Africa during the Nelson Mandela memorial service; reported from the streets of Cairo on the latest political and civil unrest in Egypt during the Arab Spring; covered the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan; and reported on the immediate aftermath and response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. He was selected to moderate the first presidential debate of 2016, which was the most-watched debate in American history.
Before becoming co-anchor of “Weekend TODAY” in 2003, Holt anchored “Lester Holt Live,” a daily news show on MSNBC. He served as a primary anchor for MSNBC’s coverage of major news events, including the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, and he was the lead daytime anchor for MSNBC’s coverage of the 2000 presidential election. Holt came to MSNBC after 14 years at WBBM-TV in Chicago. Previously, he worked as a reporter at WCBS-TV in New York City and sister station KCBS-TV in Los Angeles as a reporter and weekend anchor.
His work has been recognized with numerous honors, including multiple Emmy Awards and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award. In 2018, he was awarded the Los Angeles Press Club’s Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism, and the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Journalism from the National Press Foundation. The year prior, he was honored with Quinnipiac University’s Fred Friendly First Amendment Award. In April 2016, he received several notable designations: he was featured on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list and The Hollywood Reporter’s Most Powerful People in New York list, and he was named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists. He was named to Variety’s New York Power List in September 2016.
Holt studied government at California State University in Sacramento. He resides in New York City with his wife.
Lester Holt is an award-winning journalist and anchor of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” the network’s flagship broadcast, and “Dateline NBC,” now in its 29th season. He also leads NBC News’ special reports, breaking news and primetime political coverage.
Coined the “most-trusted television news personality in America” by The Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult poll, Holt was named anchor of “NBC Nightly News” in June 2015 after anchoring the weekend editions of “NBC Nightly News” for eight years and co-anchoring “Weekend TODAY” for 12 years. Holt has served as principal anchor of “Dateline NBC” since September 2011 and joined NBC News in 2000.
During the past year, Holt has led NBC News’ coverage of the coronavirus and anchored weekly NBC primetime specials featuring critical, real-time information during the early stage of the global pandemic. He also launched “Nightly News: Kids Edition,” a digital newscast aimed to inform and educate children during these difficult times.
Also during this pivotal year, Holt anchored network primetime coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, as well as the presidential debate and vice presidential debate. Additionally, he moderated a town hall with Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden in October, which was the most-watched town hall of both the 2020 and 2016 election cycles. And kicking off the 2020 election cycle, Holt co-moderated the first Democratic primary debate from Miami and also hosted the most-watched Democratic presidential primary debate in history from Las Vegas in February.
As a preeminent broadcast journalist, Holt was selected to moderate the first presidential debate of 2016, which was the most-watched debate in American history. Holt also sat down with President Trump in May 2017, which stands as one of the most consequential interviews of his presidency, after Trump told Holt the firing of former FBI head James Comey was tied to the Russia investigation. In January 2017, he traveled with President Obama on the Commander in Chief’s final trip aboard Air Force One for an in-depth interview in Chicago.
Holt has spent the past four decades in journalism and has reported and anchored from breaking news events across the globe. In August 2019, Holt got rare access inside Tehran, Iran, where he spoke with top diplomats and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and prior to that, he was in Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. During the previous year, he reported from the Korean Peninsula on the growing tensions between the United States and North Korea just weeks before the 2018 Winter Olympics.
During the past decade, Holt has reported from Manchester, Brussels and Paris on the terrorist attacks that took place across Europe. He anchored from South Africa during the Nelson Mandela memorial service, reported from Cairo on the political and civil unrest in Egypt during the Arab Spring, covered the 2010 earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan, and reported on the immediate aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Holt was also on the ground in Hungary during the migrant crisis in Europe in 2015 and anchored from Cuba numerous times, including during the opening of the U.S. Embassy, President Barack Obama’s visit and the funeral of Fidel Castro. Additionally, he was embedded with U.S. forces reporting on the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2012.
One of Holt’s trademarks is his on-the-ground reporting and his deep commitment to providing viewers with first-person accounts when disaster and tragedy strikes. He traveled to Southern California last year to cover the massive wildfires that caused hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate during the statewide state of emergency. He also reported from El Paso in August 2019 on the mass shootings there and in Dayton, Ohio. He reported from Las Vegas on the Mandalay Bay shooting, providing first-person accounts of the devastation, and from Sutherland Springs, Texas after the massacre in a church took the lives of 26 people. Holt has also covered more than a dozen natural disasters, including the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. During the fall of 2017, he went to Houston and Southern Florida to get live, first-hand perspectives of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Over the past few years, Holt has distinguished himself as the leading broadcast journalist on criminal justice reform. In 2019, he led Emmy-nominated and groundbreaking series, “Justice for All,” across all NBC News platforms. For the network-wide series, Holt spent three days embedded inside Louisiana State Penitentiary, the largest maximum-security prison in America, and moderated the first-ever televised town hall from a maximum-security prison at Sing Sing, all putting a bright spotlight on mass incarceration and the many complex issues around it. Additionally, Holt has reported on several high-profile justice-related stories and landed many exclusive interviews, including the first interview with rapper Meek Mill following his release from prison, an interview with Matthew Charles, the first person released under the First Step Act, and the first interview with Cyntoia Brown Long since her prison release.
