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Faculty + Maynard Institute Executive Team Roster
Pilot 1, Week 1: July 23-27, 2018
Boulder, Colo.

Jean Marie Brown
Jean Marie is an assistant professor of professional practice in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University. She teaches reporting and is director of student media journalism. A former newspaper executive, Brown spent most of her career with Knight Ridder and later McClatchy newspapers. A Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, she was ranked as a “World Class Manager” by Gallup while at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She lives in Fort Worth with her husband, two daughters and mother. She has a master’s degree from TCU, and her undergraduate degree is from the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

Robert Calder
Robert is a Technical Program Manager team lead for the Google Drive product team. He’s seen a variety of projects during his time at Google, including building Information Privacy/Security tools, overseeing Network Planning/Deployment systems, and leading Technical Support product insight initiatives.

Prior to working at Google, Robert was the Director of Android Development and head of PMO at Quickoffice, which was acquired by Google in 2012. Under Robert’s leadership, the Android organization went from a handful of developers delivering 1-2 ‘vanilla’ releases each month, to a global organization shipping hundreds of builds per year, each customized to various Android-derived platforms.

Robert has lead teams using both traditional software development methodologies, as well as a variety of agile approaches (e.g., Scrum, Kanban, SAFe). Robert most enjoys implementing tools and processes that enable teams to be as efficient and successful as possible.

Angie Chuang
Angie is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Communication, Media and Information whose research and teaching focuses on representation of race and identity in the media. She was a staff writer for The Oregonian, the Hartford Courant and the Los Angeles Times. In 2000 at the Oregonian, she was among the first regional newspaper reporters to launch a daily beat on race and ethnicity issues. Her work on that beat won national and regional awards, and took her to Afghanistan, Vietnam and the post-Katrina Gulf Coast in pursuit of stories. Before joining the Colorado faculty a year ago, she was on the full-time faculty of the American University School of Communication for a decade. She is the author of the award-winning nonfiction book, “The Four Words for Home: A Memoir of Two Families” (Aquarius Press / Willow Books 2014).

Paul Conforti
Paul is chief marketing officer of Ocean State Job Lot, a privately held closeout retailer in North Kingstown, R.I., with 131 stores in the Northeast and sales exceeding $680 million. He is passionate about increasing brand awareness, enhancing employee and customer engagement, and solidifying the company’s competitive position for long-term growth.
He is also managing partner of Encore Hospitality Group, which operates the restaurant concepts Mill’s Tavern in Providence, R.I., and Red Stripe in Providence and East Greenwich. Mill’s Tavern is a five-time Wine Spectator award recipient (2014-18). Red Stripe is a neighborhood brasserie serving made-from-scratch comfort food. Paul serves on the boards of the nonprofit Amos House in Providence and the RI Hospitality Association. Previously, he was president and co-founder of Finale Desserterie & Bakery, the country’s first upscale, dessert-focused restaurant chain. Before that, he managed call centers with Travelers and MetLife insurance companies. Paul received an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Management, summa cum laude, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Mitt Romney awarded him the Massachusetts Governor’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for his accomplishments at Finale and the Boston Business Journal included him in its 2007 list of “40 Under 40.” He lives in Saunderstown, R.I., with his wife Kristen and their four children.

Jennifer de la Fuente
Jenn is a web designer and developer who has run her own business, Rosebud Designs, since 2009. She specializes in building custom WordPress sites and in web design, and has been teaching code to all levels of learners and many journalists for almost a decade. She began teaching at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2014 with introductory-level coding classes and the Intro to Online Media class for undergraduates. She now teaches design classes to public relations students.
Before starting her business, she spent 10 years in journalism — almost all of it in sports — as a reporter, copy editor, page designer, web producer and unofficial IT guru and teacher of all things digital. Her journalism career included stops at The Orange County Register, Arizona Daily Star, The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., and The Sacramento Bee. Jenn is a USC Annenberg graduate (2000, B.A. in Print Journalism), a diehard Trojan football and LA Kings hockey fan, a semi-competitive curler and a halfway decent hockey player.

