Poynter, ONA Announce 2016 Class for Women's Leadership Academy

Transformative Seminar to Focus on Critical Skills for Next Generation of Digital Media Leaders

Mar 10, 2016, 11:01 ET from The Poynter Institute

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Poynter Institute and Online News Association (ONA) are pleased to announce the 2016 class of women leaders selected for the tuition-free ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media.

The participants, chosen from a pool of more than 400 applicants, represent need and diversity across ethnicity, geography, technology platforms, organization size and skill sets. Each class member is an emerging leader in digital media who has demonstrated an aptitude and potential for leadership through current projects and references.

"It's a privilege to advance the cause of women leaders in media, because journalism will be better for it," said Kelly McBride, Poynter's vice president for academic programs. "Poynter has always promoted best practices of leadership as a critical component of media organizations. In doing this work, we've encountered many examples of women providing the type of transformational leadership that helped a company thrive. I have no doubt that we are making newsrooms better by helping women break into the ranks of executive leadership." 

"Once again, it was overwhelming to see the quantity and quality of talent emerging from newsrooms across the U.S.," said Jane McDonnell, ONA executive director. "Our hope is that by combining experienced women executives, candid conversations and a growing cohort, there will be a built-in support system for a diverse field of leaders in digital journalism."

This year's class includes:

  • Kelly Alfieri, Executive Director, Special Editorial Projects, The New York Times
  • Johanna Barr, Senior Editor, The Huffington Post
  • Amy Elliott Bragg, Content Director, Issue Media Group
  • Delaney Chambers, Product Manager, The Atlantic
  • Emily Chow, Assignment Editor, Story Team, The Washington Post
  • Kimberly Chua, Web Producer, San Francisco Chronicle
  • Jessica Parker Gilbert, Digital Creative Director, The McClatchy Company
  • Tamerra Griffin, Reporter, BuzzFeed News
  • Carolina Guerrero, Executive Director, Radio Ambulante
  • Ngan Hoang, Front-End Designer, Vox Media, Inc.
  • Dhiya Kuriakose, Senior Strategist for Emerging Media, NowThis
  • Nishat Kurwa, Senior Producer, Digital, Marketplace
  • Jenny Lawton, Executive Producer, "Studio 360," WNYC, Public Radio International
  • Yvonne Leow, Senior Snapchat Editor, Vox.com
  • Stephanie Pedersen, Senior Editor, Digital, Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer
  • Samantha Ragland, Digital Content Strategist, The Palm Beach Post
  • Rachel Rodriguez, Social Media Producer, CNN International
  • Rachel Rohr, Digital and Social Media Producer, NPR and WBUR's Here & Now
  • Rachel Schallom, Interactive Designer, Fusion
  • Swati G. Sharma, Foreign Digital Editor, The Washington Post
  • Gabby Sims, Digital Content Director, KLTV, Raycom Media
  • Meghan Sims, Director of Video Product and Operations, The McClatchy Company
  • Erin Skarda, Digital Editor, 5280 Magazine
  • Tasha Stewart, Entertainment Editor, WCPO Digital
  • Leezel Tanglao, Senior Multiplatform Editor, CNNMoney
  • Julie Westfall, Real-Time News Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Veralyn Williams, Managing Editor, Brooklyn Deep
  • Katie Zhu, Product Manager and Engineer, Medium

Participants will spend May 1-6 together at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. The week will include sessions from women leaders in journalism, including Amy O'Leary, editorial director of Upworthy, Jennifer Brandel, founder and CEO of Hearken, and Charo Henriquez, executive digital editor for People en Español. Members of the 2015 academy, Kari Cobham, senior manager of digital content for Cox Media Group, Meghann Farnsworth, managing director of Reveal, Masuma Ahuja, social apps producer for CNN Digital, and Elite Truong, product manager, partner platforms at Vox Media, Inc., will return as guest faculty in 2016. Other faculty include Katie Hawkins-Gaar, digital innovation faculty at Poynter, Butch Ward, senior faculty at Poynter, Jane McDonnell, executive director for the Online News Association, and Will Neville-Rehbehn, director of talent brand and marketing, Prudential Financial.

The 2016 ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media is made possible through the generous support of the Ford Foundation, McClatchy Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Google and Craig Newmark, founder, craigslist and craigconnects.

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world's largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute's website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world's top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

About the Online News Association
The Online News Association is the world's largest association of digital journalists. ONA's mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. Membership includes journalists, technologists, executives, academics and students who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.


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