For “Dateline NBC,” Holt has anchored numerous specials and investigative reports, such as “Life Inside,” his most recent report for the “Justice for All” series. Few years prior, he worked on a story of injustice that examined the connection between childhood asthma and poverty in America. Holt also reported on wrongful convictions involving Richard Rosario and Johnny Hincapie, two cases that made national headlines. Additionally, he reported on the aftermath of the Great Recession as part of the “American Now” documentary series.
Before becoming co-anchor of "Weekend TODAY” in 2003, Holt anchored “Lester Holt Live,” a daily news show on MSNBC. Holt served as a primary anchor for MSNBC’s coverage of major news events, including Operation Iraqi Freedom and the war in Afghanistan, and he was the lead daytime anchor for MSNBC's coverage of Decision 2000. Holt also served as anchor of “Countdown: Iraq,” a nightly news telecast concentrating on the latest developments surrounding the war with Iraq, from October 2002 through March 2003. Holt started at NBC News in 2000, anchoring “Newsfront.” While at NBC, Holt has covered every Olympics from the ground since the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Holt came to MSNBC after 14 years at WBBM-TV in Chicago where he served as the afternoon and evening news anchor. After studying government at California State University in Sacramento, he began his television journalism career as a reporter at WCBS-TV in New York in 1981. The following year he moved to Los Angeles to report for KCBS-TV (then KNXT) before returning to WCBS in 1984.
Holt has been recognized with numerous honors, including multiple Emmy Awards and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award. In 2019, he was honored with the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. Two years prior in 2017, he was honored with Quinnipiac University’s Fred Friendly First Amendment Award. In April 2016, Holt received several notable designations: he was featured on TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list, The Hollywood Reporter’s “Most Powerful People in New York” list and was named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Photo credit: Courtesy of NBC
Patrick Gaspard is president of the Open Society Foundations, the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights, and a generous supporter of CPJ. He joined the Foundations as vice president in 2017.
Previously, Gaspard served as the U.S. ambassador to South Africa from 2013 to 2016. Gaspard has had a dynamic career at the intersection of government, political campaigns, and social justice movements. He was the White House director of political affairs, the executive director of the Democratic National Committee, and the national political director for Obama for America in 2008.
Beginning his career as a union organizer in New York City, Gaspard was the executive vice president and political director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 1199, and political director for the national SEIU. He also served as a senior aide to former New York City mayor David Dinkins. He is proudest of his contributions to campaigns to end police brutality, mobilizations to increase access to affordable health care, and his efforts to increase dignity for working families.
In 2018, Gaspard received an honorary doctorate from Columbia University.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Open Society Foundations
Christiane Amanpour is CNN’s chief international anchor and host of the network’s award-winning, flagship global affairs program “Amanpour,” in London which also airs on PBS in the United States.
Her illustrious career in journalism spans more than three decades, dating to when she joined CNN in 1983. Amanpour rose through the organization becoming the network’s leading international correspondent reporting on international crises and interviewing most of the top world leaders. She has received every major broadcast award, including 13 News and Documentary Emmys, four Peabody Awards, two George Polk Awards, three duPont-Columbia Awards, the Courage in Journalism Award, and 10 honorary degrees.
She was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame, Broadcast & Cable Hall of Fame and The Atlanta Press Club’s Hall of Fame. She is a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and an honorary citizen of Sarajevo. Amanpour is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island.
Photo credit: Courtesy of CNN
Margaret Brennan is moderator of CBS News’ “Face the Nation” and CBS News’ senior foreign affairs correspondent based in Washington, D.C.
Brennan began moderating “Face the Nation” in February 2018, becoming only the second woman in the show’s 65-year history to hold the role. Her interviews with leaders and newsmakers, including President Trump, Vice President Pence, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have continued “Face the Nation”’s legacy as America’s premier Sunday morning public affairs program. Brennan won an Emmy for her 2018 “Face the Nation” interview with the father of a student killed in the Parkland high school shooting included in CBS News’ “39 Days” documentary that took viewers inside the creation of a movement as students turned grief into action.
Brennan has reported on politics, international affairs and global markets since 2002. She joined CBS News in 2012 and was named White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent in 2017.
Since 2012, Brennan has been based in Washington and has reported on the Trump administration, and previously President Obama's administration, for all CBS News programs. Previously, she covered the State Department for four years, where she reported on major national security stories including nuclear negotiations with Iran; restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba; the standoff with North Korea; the conflict in Ukraine; and the accord to transfer control of Syria's chemical weapons.
Prior to joining CBS News, Brennan spent a decade covering the global financial markets. She anchored and reported for Bloomberg Television globally. Previously, she was a correspondent at CNBC with a focus on the consumer during the financial crisis. She also contributed to various NBC News programs. Brennan began her career as a producer for CNBC’s “Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser.”
She is a member at the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the advisory board for the University of Virginia School of Politics. She is also a member of the Gridiron Club.
Brennan graduated with highest distinction from the University of Virginia in 2002, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs and Middle East studies with a minor in Arabic. As a Fulbright-Hays Scholar, she studied Arabic at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan. She is also the recipient of an honorary doctor of letters degree from Niagara University. Brennan is a Connecticut native.
