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New Voices Advisory Board

Current Board Members:

Past Board Members:

Jane Brown

Executive Director, The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Baltimore, Md.

Jane Brown is executive director of the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports technology-related programs through strategic partnerships with public colleges and universities.

She is a former trustee of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and chairs the Board’s Committee on University-Community Partnerships. She serves on the Baltimore City Workforce Investment Board as well as the Education and Youth Development Committee of the Baltimore Community Foundation. She has served as a board member of the Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative and the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Engaged University initiative of the Democracy Collaborative.

Prior to her work in the philanthropic sector, she was the managing editor of Baltimore Magazine and a features editor for the Baltimore Sun. She is the founder of a community-wide Media Reform Coalition in Baltimore and is deeply committed to the need to support citizen voices and independent media at the community level.

Charles B. Fancher Jr.

President, Fancher Associates Inc., Annapolis, Md.

Charles Fancher is president of Fancher Associates Inc., which specializes in strategic communications planning, public/private partnership planning, community involvement programs, workplace diversity, social investment, and family foundation planning.

Previously, he was vice president/communications at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. Before joining CPB, Fancher was vice president/communications and public affairs for Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc., which publishes The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. He has also been a reporter and editor at The Inquirer and at the Detroit Free Press.

His career has included stints in local television news and network television publicity. His assignments at the ABC television network included “Good Morning America,” “The ABC Evening News,” and “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” and the network’s coverage of the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

He has extensive experience with the nonprofit community, including as a corporate grant-making officer. He is currently a member of the board of directors of The National Philanthropic Trust. He has served as board president of Delaware Valley (PA) Grantmakers, and a board member of a variety of nonprofit organizations, including Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, Pennsylvania Hospital, Freedom Theatre, Festival Theatre for New Plays, and others. He has also served on committees associated with organizations such as Greater Philadelphia First, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and others.

He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, and he was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Journalists at the University of Michigan.

Mary Lou Fulton

Program Officer, Communications and Media
The California Endowment

Mary Lou Fulton oversees communications and media grantmaking at The California Endowment, the state’s largest health-focused foundation. She moved to the foundation world in 2009 after a 20-year career in print journalism and digital media. 

Fulton started out in the newsroom, working as a reporter for the Associated Press and then as a reporter and editor at The Los Angeles Times. While in Los Angeles, she served as the founding editor of City Times, the community news section created to improve coverage of central Los Angeles after the 1992 riots.  She moved to the online world in 1995, joining The Washington Post where she helped to launch washingtontonpost.com and served as the site’s managing editor. Fulton went on to hold senior management positions at a number of digital media companies including AOL, GeoCities and HomePage.com before returning to the newspaper world in 2003 at The Bakersfield Californian.  In Bakersfield, she created a new product development team that was nationally recognized for its participatory media initiatives, including the first “citizen journalism” publication to be started by a U.S. newspaper. 

A native of Yuma, Arizona, and a second-generation Mexican-American, Fulton holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arizona State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  She blogs at http://mediaoptimist.wordpress.com.

Bill Gannon

Director of Online Operations
Lucasfilm Ltd., San Francisco, Calif.

Bill Gannon is the director of online operations at Lucasfilm Ltd., where he has strategic and operational leadership roles and responsibilities for all online activities.

Prior to joining Lucasfilm Ltd., Gannon was editorial director and managing editor at Yahoo! Inc., where he had network-wide editorial leadership responsibilities in news, product development, content programming and policy. He was previously editorial director and managing editor at the financial services firm Financial Engines Inc., where he created Investor Central, a personal-finance Internet site with more than 3 million paid subscribers. He also received two co-inventor patents for Internet product development. Gannon also spent time as a national correspondent and staff writer for The Star-Ledger in New Jersey and for Newhouse Newspapers Inc., where he specialized in investigative, political, terrorism and conflict beat reporting. His foreign reporting included prolonged assignments in Rwanda and Zaire, the Persian Gulf War, and assignments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In 1996 he was selected to be a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University. Gannon’s other awards include the National Headliner Award, four Deadline Club Awards and the New Jersey Press Association’s Journalist of the Year Award. In 2001, he and a team of colleagues received the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Jesse Levanthol Prize for Deadline Reporting and were also finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

Larry Kirkman

Dean and Professor, School of Communication
American University, Washington, D.C.

Larry Kirkman is the dean of the American University School of Communication, where he directs and develops academic and professional programs in Journalism, Film and Media Arts and Public Communication with a cross-cutting focus on public affairs and public service.

