Executive Advisory Board


The Wallace House Executive Advisory Board 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 advisory board, comprised of innovators and leaders in journalism and academia, plays an active role in leading Wallace House as we grow and expand our 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 a 2021 MacArthur Fellow.

Alarcón 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.

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

Editorial director and co-founder, Gimlet Media

Alex Blumberg is the editorial director 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 TV journalist and communications expert. He studied history at the Boğaziçi University. He worked in various media organisations. He joined CNN TÜRK as th editor-in-chief, shortly before its launch in 1999 where he remained until 2018. There he was responsible for the editorial decisions, program development, talent recruitment, operational budget and editorial relations with CNN International. In 2012, he took a leadership role in developing the editorial guidelines of the Dogan Media, and wrote the guidebook of the Dogan TV group. Since 1997, Boratav has also been teaching university courses on broadcast news, global journalism and news writing. He served as a Board member and a trustee of the Open Society Foundation Turkey, for more than a decade until its closure in 2019. He is a founding member of three NGOs: YANINDAYIZ (We STAND BY the Women), 65+ Elder Rights Association, and Friends of Aşıklı Höyük, an association to support scientific and cultural work on the oldest known human settlement in Central Anatolia. In his voluntary work for these associations he focuses on communication strategies and tools, and on developing projects. He organized the field trips of the Knight-Wallace Fellows to Turkey for more than ten years.

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 Film, Television, and Media. In 2018 Burnstein was promoted from his lecturer’s position to full Professor. Over the past twenty-five years, Burnstein has welcomed dozens of Knight-Wallace Fellows to take 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

Dr. Tabbye Chavous is the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Director of the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), and a Professor of Education and Professor of Psychology 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

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

Anne Curzan is the dean of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), the Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature, Linguistics, and Education, and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. From 2012-2016 she served as the faculty athletics representative for the University of Michigan, and from 2015-2019 she was associate dean for the humanities in LSA. Her research focuses on the history of the English language, attitudes about language change, language and gender, and pedagogy. Professor Curzan has received university awards for outstanding research and undergraduate teaching, including the Henry Russel Award and the John Dewey Award. She has published multiple books and dozens of articles; her most recent books include Fixing English: Prescriptivism and Language History (2014) and the third edition of the co-authored textbook How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction (2012). She has also created the audio/video courses “Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins” and “English Grammar Boot Camp” for Great Courses. Professor Curzan wrote for six years for the blog Lingua Franca for the Chronicle of Higher Education and is the featured expert on the segment "That's What They Say" on local NPR affiliate Michigan Radio.

Louise Kiernan

Director of Strategic Initiatives and Professor, Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University

Louise Kiernan is the director of strategic initiatives and a professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she has also led the school's investigative and social justice journalism specialization and taught investigative, narrative and public affairs reporting. From 2017 to 2021, she launched and ran the first regional office of ProPublica, the national non-profit investigative newsroom, and oversaw the Chicago-based operation's expansion throughout the Midwest. For 18 years, she worked at the Chicago Tribune, 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, WBUR, NPR (Boston)

Margaret Low is the chief executive officer of WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, which serves over a million people in the greater Boston area. In addition to its award-winning local news coverage — on air, online, on demand and on stage — the station produces nationally syndicated programs that reach another seven million people each week.

Before joining WBUR in January 2020, Low was president of AtlanticLIVE, The Atlantic’s events division, which during her tenure produced more than 100 conferences a year across the country. Low joined The Atlantic in the fall of 2014 and in a short time transformed the events business into a live journalism juggernaut that set the standard for the news industry.

Prior to The Atlantic, Low enjoyed a storied career at NPR, spanning decades. She first walked through the doors as an overnight production assistant on "Morning Edition" and rose through the ranks to become senior vice president for news, NPR’s top editorial job. In that role, she oversaw the work of some 400 journalists worldwide and coverage of major news events from The Arab Spring and wars in Syria and Libya to the reelection of Barack Obama and the Boston Marathon bombing. She opened new foreign bureaus, launched new programs, developed new beats and led the digital transformation of the newsroom, steering the audio strategy for digital platforms and quickening the response to breaking news. During her tenure, NPR earned some of the most prestigious honors in journalism, including multiple Peabody awards, duPont-Columbia Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Low is vice-chair of the board of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In 2017, she was the commencement speaker for the School of Communications at her alma mater, the University of Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Kevin Merida

Executive Editor, Los Angeles Times

Kevin Merida is the Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Times. Prior to being named its top editor in May 2021, he was a senior vice president at ESPN and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated. He also oversaw 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

Associate Professor of Journalism, Brandeis University

Ann Silvio is an associate professor of journalism at Brandeis University. She was 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.

At 60 Minutes, Silvio directed the digital staff and oversaw the editorial programming for the program's websites. She hosted the weekly program that featured 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.