Executive Board


The Wallace House Executive Board is an advisory body that provides strategic support to help shape and facilitate the programmatic vision of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists, the Livingston Awards and the Wallace House Presents event series. The Executive Board, comprised of innovators and leaders in journalism and academia, will play an active role in leading Wallace House through a period of growth and expanded vision to support the careers of journalists and uphold the role of a free press in a functional democracy.

Daniel Alarcón

Author, co-founder and executive producer, Radio Ambulante

Daniel Alarcón is co-founder and executive producer of Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language podcast distributed by NPR, that tells Latin American stories from anywhere Spanish is spoken.

He is author of “The King is Always Above the People,” which was longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction and “At Night We Walk in Circles,” a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award, as well as the story collection “War by Candlelight,” the novel “Lost City Radio,” and the graphic novel “City of Clowns.”

His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, n+1 and Harper’s. He was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40,” the publication’s list of fiction writers worth watching.

Alarcón is an assistant professor of broadcast journalism at Columbia University School of Journalism.

Kainaz Amaria

Visuals editor, Vox

Kainaz Amaria is the visuals editor for Vox, where she runs an interdisciplinary team specializing in graphics, interactives, photography, data and design. Previously, she was an editor on NPR’s visual team.

Before all the desk jobs, she was a freelance photojournalist based in Mumbai, India. Her clients included The New York Times, Vogue India, and Reuters. Prior to that, she worked for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.

In 2010, she was a Fulbright Scholar and completed a short film on the Parsi Zoroastrian community in Mumbai.

Michael S. Barr

Dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Michael S. Barr is the Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, and the Faculty Director of the Center on Finance, Law, and Policy at the University of Michigan. He is also a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and, previously, at the Brookings Institution.

Barr served under President Obama from 2009 to 2010 as the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, and was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. In the Clinton Administration, Barr served as Special Advisor to President William J. Clinton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Community Development Policy, Special Assistant to the Treasury Secretary, and Special Advisor and Counselor on the Policy Planning Staff at the State Department. Before joining the Clinton Administration, Barr served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter.

He received his J.D. from Yale Law School; a master’s degree in international relations from Magdalen College, Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar; and a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, with honors in history, from Yale University.

Liz Barry

Liz Barry

Special counsel to the president, University of Michigan

As Special Counsel, Liz Barry serves as advisor and strategic partner to the president of the University of Michigan. She oversees a variety of ongoing presidential initiatives as well as getting involved in high priority projects and issues as they arise. During her tenure in the President’s office, Barry has had significant involvement with the 2014 presidential transition; the University’s Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; the Biosciences Initiative and the University’s 2017 Bicentennial.

Prior to joining the office in August 2013, Barry served for 12 years as the managing director of the Life Sciences Institute working closely with the director and faculty on operational and strategic matters. She created and taught an interdisciplinary graduate course based in the Ross School entitled, "The Business of Biology.”

Barry served as the University’s Interim Co-General Counsel and then Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel from 1997 to 2002 taking the lead in-house role on the University’s defense of its affirmative action policies. Prior to coming to Michigan, she served as University Attorney at Harvard and was in private practice at Ropes & Gray in Boston.

Alex Blumberg

CEO and cofounder, Gimlet Media

Alex Blumberg is the CEO and cofounder of Gimlet Media, the media company behind the podcasts “StartUp,” “Reply All,” “Homecoming,” and more. An award-winning radio journalist, his work has won every major broadcast journalism prize, including the Polk, the duPont-Columbia, and the Peabody.

Prior to founding Gimlet, Blumberg worked for years in public radio, most notably for “Planet Money,” which he co-founded at NPR, and “This American Life.”

Blumberg has created radio documentaries covering such diverse topics as life aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier, teenage Steve Forbes supporters, and prisoners staging a production of Hamlet. His award-winning documentary on the housing crisis, “The Giant Pool of Money,” was named one of the last decade’s top ten works of journalism by the Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism and New York University.

Ferhat Boratav

Lecturer, Bilgi University, Istanbul

Ferhat Boratav is a journalist with CNN Türk and teaches in the Department of Communications at Istanbul Bilgi University. His roles at CNN Türk have included editor-in-chief for the news division and liaison with CNN International’s newsrooms in Atlanta and London. Before joining CNN in 1999, he worked in print, radio and presentation at BBC World Service.