Photo credit: Courtesy of CBS
Yamiche Alcindor is the White House correspondent for the “PBS NewsHour,” a role she began in January 2018. She often tells stories about the intersection of race and politics as well as fatal police encounters.
Alcindor is also a contributor for NBC News and MSNBC, often appearing on a number of shows including “Morning Joe,” “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.”
Previously, Alcindor worked as a national political reporter for The New York Times where she covered the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders as well as Congress. She also wrote about the impact of President Trump’s policies on working class people and people of color.
Before joining The Times, she was a national breaking news reporter for USA Today and traveled across the country to cover stories including the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. and the police-related protests in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore, Md. Alcindor’s overall goal is to be a civil rights journalist and she was inspired by the late “PBS NewsHour” anchor Gwen Ifill.
In 2020, the White House Correspondents’ Association named Alcindor the recipient of the Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage. She has also been honored with the Ifill Next Generation Award by Simmons University and NextGen Leader Award by the Georgetown Entertainment & Media Alliance. In 2017, she won an award in a tribute to Ifill during Syracuse University’s Toner Prize ceremony. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and was named the organization’s “Emerging Journalist of the Year” in 2013.
Alcindor earned a master’s degree in broadcast news and documentary filmmaking from New York University and a bachelor’s in English, government and African American studies from Georgetown University. A native of Miami, Fla., Yamiche is married to a fellow journalist and is the daughter of Haitian immigrants who met while attending Boston College.
Photo credit: Courtesy of PBS
David Muir is an Emmy Award-winning journalist for ABC News. Muir is the anchor and managing editor of ABC World News Tonight with David Muir and co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20. Since joining ABC News, Muir has reported on nearly every major story of our time with global dispatches from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Tahrir Square, Mogadishu, Gaza, Guantanamo, Fukushima, Beirut, Amman, and the Syrian border.
Muir’s exclusive interviews generate global headlines. He landed the first interview with President Donald Trump in the White House. He also conducted the first network interview with President Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the first joint interview with former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. He traveled to Afghanistan to interview the top U.S. commander amid talks with the Taliban and traveled to Iraq to interview top American military leaders in the fight against ISIS. Muir interviewed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal. He secured the exclusive interview with President Barack Obama during the former president’s historic trip to Cuba. He conducted the historic sit-down with Pope Francis inside the Vatican, moderating the first-ever town hall, Pope Francis and the People, conducting the town hall in Spanish. He moderated a town hall with President Barack Obama, The President and the People: A National Conversation about race, policing and efforts to bridge the divide, earning an Emmy for his work.
Muir has reported numerous in-depth specials for ABC News. He reported The Children of Auschwitz, documenting the journey back for Holocaust survivors returning to Poland 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz. He profiled World War II veterans who stormed the beaches of Normandy returning to France 75 years after changing the course of history. He spent more than a year reporting Breaking Point: Heroin in America and Flashpoint: Refugees in America. He was the first to anchor from the scene of Europe’s refugee crisis, reporting from the Hungarian/Serbian border. He also reported from the Syrian border on child refugees. He gained rare access to Guantanamo prison and traveled to Amman, Jordan to report on the vetting of refugees coming to the United States.
During the 2016 and 2020 campaigns, Muir has served as a moderator for both Democratic and Republican Presidential primary debates and conducted numerous interviews with presidential candidates including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It was during his exclusive interview with Secretary Clinton she apologized to the American people for her use of a private e-mail server.
Muir’s reporting has been honored with multiple Emmys, Edward R. Murrow awards and the Society of Professional Journalists has honored him for his reporting overseas.
A magna cum laude graduate of Ithaca College, Muir attended the Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University and studied at the University of Salamanca in Spain.
Photo credit: Courtesy of David Muir
Alberto Ibargüen is president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The foundation promotes informed and engaged communities in the United States through grants to support free expression, journalism, community engagement, arts and culture in community and research into the impact of media on trust and democracy.
Ibargüen 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 Spanish language journalism. For his work to protect journalists in Latin America, he received a Maria Moors Cabot citation from Columbia University. He holds honorary degrees from Wesleyan and the George Washington University, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
He graduated from Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela’s Amazon Territory and in Colombia. He practiced law in Hartford, Connecticut, until he joined the Hartford Courant, then Newsday in New York, before moving to Miami.
He is the former board chair of PBS, the Newseum in Washington DC, and of the World Wide Web Foundation, founded by Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee. He has served on the boards of numerous other organizations, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, ProPublica, Wesleyan University, Smith College, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Committee to Protect Journalists. He has served on the board of directors of PepsiCo, American Airlines, AOL and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Alberto Ibargüen
Kathleen Carroll is a veteran journalism leader and press freedom advocate. Since 2017, she has chaired CPJ’s board.
From 2002 through 2016, Carroll was executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press. As the top news executive of the world’s largest independent news agency, she was responsible for coverage from journalists in more than 100 countries, including groundbreaking new bureaus in North Korea and Myanmar. Under her leadership, AP journalists won numerous awards, among them five Pulitzer Prizes—including the 2016 Pulitzer for Public Service—six George Polk Awards, and 15 Overseas Press Club Awards.