Dean Kirkman came to AU in 2001 from the Benton Foundation. As director of Benton from 1989 to 2001 he created programs in strategic communications for nonprofit organizations, public media, and communications policy. Under his direction, Benton became a leading nonprofit Internet publisher, producing online knowledge networks that served as test-beds for journalism, education and social action. He launched the U.S. Center for www.oneworld.net, and he served as Chair of the One World International Foundation from ‘02-‘06. He serves on the Public Issues Advisory Committee of The Advertising Council. He served in various roles for the Council on Foundations and its affinity groups, including: chair of the Communication Committee; chair of the Film and Video Festival; and chair of the Communications Committee for the Funders for Citizen Participation.

At Benton, Dean Kirkman edited Strategic Communications for Nonprofits, a ten volume set of media guides, and produced the international Advocacy Video Conference. He played a leading role in creating www.connectforkids.org, a major Advertising Council campaign, and www.digitaldividenetwork.org, a hub of information and action for universal service and access to the Internet. Under his direction, Benton organized Public Interest Summit on the National Information Infrastructure (1994); and Up for Grabs (1996) with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (on the impact of the Communications Act). He established and managed national re-granting programs, including Sound Partners for Community Health, bringing public stations and community groups together to produce public health programs; and Open Studio: The Arts Online, providing training for local arts groups. He published research reports to promote the Federal E-rate and educational applications of digital technology, reports on library uses of the Internet, and Destination Democracy, a multimedia tool kit on campaign finance reform.

Prior to his work at the Benton Foundation, Dean Kirkman was the founding director of the Labor Institute of Public Affairs, where he worked from 1982 to 1989. He was at the American Film Institute from 1979 to 1982.

As an AU professor in the 1970s, he helped bring the School of Communication into the video age while serving as editor of TeleVisions magazine.

Dean Kirkman has a BA from Columbia College, Columbia University, and MAT from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Bruce Koon

News Director, KQED Public Radio, San Francisco, Calif.

In June 2007, Bruce Koon became the news director for KQED FM, a public radio station in San Francisco.

He had been executive news editor of Knight Ridder Digital, where he oversaw the news operations of Knight Ridder Digital’s network of city guides, including Philly.com, BayArea.com and Miami.com. Knight Ridder Digital was the Internet business unit of Knight Ridder Inc., which was bought by McClatchy in 2006. His national news team was located at bureaus across the country and programmed breaking news throughout the day and most of the evening.

Previously, as managing editor of the Mercury News’ Web site (Mercury Center), he created such popular Web features as SiliconValley.com, an award-winning business technology site.

He is a former president and a founding board member of the Online News Association; a board member of The Daily Californian, the independent student newspaper at the University of California at Berkeley; and former president of the San Francisco chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association.

Koon began his journalism career as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner in 1973. In 1975, he moved to the National Observer, a Dow Jones general interest weekly based in the Washington, D.C. area. He returned to California in 1977 as a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal in the Los Angeles bureau. In 1980, he became a staff reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, and in 1982 he was named business editor of the Oakland Tribune. While at the Tribune, he also worked on Gannett’s USA Today prototype team. He returned to the San Francisco Examiner in 1984, where over the next 11 years he held such positions as business editor, real estate editor and associate editor. As associate editor, he was responsible for new media and special sections.

In 1994, he co-founded the San Francisco Free Press, Internet Edition, an online newspaper that published for two weeks during the city’s newspaper strike.

He has taught journalism at San Francisco State University and guest lectured at the American Press Institute, Poynter Institute, Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism.

Peggy Kuhr

Dean, University of Montana School of Journalism, Missoula, Mont.

Peggy Kuhr was named dean of the University of Montana School of Journalism in May 2007, and is the first woman to hold the position.

She came from the University of Kansas, where she was the Knight Chair on the Press, Leadership and Community for the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications since 2002. Previously, she was managing editor of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., where she spent 16 years.

She started at The Spokesman-Review as a project editor, became city editor, assisting managing editor and then the managing editor for content. She oversaw the news, sports, features and business sections. In 1993, Kuhr and The Spokesman-Review staff were named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in spot news. Kuhr directed 13 days of City Desk coverage of a standoff between white separatists in Idaho and the federal government.

Kuhr has also taught journalism-related courses at Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University. Before working in Spokane, Kuhr worked for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana and for The Hartford Courant in Connecticut. She is a former Michigan Journalism Fellow.

Adam Clayton Powell III

Vice Provost for Globalization, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.

Adam Clayton Powell III has been at USC since 2003, having served as director of the Integrated Media Systems Center at the U.S. National Engineering Research Center for Multimedia in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering before being named vice provost for globalization in June 2007. He is also a visiting professor at the USC Annenberg School and a senior fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

Powell previously worked at Howard University’s WHUT-TV as general manager of the broadcast and cable television channels.

