Eleven named to the INN Emerging Leaders Council 2019

LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2019 — Eleven mid-career professionals from nonprofit newsrooms have been selected for the second INN Emerging Leaders Council, a peer group nominated by their organizations for their potential to lead the growing nonprofit news sector.

Council members meet for a year to work on news industry challenges using design thinking, expand their support and mentorship networks, and develop professional skills in product development, business and leadership. This is the second council formed since the program began in 2017.

“There are growing opportunities and needs for a new generation of news leaders, and the Emerging Leaders Council creates a network supporting top talent for the field,” said Sue Cross, INN’s executive director and CEO. This year's applicant pool and cohort are the most diverse we’ve seen — racially, ethnically, and also by the type of news outlet, reflecting the growth and variety in public service journalism.”

The Emerging Leaders Council is funded by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation as part of a broader INN initiative to build business, strategy and leadership skills in nonprofit news organizations.

The 2019 council members are:

  • Thomas Brennan, Founder, The War Horse
  • Brian Calvert, Editor-in-Chief, High Country News
  • Candice Fortman, Chief of Engagement and Operations, Outlier Media
  • Lucas Grindley, Executive Director, Next City
  • Andrea Faye Hart, Co-Founder and Director of Community Engagement, City Bureau
  • Brian Hiatt, Marketing and Membership Director, Mother Jones
  • Kay Lima, Director, INN Labs
  • Byrhonda Lyons, Video Journalist, CALmatters
  • Asraa Mustufa, Digital Editor, The Chicago Reporter
  • Akoto Ofori-Atta, Managing Editor, The Trace
  • Tasneem Raja, Executive Editor, The Tyler Loop

This year’s program emphasizes product development and design-thinking skills. Participants will each work on a project that benefits their own organization and report on outcomes that may be useful to other newsrooms. Tran Ha of Tiny Collaborative, LLC will lead the design thinking training program. The group also will work together on common leadership challenges.

Ebony Reed will serve as the peer mentor for the cohort. Reed is the director of innovation and the RJI Futures Lab, a team of digital experts who partner with news companies to create programs, prototypes and tools to help journalists.

The 2019 council members were selected by a committee of members and media executives: Cara Erickson, president of NewCoordinates media recruitment; Jabari Gray, executive director of YR Media; Julianne Markow, publisher of Voice of San Diego; and Jason Alcorn, vice president of operations for the American Journalism Project and peer leader of the first Emerging Leaders cohort.

The 2019 and 2017 councils will meet together at INN Days in June, further expanding the network of rising nonprofit news leaders.

For more information, contact Sue Cross at sue@inn.org, or for regular updates on INN programs and nonprofit news, sign up for the INNovation newsletter.

Full council bios can be found on our Emerging Leaders Council page.