Jesús Del Toro
Jesús is director of La Raza newspaper (Chicago) and editor in chief of
La Opinión de la Bahía (San Francisco), La Prensa (Orlando). He was director of Rumbo newspaper in Houston. He has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México, is a Ph.D. candidate in Journalism at Complutense University of Madrid and was selected a fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera at Columbia University. An award-winning political columnist and poet, he is a pro blogger for Yahoo en Español. With support from the Mexican Fund for the Arts, Del Toro is finishing a book about the U.S. reception of Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas’ music.

Erica Fox
Erica, a director in Google’s People Development organization, is focused on global strategy, learning design, community engagement (g2g) and operational excellence. People Development is responsible for supporting and accelerating Google leaders and their teams so they can thrive in the face of challenge and complexity, and meet critical business goals. She has held various roles in PeopleDev, most recently leading the TechDev team of learning and Organizational Development professionals who served Google’s engineering and product organizations. Previously, she ran Google’s company-wide learning initiatives — Noogler (new hire) orientation, people management, leadership development, team effectiveness, bias and inclusion, and sustaining high performance. Before joining PeopleDev, she worked in the People Analytics group focusing on making people decisions more data-driven and research-based. Erica joined Google in February 2007. Erica is passionate about making Google the best place to learn and develop a career. She is a Manager and Leadership Guru, a Sage mentor and frequently facilitates leadership programs. She has an executive coaching certification from the Hudson Institute of Coaching and was a 2014 Great Manager Award winner. Before joining Google, Erica led the Consumer Mobility consulting practice at Yankee Group, a telecommunications and Internet research and consulting firm. In eight years there, she managed the Latin America and Asia Pacific research teams, and worked on due diligences, market sizing/modeling and competitive intelligence. Earlier, she conducted Latin American telecommunications research and consulting projects for Pyramid Research and evaluated grass-roots development proposals for the Inter-American Foundation. Erica has a B.A. from Harvard University in Government and Latin American Studies and conducted post-graduate studies in political science at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She completed a Fulbright Scholarship in Chile, focusing on human rights organizations and their political discourse. She is a recent transplant to Google’s office in Boulder, Colo., having worked in the California Bay Area for three years and from Connecticut. Her current area of learning is how to be a parent of teens ages 13 and 14.

Katrice Hardy
Katrice is executive editor of The Greenville (S.C.) News and the South regional editor for the USA Today Network, overseeing news organizations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia.
Previously, she worked for 20 years at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk where she started as an intern and left as managing editor. Katrice is a board member of Associated Press Media Editors and a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, for which she formerly president of the Hampton Roads, Va., chapter. She is also an executive board member of the South Carolina Press Association and a recent graduate of Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Institute She believes strongly that a news organization’s role is to shine light on the wonderful people and organizations making a difference in local communities and to uncover problems, ills, misuses and abuses to help bring about positive change.

Evelyn Hsu
Evelyn is co-executive director, programming and operations, at the Maynard Institute. She joined the institute in 2004 as director of programs and most recently was senior director for programs and operations. Previously, she was a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. She was an associate director of the American Press Institute and a faculty member at the Poynter Institute. Evelyn is a past national president of the Asian American Journalists Association and a graduate of the Maynard Institute’s Summer Program for Minority Journalists. She is a member of the board of directors of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation which supports the educational mission of the Society of Professional Journalists. She has an A.B. in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas Huang
Tom is assistant managing editor for features and community engagement at The Dallas Morning News and editing fellow at the Poynter Institute. In 2013, he was a Punch Sulzberger fellow at Columbia University, where he studied executive leadership and journalism innovation. For the past 16 years, he has organized and taught Poynter seminars on reporting, writing, editing, ethics, diversity and leadership. He has worked at The News since 1993 as a reporter, features editor and Sunday and Enterprise editor. When he was features editor, the newspaper’s features coverage was named one of the nation’s best by the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards and the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, now known as the Society for Features Journalism. Tom has taught journalism in Mexico and India, and his reporting has taken him from Bosnia and Vietnam to the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 attacks in New York. He is past president of the Society for Features Journalism Foundation and served on the governing board of the Asian American Journalists Association. He has successfully launched two Knight Foundation-funded projects — the Hispanic Families Network and Storytellers Without Borders. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science and engineering.