Boratav is an executive board member of the Open Society Foundation in Turkey and a founding member of the 65+ Elder Rights Association.

Born in Istanbul, Boratav studied history at Bogazici University, a major research university in Istanbul and the first American higher education institution founded outside the United States. He received an M.A. in contemporary history from Université de Grenoble in France.

Jim Burnstein

Jim Burnstein

Screenwriter, professor and director of screenwriting program, University of Michigan

Jim Burnstein is a screenwriter, professor and director of the screenwriting program at the University of Michigan. He managed to beat the odds and make it as a successful Hollywood screenwriter without moving from his home in Plymouth, Michigan. Burnstein’s screen credits include “Renaissance Man,” the 1994 comedy directed by Penny Marshall and starring Danny DeVito; “D3: The Mighty Ducks” (1996-1997); “Ruffian,” the 2007 drama starring Sam Shepard co-written with Garrett Schiff of Los Angeles for ABC and ESPN; and “Love and Honor” (2013) starring Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer, also written with Schiff.

In 1995 Burnstein returned to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, to build one of America’s top undergraduate screenwriting programs, in the department of Screen Arts & Cultures. In 2015 Burnstein was named the Russell Fraser Collegiate Lecturer.

Over the past twenty years, Burnstein has welcomed dozens of Knight-Wallace Fellows to screenwriting classes. The Fellows proved to be a great asset to the screenwriting program as they shared storytelling experiences and wisdom with their undergraduate classmates.

Tabbye Chavous

Director, National Center for Institutional Diversity and associate vice president for research, University of Michigan

Tabbye Chavous is the director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and associate vice president for research at the University of Michigan.

NCID's mission is to produce, catalyze the production of, and elevate and disseminate diversity scholarship, or scholarship that furthers our understandings of historical and contemporary social issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As associate vice president for research, Chavous supports the research efforts of faculty in the social sciences and humanities and the arts and develops and coordinates initiatives to catalyze interdisciplinary research collaborations for scholarly and public impact.

Along with her administrative roles, Chavous has been a faculty member at the university since 1998 and currently is a professor of psychology and education. Her research focuses on social identity development among ethnic minority adolescents and young adults in the context of education and how educational settings shape student identity, motivation, and achievement. She is also a co-director and co-principal investigator in the U-M's Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context, which focuses on conducting research and providing training for students and early career scholars around theory and methods for studying developmental and adjustment processes among diverse Black youth, families, and communities.

Anne Curzan

Anne Curzan

Dean, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan

Anne Curzan is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English and dean for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. She also holds faculty appointments in the department of Linguistics and the School of Education. As dean of Literature, Science, and the Arts, she is committed to advancing the college as the leading model for the power of a liberal arts education within a top-ranked research university.

Curzan received the university's Henry Russel Award for outstanding research and teaching in 2007, as well as the Faculty Recognition Award in 2009 and the 2012 John Dewey Award for undergraduate teaching. She created the audio/video course “Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins.,” and has published multiple books and dozens of articles.

Curzan can be found talking about language on the blog “Lingua Franca” for the Chronicle of Higher Education and on the segment “That’s What They Say” on local NPR station Michigan Radio.

Several Knight-Wallace Fellows have taken her graduate seminar on “History of English” over the years, and she has enjoyed the invitation to participate in Wallace House seminars to share a linguist’s perspective on grammar and style rules.

Louise Kiernan

Editor-in-chief, ProPublica Illinois

Louise Kiernan is editor-in-chief of ProPublica Illinois, the first regional operation of ProPublica. She comes to ProPublica from Northwestern University, where she was an associate professor of journalism, focusing on investigative and narrative reporting, and the leader of the program’s social justice and investigative journalism specialization. Prior to that, she worked for the Chicago Tribune for 18 years, serving as the newspaper’s enterprise editor, writing coach, urban affairs team editor and a special projects team editor and reporter, among other roles.

Kiernan was the lead writer on a project that won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting and has also been a Pulitzer finalist. She was a 2005 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, has chaired two Pulitzer Prize juries, for investigative and explanatory reporting.

