ONA, Poynter Announce First Class of 25 for Women's Leadership Academy

By on March 10, 2015

WASHINGTON DC — The Online News Association (ONA) and The Poynter Institute are pleased to announce the premiere class of 25 women leaders selected for the tuition-free ONA-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media.

The participants were chosen from a pool of just under 500 applicants, screened for potential, need and diversity across ethnicity, age, geography, technology platforms and skill sets.

“We congratulate the talented women who will make up and contribute to this incredible first cohort,” said Jane McDonnell, ONA Executive Director. “Because of the number and quality of the applicants, we’re already planning another session that will focus on promising emerging leaders and their specific needs.”

Members of the first Academy are:

Masuma Ahuja, National Digital Editor, The Washington Post
Kainaz Amaria, Supervising Editor, NPR Visuals, NPR
Heather Battaglia, Software Engineer, Northwestern University Knight Lab
Libby Bawcombe, Digital Design Director, The Atlantic
Kristina Budelis, Multimedia Producer and Freelancer
Megan Chan, Director of Digital Product, Politico
Kari Cobham, Social Media Digital Analyst, Cox Media Group
Meghann Farnsworth, Director of Distribution/Engagement, The Center for Investigative Reporting
Melisa Goh, Senior Home Page Editor, CNN, cnn.com
Geneen Harston, Director of World/National News, Rivet News Radio
Imaeyen Ibanga, Video Producer, NBC News
Meagan Kelleher, Director of Digital Content, Tribune Broadcasting
Christina Kline, Deputy Mobile Editor, The Wall Street Journal
Amanda Krauss, Director of Technology, The Texas Tribune
Sarah Marshall, Social Media Editor EMEA, The Wall Street Journal
Rebekah Monson, Co-Founder, WhereBy.Us / The New Tropic
Holly Moore, Managing Editor, USA TODAY
Nuria Net, Editor, Emerging Arts & Special Projects, Fusion
Tracie Powell, Founder, All Digitocracy
Shadi Rahimi, Deputy Producer, Al Jazeera/AJ+
Mariana Santos, Director of Interactive and Animation, Fusion
Ruth Spencer, Managing Editor, Guardian US
Almudena Toral, Visual Journalist
Elite Truong, Support Manager, Vox Media
Mandy Velez, Lead Editor, A+ (aplus.com)

“This was an amazing and intense process,” said Kelly McBride, Poynter’s Vice President of Academic Programs. “Amazing because we discovered so many journalists doing incredible work. Intense, because there were so many well-qualified women craving leadership training. We knew there was demand for this, but now we see how significant that demand is.”

The seminar, to be held April 12-17 at Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Fla., will help women gain and polish the skills and knowledge needed to rise to the highest levels of media leadership. The classes will be structured to encourage open, candid discussion and networking, and participants will walk away with not only strong skills but with a built-in support system for the future.

Sessions will be led by prominent women leaders in the startup, tech, media and academic fields, and faculty will include S. Mitra Kalita, current Executive Editor (at large) for Quartz and Adjunct Faculty at Poynter; Liz Heron, Facebook’s Manager of News Partnerships; LaToya Drake, Marketing Manager/Media Outreach for Google and Kelly McBride.

The Women’s Leadership Academy is made possible through the generous support of the Ford Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Google; the craigslist Charitable Fund; and the McClatchy Foundation, which will also provide seed funding for up to three additional academies. Poynter and ONA will jointly host the second academy in the Spring of 2016.

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.

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 300,000 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.

Jane McDonnell

Jane McDonnell

As executive director, Jane oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, working closely with the Board of Directors. Her purview includes membership, partnerships, global community outreach, budgeting and revenue generation, fundraising and development, the Online Journalism Awards, and providing vision for ONA’s state-of-the-art annual conference.