Michelle Johnson
Michelle is associate professor of the practice, multimedia journalism at Boston University and the academic representative on the board of the National Association of Black Journalists. She is a former editor at The Boston Globe and boston.com. For more than 20 years, she has conducted training for professional and student journalists for organizations including the SPJ/Google News Initiative, the Maynard Institute, the Online News Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

Alli Joseph
Alli is a seasoned journalist and entrepreneur who developed her writing and editing skills at large media companies including Scripps’ Food Network, NBC Universal, Grey Advertising Global, News Corp, Salon, Cablevision, Viacom (VH1 and CBS News), AOL, Time Inc., USA Networks and Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.
As a reporter, producer and on-camera host, she has worked across TV, digital and print covering diversity, entertainment, entrepreneurship, lifestyle, news, tech and innovation beats. Through Seventh Generation Stories, her family history company, she records and edits oral histories for private clients to save stories of elders across cultures for future generations.
On salon.com, Alli is a rotating host of Salon Talks, the daily, live-streamed show focused on newsmakers. She was a cover editor and writer for Salon, originally hired to report on diversity topics such as politics in Indian Country and education issues in inner cities. In 2017, she traveled to Cuba to report on social and political change.
Alli has covered presidential primaries, political conventions, Daytona Bike Week, the great Paris-Dakar Desert Rally, the Sundance Film Festival, the Academy Awards, journalism and diversity summits, and many other national and international events. She was a McCormick Tribune Foundation Fellow in Executive Media Management, a Poynter Institute Sense-Making Fellow and a board member of the Radio Television Digital News Association representing Native American journalists as ex-officio for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA).
A member of the New York-based Shinnecock Indian Nation, Alli is of Native American African American and Caucasian heritage. She is active in advocating for minority journalists’ entrepreneurship and career development, and co-directed NewU, a Ford Foundation-sponsored startup business program, for five years. She co-wrote its curriculum and lectured on diversity initiatives and personal branding. A member of the Native American Journalists Association, she remains active among minority journalism associations. A graduate of Vassar College, she lives in New Jersey with her husband, young children and Tess, a volunteer therapy dog.

Zeba Khan
Zeba is a writer and commentator focused on the intersection of race, identity and politics. Through her work as senior facilitator at The Op-Ed Project, Zeba trained thousands of women and other historically underrepresented voices on how to own their expertise and make a case across media platforms for the ideas and causes in which they believe. As a 2018 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University, she studied diversity in the media and led design thinking projects in private and academic institutions through the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

Odette Alcazaren-Keeley
Odette is a strategic diversity communications and media executive, and a broadcast journalist, with a career spanning 20-plus years in the United States and the Philippines. She is director of Maynard 200 for the Maynard Institute and recently served as a consultant for the Democracy Fund. Previously, at New America Media, she was national media network director, television and radio news anchor/executive producer, and chair and co-emcee of the NAM Ethnic Media Awards. She hosted and produced NAM’s weekly segment on 91.7 FM KALW in the San Francisco Bay Area, the TV show “New America Now” and its monthly TV news magazine on Comcast Hometown Network [CHN] with the same program name. In the 9/11 aftermath, Odette led the core group that launched the U.S. news bureau of The Filipino Channel of ABS-CBN International, headquartered in the Bay Area. She simultaneously served as news executive producer, co-­anchor and head writer for “Balitang America” [News in America], the network’s flagship newscast. Odette is a board trustee of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in San Francisco and a board adviser for the Filipino Food Movement. She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines Diliman, with a B.A. in Mass Communication and minored in Broadcast Journalism.

Ryan Kellett
Ryan is director of audience and a senior editor at The Washington Post. He leads newsroom digital strategy and oversees teams working on social media, SEO, comments, newsletters and distributed platforms. He also leads the general assignment news team. Before this role, he was national digital editor during the 2012 presidential election. He joined The Post in 2010 and previously worked at NPR. Originally from San Francisco, he lives in Washington D.C. Find him on Twitter: @rkellett.