Margaret Low

CEO and general manager, WBUR, NPR (Boston)

Margaret Low is the chief executive and general manager of WBUR, Boston's NPR affiliate station. Previously she was vice president of The Atlantic and president of AtlanticLIVE. She oversaw The Atlantic‘s events division that produces more than one hundred editorial events a year across the country and around the world. Before joining The Atlantic, she was NPR’s Senior Vice President for News where she led that organization’s award-winning news division and the work of nearly 400 journalists.

Low served 11 years as NPR’s Vice President for Programming where she developed the live events strategy for the hit show “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” and presided over all program acquisitions including “Car Talk” and “Fresh Air.”

Low is a graduate of the University of Michigan and serves on the board of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Kevin Merida

Editor-in-chief, The Undefeated, and senior vice president, ESPN

Kevin Merida is a senior vice president at ESPN and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, a digital platform that mines the intersections of race, sports and culture. He also oversees investigative and enterprise journalism at ESPN, including the TV shows “Outside the Lines” and “E:60.”

Before joining ESPN in November 2015, Merida spent 22 years at The Washington Post as a congressional correspondent, national political reporter, longform feature writer, magazine columnist and senior editor. He led the national staff for four years during the Obama presidency, and was managing editor overseeing news and features coverage for three years. During his stint as managing editor, The Post won four Pulitzer Prizes and embarked on a digital transformation that made it one of the fastest growing news organizations in the country.

Merida is the co-author of "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas" and "Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs." He is also the editor of "Being a Black Man: At the Corner of Progress and Peril," an anthology based on an award-winning Washington Post series.

Merida is on the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education’s Board of Directors, and on the Board of Trustees for the Kaiser Family Foundation and Boston University, his alma mater.

Paul Resnick

Professor and Associate Dean for Research, School of Information, University of Michigan

Paul Resnick is the Michael D. Cohen Collegiate Professor of Information and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Michigan School of Information.

Resnick is a pioneer in the fields of recommender systems and reputation systems. He helped develop the GroupLens system, which was awarded the ACM Software Systems Award in 2010. His articles have appeared in Scientific American, Wired, Communications of the ACM, The American Economic Review, Management Science and elsewhere.

In 2012, he co-authored the MIT Press book, “Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-based Social Design,” with Robert Kraut.

In 2018, Resnick started the Center for Social Media Responsibility, which encourages and helps social media platforms to meet their public responsibilities.

Ann Silvio

Correspondent, "60 Minutes Overtime" and managing editor, 60 Minutes online

Ann Silvio is the correspondent of 60 Minutes' digital companion program "60 Minutes Overtime" and managing editor of 60 Minutes online. She joined the broadcast in 2010 to become the senior producer in charge of original online content and to lead the team launching “Overtime,” the most successful digital companion in broadcast news.

Before joining 60 Minutes, Silvio spent more than a decade in print journalism, working at magazines and newspapers, including The Boston Globe, where she helped spearhead its pioneering multimedia efforts. While at The Globe, she produced, shot, and edited a multimedia documentary about the life of Ted Kennedy, which received an Emmy award and the American Society of News Editors’ Jesse Laventhol Prize for Online Storytelling.

Today, Silvio directs the digital staff and oversees the editorial programming for 60 Minutes' websites. She can be found online, at 60minutesovertime.com, hosting the weekly program that features her interviews with the best of "60 Minutes," including Morley Safer, Bob Simon, Steve Kroft, Lesley Stahl, Scott Pelley, Oprah Winfrey, Anderson Cooper, Jeff Fager, Wynton Marsalis and others. Her interviews are known for providing deeper background and analysis on the stories of "60 Minutes."

A native of Detroit, Silvio is an alumnus of the University of Michigan and resides with her family in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Dug Song

Dug Song

Vice president and general manager, Duo Security

Dug Song is vice president and general manager of Duo Security. An innovator and leading voice in cybersecurity, Song founded the Ann Arbor based company, Duo Security, in 2010. Duo now protects the data and information of more than 14,000 organizations. Last year, Cisco bought the company for $2.35 billion, the largest acquisition ever for a Michigan-based software company.