Carroll is a fierce advocate for a robust independent press and a frequent speaker on the threats to journalistic access. She also is a leader on vital security issues for journalists working in hostile environments and was the first journalist ever to address the United Nations Security Council on the topic. She is a frequent contest judge and consultant on ethical and standards issues. From 2003 to 2012, she was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, the final year as co-chair. Before taking the top job at the AP, Carroll led the Knight Ridder Washington bureau and worked for the AP in Washington, Los Angeles, and Dallas. She was an editor at the International Herald Tribune and the San Jose Mercury News and a reporter at The Dallas Morning News in her hometown.
She is married to author Steve Twomey. They are the parents of an adult son.
Photo credit: Courtesy of CPJ
Joel Simon has been executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists since 2006.
Simon has led the organization through a period of expansion, notably in recent years, growing CPJ’s network of global correspondents, creating a new North America program focused on press freedom advocacy in the United States, and helping to develop an Emergencies team focused on safety and direct assistance to journalists in crisis around the world.
Simon has participated in CPJ missions from Argentina to Zimbabwe. Under his leadership, CPJ has been honored with numerous awards, including the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights, a News & Documentary Emmy, and the 2018 Chatham House Prize, given for the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.
Simon has written widely on press freedom issues for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. He is regular columnist for Columbia Journalism Review. Simon has appeared on international broadcasters including CNN, the BBC, NPR, FOX News, and Al Jazeera, and has participated in speeches and panels from United Nations to the Newseum, and at academic institutions ranging from Stanford University to Beloit College.
Prior to joining CPJ in 1997 as Americas program coordinator, Simon worked for a decade as a freelance journalist in Latin America. He covered the Guatemalan civil war, the Zapatista uprising in Southern Mexico, the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the economic turmoil in Cuba following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
A graduate of Amherst College and Stanford University, he is the author of Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge (Sierra Club Books, 1997), The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom (Columbia University Press 2015), and We Want to Negotiate: The Secret World of Kidnapping, Hostages, and Ransom (Columbia Global Reports 2018).
Photo credit: Courtesy of CPJ
For over 40 years, Meryl Streep continues to bring a varied and vivid array of characters to life in a career that has cut its own unique path from the theater through film and television.
Educated in the New Jersey public school system through high school, Streep graduated cum laude from Vassar College and received her MFA with honors from Yale University. She began her professional life on the New York stage, where she quickly established her signature versatility and verve as an actor. Within three years of graduation, she made her Broadway debut, won an Emmy for “Holocaust” and received her first Oscar nomination for “The Deer Hunter.” She has won three Academy Awards, and in 2018, in a record that is unsurpassed, she earned her 21st Academy Award nomination for her role as Katharine Graham in “The Post.”
She was most recently seen in HBO’s second season of “Big Little Lies,” Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat” and Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-nominated “Little Women.” Her upcoming projects include Steven Soderbergh’s “Let them All Talk” for HBO Max, Ryan Murphy’s film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical “The Prom” for Netflix, and Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” for Netflix.
Streep has pursued her interest in the environment through her work with Mothers and Others, a consumer advocacy group that she co-founded in 1989. M&O worked for ten years to promote sustainable agriculture, establish new pesticide regulations, and ensure the availability of organic and sustainably grown local foods.
Streep also lends her efforts to Women for Women International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Donor Direct Action, Women in the World Foundation, and Partners in Health.
She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been accorded a Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, the same honor in 2008 from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the 2019 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. In 2011, Streep received a Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2015 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She holds honorary degrees from 10 colleges and universities.
Her husband, artist Don Gummer, and she are the parents of a son and three daughters.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Brigitte Lacombe
Ali Velshi brings his sharp analysis and point-of-view to the new weekend morning show, “Velshi,” airing from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays on MSNBC. Previously, Velshi anchored “MSNBC Live” and “Velshi & Ruhle.” The MSNBC host will continue to serve as a fill-in prime anchor and cover breaking news for the cable network.
Velshi has covered a wide range of domestic, global and economic issues throughout his career, including climate change, the spread and defeat of ISIS, the refugee crisis, the Iran nuclear deal, tensions between Russia and the west, the Greek debt crisis and the global financial crisis.
Before joining NBC News and MSNBC in 2016, Velshi hosted “Ali Velshi On Target,” a nightly primetime show on Al Jazeera America. Before that, he served as CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent, anchor of CNN International’s “World Business Today” and host of CNN’s weekly business roundtable “Your Money.” Velshi also co-hosted CNN’s morning show, “American Morning.”
An award-winning journalist, Velshi was honored with a National Headliner Award for Business & Consumer Reporting for “How the Wheels Came Off,” a special on the near collapse of the American auto industry. His work on disabled workers and Chicago’s red-light camera scandal in 2016 earned him two News and Documentary Emmy Award nominations, adding to a nomination in 2010 for his terrorism coverage. Additionally, Velshi has taken his economic analysis to “Oprah,” “The View,” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
Velshi is the author of Gimme My Money Back (Sterling and Ross, 2008) and co-author with CNN’s Christine Romans of How to Speak Money (Wiley, 2010).