Christine Larson
Christine is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studies the impact of technology on media workers and cultural industries. Her research, which has taken her behind the scenes in newsrooms, Silicon Valley and romance writing conventions, has been published in the peer-reviewed journals Media, Culture & Society and in Public Culture. Her research interests grew from 15 years as a new media worker and freelance journalist. Her award-winning articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and many other publications. She has worked on staffs at major magazines and co-written three trade books on women and the workplace. As a senior facilitator with The OpEd Project, Christine works to promote more diverse voices in opinion media and public discourse. Larson has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree in English from Princeton University. She was a 2010 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

Sally Lehrman
Sally founded and directs The Trust Project, an international consortium of news outlets implementing a transparency standard for journalism to help the public and news-distribution platforms identify quality news amid the hubbub online. She was named a MediaShift Top 20 Digital Innovator in 2018 for this work. Senior editors from nearly 75 news organizations connected user wants and needs to journalism values in creating the Trust Indicators, and dozens of sites are now implementing them. She is senior director of the Journalism Ethics Program at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and science and justice professor at the Science & Justice Research Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Senior editors from nearly 75 news organizations connected user wants and needs to journalism values in creating the Trust Indicators and dozens of sites are now implementing them. A reporter on medicine and science policy with an emphasis on social diversity, she has numerous awards, including a Peabody and a duPont-Columbia, and she was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. Lehrman’s bylines have appeared in Scientific American, Nature, Health, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The DNA Files distributed by NPR and on salon.com. Her book, “News in a New America,” argues for an inclusive U.S. news media. Her co-edited volume on covering structural inequality is due from Routledge in 2018.

Dickson Louie
Dickson is principal of Louie & Associates, a boutique San Francisco Bay Area consultancy that provides strategic planning, competitive analysis and executive development services to startups, nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies. He is co-founder, president and CEO of Time Capsule Press, a book publishing imprint focusing on creating books from archival material. Its content partners include Getty Images, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. Its first title, the 2009 “Los Angeles Lakers: 50 Amazing Years in the City of Angels” was done in partnership with Getty Images and the Los Angeles Times and was a Wall Street Journal national best-seller in the sports hardback category. Louie has over 25 years of professional management experience in news media, having worked as a planning and business development executive at the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Mercury News in San Jose. At those, he helped to oversee launch of several new initiatives, including the Ventura County and Valley Editions at the Los Angeles Times, the Viet Mercury Vietnamese-language weekly at the Mercury News and the “96 Hours” Thursday section and the San Francisco Chronicle Press book imprint. On the corporate staff of Times Mirror — then parent company of the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Baltimore Sun, among others — he oversaw finances of its $2 billion newspaper division. Louie was appointed a research associate across two academic years at Harvard Business School, where he authored over 20 management case studies for the second-year MBA course, “Marketing in the Marketspace.” These included those on amazon.com, CBS Evening News, First Direct, The New York Times Electronic Media Company and QVC. He is a contributing author of three textbooks: “e-Commerce” (McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2001), “Cases in e-Commerce” (McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2001) and “Introduction to e-Commerce” (McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2002). He is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, and in the Executive MBA Program at San Francisco State University. A certified public accountant, Louie received his B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, East Bay and his MBA in Finance, Marketing, and Statistics from the University of Chicago. He completed the Advanced Executive Program at Northwestern University’s Media Management Center. Louie is on the board of directors of the Maynard Institute.

Sean Maday
Sean is an engineer on the Google Cloud team who started his career as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer. In 2010, he landed at Google for the first time and spent 2-1/2 years as an engineer and one year as a product manager on Google Earth and Google Maps. In January, 2014 he joined a venture-backed startup that was quickly acquired by Twitter. This acquisition gave him the freedom to start his own company, do some consulting and run a nonprofit focused on technology entrepreneurship for military veterans. He returned to Google in 2017 and is based in Boulder, Colo.

Roberto Martinez
Roberto is a Google digital coach for the Google Community Engagement team and a national speaker for Google’s Get Your Business Online program. He has over 12 years of experience helping small- to medium-size businesses use Google digital marketing tools to scale. He has led over 100 Google digital workshops and has trained hundreds of entrepreneurs on Google tools. Before joining Google, Robert worked for the Canadian Foreign Service and the U.S. State Department focusing on foreign direct investment. He has a postgraduate entrepreneurship certificate from Stanford, an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.A. from UCLA.