After joining the USC faculty, Powell was asked to provide weekly media reports for WHUT-TV, which ran on Friday and Sunday nights in 2003-2004 and which won the 2004 award for Best Network and Major Market TV Commentary from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Before 2001, Powell served as vice president/technology and programs for the Freedom Forum. In his 15 years at the Freedom Forum, Powell developed and supervised new media conferences and seminars and training programs on Internet- and computer-based media and information technology for journalists, educators, policy makers, and researchers in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

He was also an executive producer at Quincy Jones Entertainment where he produced Jesse Jackson’s weekly television series, and served as vice president for news and information programming at National Public Radio. He was also a manager and producer at CBS News and news director of ABC News’ 24-hour cable television news service.

He has written extensively about technology, media and international issues for a wide range of publications including the New York Times, Wired and USC’s Online Journalism Review. He received the Overseas Press Club Award for international reporting for a series of broadcasts he produced on Iran.

Donna M. Reed

Vice President of News and Multimedia Strategy, Media General, Publishing Division, Richmond, Va.

As vice president of news, Donna Reed leads efforts to improve the quality of Media General’s newspaper journalism and focuses on growing the company’s multimedia initiatives.

Media General’s publishing operations include The Tampa Tribune, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Winston-Salem Journal and 22 other daily newspapers in the Southeast United States.

Previously, she was the managing editor of the Tampa Tribune, where she began her journalism career in 1974.  In 2003, the Tribune was ranked one of the fastest growing newspapers in the country.  Editor & Publisher magazine named it one of the 10 “Newspapers That Do It Right” in its June 2003 edition. 

At the Tribune, Reed was heavily involved in the development and expansion of the zoned sections in the Tribune’s primary market and in the evolution of the Tribune into a fully paginated newspaper. 

In recent years she led the transformation to a team-based newsroom that is immersed in a multimedia journalism environment. She was part of the team that developed the vision for The News Center, a converged news operation that houses The Tampa Tribune, WFLA-TV News Channel 8 and TBO.com, all companies of Media General.

She is a member of the Associated Press Managing Editors board of directors. She has been a reporter, bureau chief, assistant suburban editor, suburban editor, assistant Metro editor, state editor and deputy managing editor. A native of Dayton, Ohio, she earned her Bachelor of Arts (1973) and Master of Arts degrees (1974) from Morehead State University (Kentucky).

Ju-Don Roberts

Managing Editor, WashingtonPost.com

Ju-Don Roberts is responsible for overseeing washingtonpost.com’s 24/7 news desk as well as its live discussion programming and education, religion, regional and hyperlocal coverage. She also helps manage the site’s long-term projects.

In previous roles at washingtonpost.com, she supervised the Arts & Living, Operations, Sports, City Guide, Health, Nation and KidsPost teams.

For the last three years Ms. Roberts has served as chair, co-chair and training leader of the Online News Association’s annual conference. She was recently elected to the organization’s board.

In 2003, Ms. Roberts was awarded a Nieman Fellowship and spent a year studying at Harvard University.

Before joining the Web site in 1999, Ms. Roberts worked as a copy editor and freelance writer for The Washington Post. Before that she was a copy editor at The Charlotte Observer and The Washington Times. In Charlotte, Ms. Roberts ran the newsroom’s year-round internship program and another project for young journalists.

Ms. Roberts studied journalism at Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating magna cum laude. She lives in Woodbridge, Va., with her husband and two young children.

Rose Ann Robertson

Associate Dean for Student & Academic Affairs,
American University School of Communication, Washington, D.C.

Rose Ann Robertson has been at American University since 1993, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in editing and reporting. She helped develop the Interactive Journalism Weekend master’s program and has taught courses in online journalism. Before becoming Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs, she was Director of the Weekend Master of Arts programs in Interactive Journalism and News Media Studies and Director of Writing Programs for the School of Communication.

Professionally, Robertson worked as a reporter and editor for several Illinois newspapers before going to The Milwaukee Journal in 1979. She joined The Associated Press in Chicago in 1983, later transferring to New York where she was a national editor. She was named News Editor for Nebraska before transferring to Washington as a national editor. She has edited and directed major coverage on stories including plane crashes, natural disasters, U.S. military actions, and national and state elections.

A member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Robertson was president of the Washington, D.C., professional chapter for two years. She has done training for reporters and editors at the Voice of America and washingtonpost.com. She also has been a member of the Online News Association.

Jan Schaffer

Executive Director, J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.

Jan Schaffer directs J-Lab, a center at the UMD’s College of Journalism that helps newsrooms, educators and communities use innovative information technologies to develop new ways for people to engage in important public issues.

She is the former executive director of the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, a $14 million, 10-year journalism reform initiative that helped to fund more than 120 journalism pilot projects that sought to involve people better in public life.

