ONA Board of Directors elects new Secretary, Treasurer

Niketa Patel and Andrew Fitzgerald assume leadership roles

By on February 1, 2023

The Online News Association is pleased to announce two officers are joining the executive committee of the board of directors: Niketa Patel, Secretary, and Andrew Fitzgerald, Treasurer.

The Board of Directors voted on these positions at the Jan. 26-27 meeting, and officers assumed their roles immediately. 

David Smydra, President, and Charo Henríquez, Vice President, have begun serving the second year of their two-year terms. The Treasurer and Secretary will serve one-year terms.

David Smydra, President, has focused his career on bridging gaps between editorial quality, product, audience development and algorithmic design. He was most recently a Senior Curation Lead at Twitter, where he oversaw design and strategic initiatives related to human-in-the-loop machine learning systems. David joined the ONA board in 2014 and is the longest serving member among the 2022-23 directors. His many contributions to ONA including serving as co-chair of the ONA15 conference, chair of the Online Journalism Awards from 2016–2018, Board Treasurer from 2018-2019 and most recently Board Vice President from 2020-2021.

Charo Henríquez, Vice President, is the Editor, Newsroom Development and Support at The New York Times, leading a team focused on culture change in the newsroom. Charo is a strong advocate for inclusion of people from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in media leadership. As a longtime ONA member, she frequently contributes expertise and inspiration to ONA’s programs and events, including as a speaker and mentor for the Women’s Leadership Accelerator since 2017. Charo joined the ONA board in 2018 and served as Secretary in 2021.

Niketa Patel, Secretary, is the Senior Director of Executive Leadership Programs at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Immediately before taking that position in 2022, Niketa oversaw editorial partnerships at The 19th as Senior Director of Partnerships and Platforms with a focus on republishing, co-publishing, collaborations, events and more. Previously, Niketa oversaw Print and Digital News Partnerships in the U.S. for Twitter. Niketa was elected to the board in January 2019, and this is her first officer role.

Andrew Fitzgerald, Treasurer, is the SVP of Streaming Video Services at Hearst Television, working to bring local news and original, local programming to streaming audiences across the US via the Very Local streaming app. Fitzgerald joined Hearst Television in 2017 in the newly created position of chief digital content officer. Fitzgerald previously served for more than five years at Twitter, in a variety of roles including as the company’s Director of Curation where he built and oversaw the global curation teams responsible for Moments. Andrew is in his first term as an ONA board member.

Learn more about the Board of Directors

The Online News Association was founded in 1999 as a forum for digital news pioneers to collaborate on common challenges and encourage the highest journalistic standards. Become an ONA member or make a donation to sustain our mission to inspire and support innovation and excellence in digital journalism.

To learn about the latest training opportunities and resources from ONA, subscribe to the ONA Weekly newsletter and follow us on Twitter @ONA.

To explore partnerships, promotional opportunities and other ways to invest in ONA’s programs and events, contact Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Jessica Strelitz at jessica@journalists.org.

Diana López

Diana López

Diana is responsible for coordinating programs, resources, volunteers and community initiatives at the Online News Association.