A graphic showing the headshots of the six people who were elected or reelected to the 2024-25 Board of Directors.

Digital news leaders Ethar El-Katatney and Ryan Kellett elected to ONA’s Board of Directors

Four incumbents re-elected: Charo Henríquez, Versha Sharma, Graham Watson-Ringo, Elana Zak

By on September 27, 2023

Members of the Online News Association (ONA) have elected two new leaders — Ethar El-Katatney, News Product Strategy Lead for the Americas at Bloomberg, and Ryan Kellett, Vice President, Audience, at Axios Media — and re-elected four incumbents to the 2024-25 Board of Directors. They will begin their two-year terms Jan. 1, 2024.

Ethar El-Katatney’s journalism career has involved almost every type of news medium and platform as she has led teams to deliver international news, feature stories and investigations. Before focusing on news product strategy at Bloomberg, Ethar was the Young Audiences Editor at The Wall Street Journal, leading a multi-disciplinary team focused on appealing to readers in their 20s, and previously served as executive producer of the AJ+ newsroom, which she helped to pilot, launch and lead. Ethar is joining the ONA board with a clear commitment: to help ensure a future where “reporters are equipped with the training and resources they need to serve their audiences, where newsrooms build relationships with and are reflective of the communities they serve, and where business models allow us to make the journalism that needs to be public knowledge accessible and free.”

Ryan Kellett brings impressive experience in audience engagement and growth strategies. At Axios, he is focused on organic growth across web, app and distributed channels. Previously, he significantly expanded The Washington Post’s global online readership and the newsroom’s audience functions, including investments in social media, SEO, live journalism, newsletters, subscriptions, young audiences and editorial analytics. Ryan understands the need for collective, cross-functional work to address the many challenges facing journalism. In his upcoming role as board member, he is especially interested in encouraging the ONA community to collaborate and build on each other’s work to meet the rapid changes in digital technologies.

Four board members were re-elected to continue their service:

The election winners will join board members who are serving their current terms through December 2024:
  • Ashley Alvarado, Vice President of Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives,  Southern California Public Radio
  • Elizabeth Gabriel, Education Reporter, WFYI (serving as ONA Board Early Career Officer)
  • Imaeyen Ibanga, Presenter, AJ+
  • Andrew Fitzgerald, Chief Digital Content Officer, Hearst Television
  • Rodney Gibbs, Senior Director, Strategy and Innovation, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Rubina Madan Fillion, Director of Strategy, The New York Times Opinion
  • Niketa Patel, Head of the Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
  • Kristen Reed, Content Director, TEGNA
  • David Smydra, Vice President, Product, POLITICO (will serve as Immediate Past President)

The board will appoint two additional seats by the end of the year to meet specific organizational goals.

This year’s slate of 15 candidates were selected by the ONA’s Governance Committee from a pool of nominations submitted by ONA members. All active members as of Aug. 10 were eligible to cast ballots; 18.01% of eligible members participated. Learn more about ONA’s board election process.