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

National Visual Enterprise Editor, The Washington Post

Kainaz Amaria is the national visual enterprise editor at The Washington Post, where she oversees immersive, visual-first stories on both quick-turn news and longer-term projects. Previously, she was the first-ever visuals editor for Vox and 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. Before 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.

Rebecca Blumenstein

Rebecca Blumenstein

Deputy Managing Editor, The New York Times

Rebecca Blumenstein is deputy managing editor of The New York Times, playing a key role as head of Global Talent and Operations in charge of hiring, retention, career development and efforts to improve culture and diversity. As deputy editor from February 2021 to March 2022, she led The Times' effort to relocate and resettle more than 200 current and former Afghan colleagues and their families following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021.

She worked previously at The Wall Street Journal, where she led a China-based team that won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she was editor-in-chief of the Michigan Daily.

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.

Tabbye Chavous

Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, University of Michigan

Dr. Tabbye Chavous is the vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at the University of Michigan. She was previously the director of the university's National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID).

Before her directorship of NCID, she served as chair of the Combined Program in Education & Psychology (CPEP) and as associate dean of academic programs and initiatives within the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan. She is also a co-founder, co-director, and principal investigator in U-M's Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context (CSBYC), 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

Along with her administrative roles, Chavous has been a faculty member at the university since 1998. 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.

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

Chief Strategy Officer, Cisco Security

Dug Song is Chief Strategy Officer for Cisco Security. An innovator and leading voice in cybersecurity, Song founded Duo Security in 2010. Based in Ann Arbor, Duo now protects the data and information of more than 14,000 organizations. In 2018, Cisco bought the company for $2.35 billion, the largest acquisition ever for a Michigan-based software company.

Song is also a board member of Ann Arbor-based security startup Censys, a founding member of A2NewTech and an active participant in Tech Brewery, A2SkatePark, and the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ann Arbor. He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Michigan.

Celeste Watkins-Hayes

Celeste Watkins-Hayes

Interim Dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Dr. Celeste Watkins-Hayes is the interim dean of the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and founding director of the school's Center for Racial Justice. She is also the Jean E. Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, professor of sociology, and an Anti-Racism Collaborative research and community impact fellow.

She is an internationally-recognized scholar and expert widely credited for her research at the intersection of inequality, public policy, and institutions, with a special focus on urban poverty and race, class, and gender studies. Watkins-Hayes has published two books, numerous articles in journals and edited volumes, and pieces in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Chicago Magazine. She has been widely quoted in the popular press as a national expert on social inequality, HIV/AIDS, and societal safety nets.

Watkins-Hayes holds a Ph.D. and MA in sociology from Harvard University and a BA from Spelman College, where she graduated summa cum laude.