Born in Kenya and raised in Canada, Velshi graduated from Queen’s University in Canada, which bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Laws upon him in 2016. Velshi splits his time between New York City and Philadelphia, where he teaches a course at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Active in the community, Velshi serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Chicago History Museum, Seeds of Peace, the XPrize Foundation, The National Constitution Center, and the Philadelphia Citizen, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. As of September of 2019, he is an instructor in “Business Communications for Impact” at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Ali Velshi
Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, a $13 billion international social justice philanthropy, and a member of CPJ’s board. The Foundation has been a generous supporter of CPJ.
Under his leadership, the Ford Foundation recently became the first nonprofit foundation in U.S. history to issue a $1 billion social bond in the U.S. taxable bond market to increase grant making to stabilize and strengthen nonprofit organizations in the wake of COVID-19. He is a member of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagining New York Commission and co-chair of NYC Census 2020. He also chaired the philanthropy committee that brought a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy.
Before joining Ford, Darren was vice president at Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing global and domestic programs. In the 1990s, he was COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization.
Darren co-chairs New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and has served on the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and the UN International Labour Organization Global Commission on the Future of Work. He co-founded both the US Impact Investing Alliance and the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy. He serves on many boards, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Hall, the High Line, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. In the summer of 2020, he was appointed to the boards of Square and Ralph Lauren. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the recipient of 16 honorary degrees and university awards, including Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.
Educated exclusively in public schools, Darren was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and received BA, BS, and JD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been included on numerous leadership lists: Time’s annual 100 Most Influential People, Rolling Stone’s 25 People Shaping the Future, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Ebony’s Power 100, and Out magazine’s Power 50.
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Ford Foundation
Jennifer Griffin currently serves as a national security correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) and is based out of the Washington D.C. bureau. She joined the network in October 1999 as a Jerusalem-based correspondent.
Most recently, Griffin has extensively reported on the decision by the Trump administration to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria. As part of her in-depth reporting, Griffin conducted an exclusive conversation with an anonymous member of the U.S. Special Forces whose account of the situation at the frontline directly contradicted the administration’s claims and shed light on the actions by Turkish forces against the Kurds. She was also among the first to report the death of ISIS leader Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi. In August 2019, she secured the first interview with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, since he assumed the position in July. Previously, Griffin covered then-candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
Since 2007, Griffin has reported daily from the Pentagon where she questions senior military leaders, travels to war zones and reports on all aspects of the military, including the current wars against ISIS and Al Qaeda. She has covered major international news stories extensively, including the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 and the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Throughout her tenure with the network, Griffin has secured major interviews with government officials, including former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Baghdad, Iraq on the day the Iraq War ended, as well as an exclusive interview with General David Petraeus in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2010 when he took over as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. She has also traveled on multiple trips overseas with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates from 2007-2011. From 2000-2007, Griffin provided live coverage of the Palestinian Intifada. She was also among the first reporters to arrive in the wake of the 2004 South-East Asia tsunami tragedy, reporting from Phuket and Khao Lak, Thailand.
While based in Jerusalem, Griffin reported on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, countless suicide bombings, military incursions and failed peace deals. In 2000, she provided on-site coverage of Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon and its withdrawal from the Gaza strip in 2005, as well as Yassar Arafat's funeral. Additionally, she is credited with conducting a rare and extensive interview with former Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon on his farm in 2009 before he lapsed into a coma.
Prior to joining FNC, Griffin covered the Middle East region for several American media organizations including National Public Radio and U.S. News and World Report. Previously, she reported for The Sowetan newspaper in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she covered Nelson Mandela’s prison release and numerous other historic moments in South Africa's transition away from the apartheid regime.
A graduate of Harvard University in 1992, Griffin received a B.A. in comparative politics. She is also the co-author of the book, “This Burning Land: Lessons from the Frontlines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” which she wrote with her husband Greg Myre regarding their experience in Israel.
Photo credit: Courtesy of FOX News
Peabody-winning journalist Julie DiCaro is a recovering attorney, former sports talk radio host, and current sports writer and podcaster in Chicago. She is the author of such viral pieces as The Dangers of the Cool Girl Ideal; Threats, Vitriol, Hate: The Ugly Truth About Women in Sports Media; My Astoundingly Typical Rape; How NOT to Talk About the Patrick Kane Rape Allegations; and Why You Just Can’t Ignore the Trolls. She has written for outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vice Sports, The Establishment, and Huffington Post. She’s currently a senior editor and writer at Deadspin, where she co-hosts the podcast, “Always Game,” with fellow sports writer Jane McManus.
DiCaro was raised in rural northern Illinois and attended Indiana University, graduating in 1995 with degrees in journalism and French. She went on to study law at DePaul University College of Law. After graduating law school in 1998, she practiced law for more than a decade, concentrating on representing the marginalized. After working as a public defender, DiCaro went on to represent domestic violence victims in obtaining orders of protection and divorce cases.