Lesley Pace
Lesley is a native of Aurora, Colo., where she attended Cherokee Trail High School in the international baccalaureate program. She completed over 300 hours of community service in the program and graduated with a full-tuition scholarship to Howard University. At “the Mecca,” she was an international ambassador for the university in the inaugural class of the Freshman Leadership Academy. She spent a majority of her time in Washington with the Howard University Student Association, the Miss District of Columbia Scholarship Organization, LIFT-DC and Black Girls Code D.C. She graduated with a B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems and a minor in Information Assurance. This sparked her intrigue about technology and started her journey as a techie. Lesley recently celebrated her first” Googleversary” in Boulder and has had opportunity to engage in many ways. She works with large-scale clients to troubleshoot bugs encountered in their advertising platforms. She is a co-lead and co-founder of the Boulder branch of the Black Googlers Network. Mental health and wellness are of utmost importance to her because she is a yoga instructor. In both realms, she realizes a tremendous lack of diversity. Her goal is to increase the number of people of color and members of other marginalized communities in these spaces. In her free time, she enjoys brunch, music festivals, community service and being a pageant queen.

Ronnie Ramos
Ronnie Ramos is executive editor of The Indianapolis Star and oversees news operations at Indiana properties in Evansville, Lafayette, Muncie and Richmond. He joined the Star in 2013 as sports director and became managing director in 2014. He was named executive editor in 2016, the first Hispanic in that role in the newspaper’s history. Previously, Ronnie was managing director of digital communications for the NCAA where he oversaw content creation and dissemination for the association’s web sites, ncaa.org and ncaa.com. He was also responsible for development and implementation of social media strategies, mobile applications and new digital initiatives. He helped to negotiate the NCAA’s current 14-year digital rights agreement with Turner Sports. Ramos has spoken at national intercollegiate, social media and newspaper industry conferences on how social media has changed the sports world. Before joining the NCAA, he was a senior editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, responsible for all sports and features content for the website and print sections. Before that, he was executive editor of The Times in Shreveport (La.). He came to Shreveport from The News-Press in Fort Myers (Fla.), where he was managing editor. Before Fort Myers, he had spent 13 years at the Miami Herald as a reporter and then editor in metro and sports. He was a city editor for the newsroom team that won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of Hurricane Andrew. A 1984 University of Miami graduate, Ronnie started his career as a reporter at the Milwaukee Sentinel. In 2002, he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2002. He was a Pulitzer Prize juror in 2005 and 2006.

Tim Rasmussen
Tim is director of photography at ESPN and responsible for photography at ESPN The Magazine and all digital platforms. In 2017, the magazine won General Excellence and Best Sports cover awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors. He joined ESPN in 2015 after nearly 10 years as assistant managing editor for photography at The Denver Post, which became known for exceptional photography and won three Pulitzer Prizes. Under his leadership, the photo staff was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes for Feature Photography and one for Breaking News Reporting. He established videojournalism at the Post whose staff was awarded six national Edward R. Murrow Awards, including Overall Excellence, and was a finalist for an Emmy in Current News Coverage. In 1988, Tim was accepted to the first Eddie Adams Workshop, where he received one of 10 awards but, more memorably, got to dance with Jodi Cobb, the legendary National Geographic photographer. He was fired from his first job as a photographer for refusing to allow a picture to be cropped. Fifteen years later, he realized that he was a photo editor. He has a B.S. in Philosophy from Utah State University. On their first date, Koren, now his wife of 22 years, had a newspaper clipping of one of Tim’s recentl published photo essays saved on her coffee table. Right then, he knew he had found true love, which eventually resulted in two sons.

Jeffrey J. Reuer
Jeffrey is Guggenheim endowed chair and professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado. Previously, he was Blake Family endowed chair in strategic management at Purdue University, where he was also the Area Head. He started his academic career on the faculty of INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. He is a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society and was the organization’s first recipient of its Emerging Scholar Award for research, education and professional service. He is widely published in the field’s major academic journals and has been invited to present papers at more than 80 universities worldwide. His publication credits also include eight published or forthcoming books. Managerial insights of his research have appeared as articles and research briefings in the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Financial Times and the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. He is a founding editor-in-chief of Strategic Management Review and has been an associate editor for the Strategic Management Journal and consulting editor for the Journal of International Business Studies. Reuer is a past chair of the Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of Management. He has led courses and seminars on business and corporate strategy, strategic investment decisions and strategic alliances in many graduate degree programs and organizations. These include Areva (now Orano), Eli Lilly, Ernst & Young, Euroforum, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, LG Electronics, McKinsey, NEC Corp, Owens Corning, Pfizer, Philips International B.V. and the World Bank). He has taught in executive education programs at Harvard Business School, Duke University, INSEAD, the Indian School of Business and Peking University. He is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke for the best core course in the weekend executive MBA program, and the Salgo-Noren Outstanding Master’s Teaching Award at Purdue.

