All ONA committees and advisory boards, chaired and run by Board members and other community leaders, work with the ONA Executive Director and staff to focus on issues of importance to digital journalists.

Awards and Recognition Committee 

The Awards and Recognition Committee is responsible for highlighting innovation and excellence in journalism through our Online Journalism Awards and individual award recognition programs, including the Rich J. award and the James Foley Award. The committee oversees the entry and judging processes and rules governing the awards.


  • Niketa Patel, Chair
  • Versha Sharma, Vice Chair
  • Aiyana Ishmael, Member
  • Susan Gonzalez, Member

Staff Liaison 

  • Hollie Schultz, Lead 

Governance Committee

The Governance Committee is responsible for ongoing review and recommendations to enhance the quality and future viability of the board of directors. The work of the committee revolves around the following five major areas: board roles and responsibilities, board composition, board knowledge, board effectiveness, and board leadership. The governance committee also oversees the annual elections. 


  • Charo Henríquez, Chair
  • Rubina Fillion, Vice-chair
  • Anita Li, Member
  • Benet Wilson, Member/Advisor

Staff Liaison

  • Diana Lopez, Lead
  • Meghan Murphy, 2nd Lead   

Program Evaluation Committee

The Program Evaluation Committee is responsible for annually working with ONA staff to audit program goals, measurement, impact and outcomes. The committee provides knowledgeable governance-level oversight and support to devise clear and consistent ways to measure progress towards goals, emphasizing all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion. The work of this committee is a governance function, not a management function. Committee members may also serve as peer reviewers, mentors and volunteers for ONA programs.


  • Anita Zielina, Chair
  • Andrew Fitzgerald, Vice Chair
  • Imaeyen Ibanga, Member
  • Rodney Gibbs, Member

Staff Liaison

  • Jennifer Mizgata, Lead
  • Adam Nekola, 2nd Lead 

Legal Affairs, News Ethics, and Standards Committee

The Legal Affairs and News Ethics and Standards Committee formulates ONA’s position on legal and ethical standards in the field in three primary ways:

  • Advising the board on the lawsuits ONA should get involved in, either as a party or as an amicus (or “friend of the court”), and reviews and comments on proposed briefs to make sure that the positions taken are consistent with the interests of ONA’s members. 
  • Evaluating proposed legislation that may have an impact on journalists, particularly journalists whose work is distributed in digital formats, with a view toward weighing in on pending legislation as appropriate.
  • Researching, crowdsourcing, and sharing ethical best practices and high journalistic standards related to digital news and emerging tech. 


  • Fergus Bell, Chair
  • Ashley Alvarado, Vice Chair
  • Maryanne Reed, Member
  • Alison Schary, ONA General Counsel

Staff Liaison 

  • Karolle Rabarison, Lead 

Finance Committee

The finance committee oversees the approval of the budget and audit, monitors and reports on the financial status and activities of the organization, and ensures the financial policies and practices are followed.  


  • Rodney Gibbs, Chair
  • Shazna Nessa, Vice-chair(s)
  • David Smydra, Vice-chair(s)

Charo Henríquez

Staff Liaison

  • Liz Leith, Lead 

Executive Committee 

The executive committee is responsible for working in support of, or occasionally in place of, the full board. The executive committee helps to evaluate ONA’s progress toward strategic goals and initiatives. The committee also provides oversight for the entire organization and responsible for overseeing board policies and ensuring good governance practices.


  • Shazna Nessa, President 
  • David Smydra, Vice President 
  • Rodney Gibbs, Treasurer 
  • Charo Henríquez, Secretary

Staff Liaison

  • Irving Washington, Executive Director/CEO