In 2006, DiCaro started the popular Chicago Cubs blog, “A League of Her Own,” which was subsequently picked up by the Chicago Tribune and led to her amassing a large Twitter following. In 2012, she was hired by the Tribune to oversee the paper’s burgeoning blog network. A regular fixture in Chicago sports commentary, DiCaro moved to sports talk radio in 2014, serving as a host and update anchor for WGN’s nascent 87.7 The Game. In 2015, she moved on to 670 The Score, the top-ranked sports station in Chicago, where she hosts several times a week, and has a regular show on weekends with sportswriter Maggie Hendricks. She is currently the only woman working regularly in sports radio in Chicago. She is a co-founder of the popular podcast “Burn it All Down” and current host of the sports history podcast “Stick to Pods.”
An outspoken critic of sexism in the media and online harassment, DiCaro joined with ESPN’s Sarah Spain in 2016 to create the viral video #MoreThanMean, for which she won a Peabody Award, a Gracie Award for Women in Media, a Sports CLIO Grand, and many other awards. To date, #MoreThanMean has been viewed more than 4 million times with no paid support and sparked a national conversation about online abuse.
In addition to writing and broadcasting, DiCaro travels the country speaking to students and faculty about the role of women in the media, sports and social justice, and online harassment. She is a frequent guest on local and national television to discuss issues of sexism and social justice in sports. DiCaro continues to battle online abuse publicly and uses her vast social media presence to bring awareness to the issue.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Julie DeCaro
Karen Attiah is the Global Opinions editor at The Washington Post, where she commissions and edits commentary on global issues from a variety of international writers. She joined the Post in 2014 as a digital producer in the Opinions section. Attiah often writes on issues relating to race, gender and international politics, with a special interest in Africa. Previously, she reported as a freelancer for The Associated Press while based in the Caribbean. Attiah was the winner of the 2019 George Polk Award and was the 2019 Journalist of the Year from the National Association of Black Journalists.
Photo credit: The Washington Post
As a reporter who was the first Latina in many newsrooms, Maria Hinojosa dreamed of a space where she could create independent, multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diverse American experience. To that end, in 2010, she created Futuro Media, an independent, nonprofit organization based in Harlem, New York, with the mission to create multimedia content for and about the new American mainstream in the service of empowering people to navigate the complexities of an increasingly diverse and connected world.
As the Anchor and Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning show Latino USA, as well as Co-Host of In The Thick, the Futuro Media’s new political podcast, Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad. Hinojosa is also Anchor and Executive Producer of the PBS show America By The Numbers, the first national television series to examine our country’s dramatic demographic shifts, and Humanizing America, a digital video series that deconstructs stereotypes about the American electorate. She is also a new contributor to the long-running, award-winning news program CBS Sunday Morning and a frequent guest on MSNBC.
Hinojosa’s nearly 30-year career as an award-winning journalist includes reporting for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN, NPR, and anchoring the Emmy Award winning talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. She is the author of two books and has won dozens of awards, including: four Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award. Hinojosa was the first Latina to anchor a PBS FRONTLINE report: “Lost in Detention” which aired in October 2011 and explored abuse at immigrant detention facilities, garnering attention from Capitol Hill as well as both the mainstream and Spanish-language media.
Hinojosa has reported hundreds of important stories—from the restrictive immigration policies in Fremont, Nebraska, to the effects of the oil boom on Native people in North Dakota, to stories of poverty in Alabama. As a reporter for NPR, Hinojosa was among the first to report on youth violence in urban communities on a national scale. During her eight years as CNN’s urban affairs correspondent, Hinojosa often took viewers into communities rarely shown on television. Now at Futuro Media, Hinojosa continues to bring attention to experiences and points of view that are often overlooked or underreported in mainstream media, all while mentoring the next generation of diverse journalists to delve into authentic and nuanced stories that impact their communities. She is currently the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Chair of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University in Chicago and lives with her husband, son, and daughter in Harlem, New York.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Maria Hinojosa
Meher Tatna is currently serving her second year as Chair of the Board of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, producer of the Golden Globe Awards. She served as the organization’s president from 2017 to 2019.
Meher was born in Mumbai, India, and moved to the U.S. when she received a Wien scholarship to Brandeis University in Massachusetts. She graduated cum laude with a degree in economics. She also has an associate’s degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She has been a member of the HFPA since 2002 and has served in its administration for the past 12 years, including as vice president, treasurer, and executive secretary.
Meher has previously written for Vogue, Grazia and Elle in India, and currently writes for Singapore daily The New Paper.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Meher Tatna
Emmy Award-winner, BAFTA and Academy Award-nominee Rosamund Pike has earned international acclaim for her film, television and stage roles.
Rosamund’s most recent project, J Blakeson’s dark comedy “I Care a Lot,” recently premiered at Toronto International Film Festival. The film sees Rosamund play the lead role, Marla Grayson, alongside Peter Dinklage, Eiza González and Dianne Wiest. Marla is a very successful legal guardian who uses the law to her own benefit but at her clients’ detriment. As she starts to cherry pick the seemingly perfect client, she quickly learns that looks can be deceiving. “I Care a Lot” was recently acquired by Netflix.