Martin G. Reynolds
Martin is co-executive director, external affairs and funding at the Maynard Institute. Before being named to those posts, he was a senior fellow for strategic planning for the institute, helping to oversee planning and implementation of the “MIJE Re-Imagined” project Reynolds is co-founder of Oakland Voices, a community storytelling project that trains residents to serve as community correspondents. He was named Digital First Media Innovator of the Year for his work on Oakland Voices. Before his Maynard fellowship, Reynolds was senior editor for community engagement and training for Bay Area News Group and editor-in-chief of the Oakland Tribune from 2008-11. His career with Bay Area News Group spanned 18 years. He was a lead editor on the Chauncey Bailey Project, formed in 2007 to investigate the slaying of the former Oakland Post editor and Tribune reporter. Reynolds is director of Reveal Investigative Fellowships from the Center for Investigative Reporting. He has helped to raise more than $1 million from foundations to support reporting and community engagement initiatives. He also conducts Fault Lines diversity training programs for media companies, colleges and universities. He is a sought-after speaker on the state of diversity, trust and inclusion in journalism.

Nadine Selden
Nadine has had a 30-plus year career as research manager at The Seattle Times, the Mercury News in San Jose and the Press-Telegram in Long Beach. She also did international development work for the Red Cross in Cambodia, the Balkans and Turkey. Her experience includes market research, multi-language polling, development of Spanish and Vietnamese editions, ethnographic research and analytics of the interplay of print and digital audiences. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in journalism and business, has done graduate work in social science at University of California, Irvine, and has had fellowships at Syracuse University and Cornell. She works as a part-time researcher for The Seattle Times.

Gopal Shah
Gopal has been on Google’s Geo team since 2009. As product lead for the last two years, he has been rebuilding Google Earth from the ground up. Previously, he was a senior member of Google’s Geo marketing team, working on projects for Earth, Maps, Street View and much more. When not flying around Google Earth, geeking out on satellite imagery, he can be found around Boulder, Colo., with his dog Decker.

Virgil Smith
Virgil is former president and publisher of the Asheville Citizen-Times. His career spans 44 years with McClatchy Newspapers and Gannett. At Gannett, he was vice president of talent management, talent acquisition and diversity. In 2015, he retired and launched Smith Edwards Group, LLC. He is the principal consultant and works professionally with the Asian American Journalists Association, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and 21st Century Fox/Fox News.

Nicholas Whitaker
Nicholas is training and development manager at the Google News Lab, a global team dedicated to working with journalists to provide training, collaborate on industry challenges and support innovation in the newsroom. The News Lab forms part of the Google News Initiative, an effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age. He has been at Google for over seven years, providing in-person training and educational programs, and adult-online learning initiatives while reaching more than half a million journalists worldwide. Before joining Google in 2010, Nicholas spent the prior decade producing, editing and shooting videos and still images for news, commercial, entertainment and advocacy media. He taught video production, new media and communication theory as an adjunct at Eugene Lang College-The New School for Liberal Arts and Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. Nicholas has a B.A. from The New School with a focus in documentary film production and media theory, and an M.A. from New York University where he specialized in new media and the history of propaganda in political communication. He is passionate about storytelling, travel, mindfulness and lifelong learning.

Alexandra Zayas
Alexandra is a senior editor at ProPublica. She spent 12 years at the Tampa Bay Times, ultimately as enterprise editor. Her stories as a reporter exposed the high cost of trauma care, contributed to resignation of a zoo CEO and sparked reforms of the Tampa Police Department’s troubling ticketing practices, which disproportionately burdened black residents. Her investigation into abuse at unlicensed religious children’s homes across Florida won the 2013 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, the Livingston Award for local reporting and a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. She was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.