Schaffer administers the national Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism and the New Voices initiative, which is funding start-up hyper-local community news projects and the Knight Citizen News Network and J-Learning portals.

A Pulitzer Prize winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer, she brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to her work, including assignments as business editor and as an editor and reporter for the city desk, national desk and business news departments.

As business editor, she directed the reporting and editing of two investigative series that were named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, one on pharmaceutical pricing and one on abuses in the nation’s non-profit sector.

As a federal court reporter, she helped write a series of stories that won freedom for a man wrongly convicted of five murders. The stories led to the civil rights convictions of the Philadelphia homicide detectives involved in the investigation. The articles won several national journalism awards, including the 1978 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service, the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Public Service Award, the Roy W. Howard Medal for Public Service and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel.

Also while covering federal courts, she broke the Philadelphia Abscam story about the FBI sting operation that used agents posing as Arab sheiks. She was sentenced to jail for six months for refusing to reveal her sources; the sentence was stayed on appeal.

She is a former journalism fellow at Stanford University. She has been a regular discussion leader at the American Press Institute. In addition to funding demonstration projects, rewarding innovations and spotlighting best practices, she is involved in teaching, public speaking, writing, and sharing the lessons learned from the centers’ projects.

Peter Levine

Director of CIRCLE
Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service
Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

As director of CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, Peter Levine conducts and funds research on young people’s civic education and participation.

A 1989 Yale graduate, Levine studied philosophy at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving his doctorate in 1992. From 1991 until 1993, he was a research associate at Common Cause, helping to advocate for campaign finance reform and government ethics.

Since 1987, he has worked part-time for the Charles Kettering Foundation, where he is now an associate. In the late 1990s, he was deputy director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal, chaired by Senator Sam Nunn and William Bennett. He is a co-founder of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium and chair of the steering committee of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.

Levine is the author of four books: Nietzsche and the Modern Crisis of the Humanities; Something to Hide (a novel); Living Without Philosophy: On Narrative, Rhetoric, and Morality; and The New Progressive Era: Toward a Fair and Deliberative Democracy. He also co-organized the writing of The Civic Mission of Schools, a report released by Carnegie Corporation of New York and CIRCLE in 2003.

In Prince George’s County, Maryland, Levine is working with high school students to create an “Information Commons.” This is an association devoted to building a state-of-the-art Web site with asset maps, news articles, structured deliberations, and other public goods.

Michele McLellan

Associate, Knight Digital Media Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

Michele McLellan is a longtime journalist who now writes, edits and advises organizations about leadership, culuture change, staff development, strategy and project development. McLellan has a broad range of interests and experience in editing, leadership and management, workplace culture and organizational development, journalism training, ethical decision-making, citizen journalism and innovation in media.

After nearly 20 years as an editor at The Oregonian, she received a Nieman Fellowship (2002) and studied ethics and online learning at Harvard University. From 2003-07, McLellan headed Tomorrow’s Workforce, a $2.5 million project sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation project at Northwestern University that demonstrated the link between strategic newsroom training and a news organization’s ability to adapt and innovate in a changing media marketplace. More recently, McLellan has advised the Knight Foundation and other organizations, including the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, on new initiatives in digital media. She also helps develop leadership programs at Knight Digital Media Center at the University of Southern California and blogs on the center’s Web site at News Leadership 3.0.

McLellan is co-author of “News, Improved: How America’s Newsrooms Are Learning to Change,” and primary author of “The Newspaper Credibility Handbook.”

Rose Ann Robertson

Associate Dean for Student & Academic Affairs,
American University School of Communication, Washington, D.C.

Rose Ann Robertson has been at American University since 1993, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in editing and reporting. She helped develop the Interactive Journalism Weekend master’s program and has taught courses in online journalism. Before becoming Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs, she was Director of the Weekend Master of Arts programs in Interactive Journalism and News Media Studies and Director of Writing Programs for the School of Communication.

Professionally, Robertson worked as a reporter and editor for several Illinois newspapers before going to The Milwaukee Journal in 1979. She joined The Associated Press in Chicago in 1983, later transferring to New York where she was a national editor. She was named News Editor for Nebraska before transferring to Washington as a national editor. She has edited and directed major coverage on stories including plane crashes, natural disasters, U.S. military actions, and national and state elections.

A member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Robertson was president of the Washington, D.C., professional chapter for two years. She has done training for reporters and editors at the Voice of America and washingtonpost.com. She also has been a member of the Online News Association.

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American University School of CommunicationJohn S. and James L. Knight FoundationJ-LabNew Voices is an initiative of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism. J-LabTM is an incubator for innovative, participatory news experiments and is a center of American University's School of Communication in Washington, D.C.
New Voices is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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