Earlier this year, Rosamund starred in “Radioactive,” a film which focuses on the life of the two-time Nobel Prize winning scientist Marie Curie (played by Rosamund) as she makes her ground-breaking discoveries in the 20th Century. Directed by Marjane Satrapi (“Persepolis”), it had been adapted from Lauren Redniss’ graphic novel of Marie and Pierre Curie by Jack Thorne (The Aeronauts, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). “Radioactive” was the Closing Night Gala at Toronto International Film Festival 2019 and was digitally released in the UK on June 15 and is now available to stream on Amazon.
Last year, Rosamund won an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy category for “State of the Union.” The comedy series also won Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. Written by Nick Hornby (“An Education,” “About a Boy,” “Fever Pitch”) and directed by Stephen Frears (“The Queen,” “Philomena,” “Victoria & Abdul”), “State of the Union” sees a couple meeting in a pub before their couples counseling session. She plays Louise alongside Chris O’Dowd. The short series launched on SundanceTV in May 2019 and is now on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.
Rosamund is currently filming “The Wheel of Time,” an Amazon production based on Robert Jordan’s novels of the same name. Set in a fantasy world where magic exists, but only certain women are allowed to access it, she plays the lead, Moiraine. She will also be seen starring in Andrea Di Stefano’s “The Informer,” a crime thriller based on the novel Three Seconds by Roslund/Hellström. “The Informer” was released on November 6 in the U.S.
In 2017, Rosamund starred in Scott Cooper’s (“Crazy Heart,” “Black Mass”) “Hostiles” alongside Christian Bale. The film tells the tale of an American Army Captain tasked with escorting a Cheyenne Chief through a dangerous territory. In 2018, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of the legendary Sunday Times war reporter, Marie Colvin, in “A Private War.” Colvin died in 2012 in a targeted rocket attack while covering the Syrian civil war. The film is based on Marie Brenner’s Vanity Fair article, “Marie Colvin’s Private War,” and is directed by Matthew Heineman (“Cartel Land,” “City of Ghosts”). The film premiered at London Film Festival 2018 and was released in the U.S. in November 2019 and in the UK in February.
Also, in 2018, Rosamund starred in José Padilha’s (“Narcos”) “7 Days in Entebbe,” Brad Anderson’s (“The Machinist”) “Beirut (The Negotiator)”, and Patrick Kennedy’s (“War Horse,” “Mr. Holmes”) short film “The Human Voice.” In “7 Days in Entebbe,” she plays a German revolutionary who hijacks an airplane and forces it to land in Entebbe, Uganda, in an effort to free Palestinians jailed in Israel. The film is based on the actual hijacking of Air France 139 in 1976. She plays a CIA field agent based in 1970s Beirut in political thriller “Beirut” opposite Jon Hamm. She plays the lead in “The Human Voice,” an adaptation from the play by Jean Cocteau. This short film follows an unflinching portrait of a woman’s heartbreak over the course of a final telephone conversation between lovers.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Miller
Ronan Farrow is an investigative reporter and a contributing writer to The New Yorker. He is also currently producing documentaries for HBO.
His stories for The New Yorker exposed the first sexual-assault allegations against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein and the first misconduct allegations against CBS executives, including then CEO Leslie Moonves. He was also responsible for the first detailed accounts of payments made by the National Enquirer’s parent company in order to suppress stories about Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign. For his reporting on Weinstein, Farrow won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the National Magazine Award, and the George Polk Award, among other honors.
He previously worked as an anchor and investigative reporter at MSNBC and NBC News, with his print commentary and reporting appearing in publications including The Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, and The Washington Post. Farrow is the author of “War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence” and “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.”
He is a graduate of Yale Law School and a member of the New York Bar. He recently completed a Ph.D.in political science at Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to his career in journalism, he served as a State Department official in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He lives in New York.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Brigitte Lacombe
Samantha Barry is the editor-in-chief of Glamour where she oversees content, development, and consumer experiences across the brand’s digital, social, video, and print verticals. Under her leadership, Glamour emphasizes a digital-first focus on original reporting, exclusive features, and unique perspectives impacting women today across financial, interpersonal, fashion, beauty, wellness, and political topics. She has also strengthened Glamour’s commitment to body positivity by showcasing size-inclusive brands and models across all channels.
Barry has transformed the annual Women of the Year Awards into an inspirational multi-day event, celebrating Glamour’s diverse community of women through a series of rewarding experiences, empowering panels, discussions, hands-on activations, and keynotes.
Prior to joining Glamour, Barry served as executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide. Under her leadership at CNN, the network became the most followed and fanned news organization in the world. She spearheaded the organization’s 2016 election coverage across social platforms, which received the first-ever Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in social media.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Samantha Barry
Jenni Monet is an investigative journalist and media critic who writes about Indigenous affairs in the U.S. and abroad. Her work is featured in The LA Times, the Guardian, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and PBS NewsHour, to name a few. She is also a commentator for such outlets as MSNBC, NPR, and Democracy Now!. She is currently launching the newsletter platform, Indigenously: “Decolonizing Your Newsfeed.”
In 2020, Jenni received a Mirror Award for her essay, “The Crisis in Covering Indian Country,” published by the Columbia Journalism Review, a media critique on Indigenous invisibility in the colonized press. Other honors include recognition for her months-long coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, including the Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award and Journalist of the Year from the Newswomen’s Club of New York.
Jenni’s career began as a TV newscaster and reporter for CBS News affiliates. She has also hosted and reported for public radio’s National Native News and worked in documentary filmmaking. She holds an MA in International Politics with a concentration in Indigenous Human Rights Policy from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and is a tribal citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna, currently residing on her Indigenous homelands in the American Southwest.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Jenni Monet
Sarah Jones is an award-winning journalist and founder of "Remembering Fallen Journalists." Remembering Fallen Journalists is a movement and international moment of silence honoring those who have lost their lives while bearing witness and includes co-partners like the Committee to Protect Journalists, the UN Foundation's Plus Social Good, Reddit, and the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. In 2015, the event reached over 9 million people in its first year and in-person events were held around the world from Japan to Mongolia, to Libya, to Poland, and the United States.
Sarah has over a decade of experience in mainstream media and is currently based in the Midwest where she is a one-man-band reporter—meaning she films, edits, writes, produces and reports her own pieces. She is one of the top 20 North American Young Leaders chosen by Friends of Europe. She received the Women Economic Forum's highest honor on International Women’s Day 2018 in the Hague when she was named one of their “Women of the Decade” in News & Social Engagement. Sarah’s Twitter profile was selected as one of the top 1,000 most influential Twitter profiles.
On more than one occasion she has been invited to advise senior-level military planners and government officials—in the U.S. and allied countries—on social technologies. In 2014 she was voted Best Journalist in Social Media by a panel of industry leaders at the Sixth Annual Shorty Awards. Sarah is also an International Women’s Media Foundation fellow and a two-time International Reporting Project Fellow. She is among the top 40 female social media influencers for conversations surrounding artificial intelligence. Sarah started her transition from newsgathering and producing to on-air reporting in 2016. She has been an Online Medua Awards judge and Skoll World Forum delegate since 2015.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Sarah Jones
As the editorial page editor, Sewell Chan oversees the editorial board and the Op-Ed and Sunday Opinion pages of the Los Angeles Times. He was named to the position in April 2020.
Chan previously served as a deputy managing editor, overseeing foreign and national news coverage; the front page; the data and graphics department; the multiplatform copy desks; newsletters; and the editorial library. He also supervised the home page and audience engagement teams and helped reorganize them into an integrated news desk.
Before joining the Times in September 2018, Chan worked for 14 years at The New York Times, where he was a metro reporter, Washington correspondent, deputy Op-Ed editor and international news editor. Chan began his career in July 2000 as a reporter at The Washington Post, reporting on local government, education and social services. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
A native New Yorker, Chan grew up in an immigrant family and was the first in his family to finish college. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in social studies and received a master’s degree in politics from Oxford, where he studied on a British Marshall scholarship.
Chan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and PEN America, which defends free expression. He serves on the board of the News Leaders Association (formerly the American Society of News Editors) and the Board of Incorporators of d Magazine. He was previously a member of the national advisory board at the Poynter Institute.
Photo credit: Courtesy of LA Times
Samantha Bee has quickly established herself as having one of the most unique and sharp comedic voices on television with her late-night show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.” The show offers a unique satirical take on weekly news and explores other important stories in-depth that have been largely overlooked by more traditional media outlets. The show is now in its fifth season and has received multiple awards and nominations, including 21 Emmy nominations and the Television Academy Honor Award in 2018.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Samantha Bee
Shepard Smith is Anchor and Executive Editor of “The News with Shepard Smith” (M-F, 7PM-8PM ET), a nightly newscast providing deep, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories. Smith also serves as CNBC’s Chief General News Anchor and Chief Breaking General News Anchor, which was announced when he joined the network in July 2020. He is based at CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Most recently, Smith served as FOX News Channel’s Chief News Anchor as well as Managing Editor of the breaking news division. From 2013-2019, he also anchored the news program “Shepard Smith Reporting.” Prior to that, Smith anchored “The FOX Report” and “Studio B.”
During his time at FOX News Channel, Smith covered major news events including presidential elections, Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, the Middle East conflict from the Israel-Lebanon border, the attacks of 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and mass shootings from Columbine to Las Vegas. Early in his career at FOX News Channel, Smith was a New York-based general assignment reporter before being promoted to senior correspondent.
Before joining FOX News Channel, Smith was a FOX News Edge correspondent based in Los Angeles and covered a range of stories for the FOX affiliate news service, including the crash of TWA Flight 800 and the Oklahoma City bombing.
He began his broadcast career as a reporter at local stations across the state of Florida including WSVN-TV (FOX) in Miami, the former WCPX-TV (CBS) in Orlando, WBBH-TV (NBC) in Fort Myers, and WJHG-TV (NBC) in Panama City.
Smith studied journalism at the University of Mississippi and is a native of Holly Springs, MS.
Photo credit: Courtesy of CNBC
Lee Ranaldo, musician, visual artist, and writer, co-founded Sonic Youth in 1981, and has been active on the New York and international music and art scenes for the past 40-plus years as a composer, performer and producer. His newest LP Names of North End Women was released in February 2020 on Mute Records. You can read more about him on his website, www.leeranaldo.com.
Photo credit: Anna Bogaciovas
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