People

KevinDavis-width 157pxKevin Davis — Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Kevin Davis is CEO and Executive Director of the Investigative News Network (INN), a growing consortium of more than 80 nonprofit newsrooms producing nonpartisan investigative and public interest journalism. Davis oversees INN’s efforts to promote the sustainability of its member organizations, and increase the impact of their reporting through collaboration.

As a former digital publisher, Davis has more than 16 years of experience in strategic development and growth at news and media organizations. He was responsible for operations at Los Angeles-based news organizations Variety.com and TheWrap.com.

Since his appointment to INN, Davis has spoken and lectured about the nonprofit, investigative journalism sector at conferences and institutions across the United States, including the Online News Association, Investigative Reporters & Editors, the National Alliance for Media Arts + Culture, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, USC Annenberg, Syracuse University, Ohio State University and the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he was the 2011 Hearst Professional-in-Residence.

In 2011, Davis and INN Board Chair Brant Houston accepted the Manship Prize on behalf of INN at LSU’s School of Mass Communication. Davis also testified about nonprofit journalism and the IRS at the FCC's 2011 hearing on "the Information Needs of Communities," hosted by Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Davis can be reached by email at kevin.davis@investigativenewsnetwork.org or on Twitter.

Melodie Iwai -- Director of Finance

Melodie brings over 11 years of nonprofit accounting and business management experience.  Before joining INN, she served as Accounting Manager for the Child Care Resource Center, a leading community organization that assists parents, child care professionals, employers, and local communities in all matters related to early care and education with a 100 million operating budget.  She also worked with Child & Family Center which is a mental health nonprofit supporting the Santa Clarita Valley for seven years.  Melodie holds a B.S. in Business Administration, an MBA and a MSA (Masters of Science in Accountancy) from the University of Phoenix.

 

Headshot_bigLisa Williams -- Director of Digital Engagement

Lisa Williams is the Director of Digital Engagement for INN, where she helps INN members develop strategies to connect with funders, partners, and audience members.  Prior to joining INN, Williams founded Placeblogger, which was a winner of the Knight 21st Century News Challenge, a program that awards $5 million dollars annually to innovators with projects that aim to define the future of journalism.  Ms. Williams has been fellow at the MIT Media Lab’s Center for Civic Media, worked at The Boston Globe's online arm, Boston.com, and began a local news site, H2Otown, that became a national model of online engagement.  Ms. Williams has won many professional awards and distinctions, including  the 2009 New Media Women Entrepreneur of the Year award, “Top 25 Women to Watch in Tech”  in 2010 by AlwaysOn/Stanford Innovation Forum, 50 Women To Watch In 2013 / Digital Media by Journalists.co.uk, and was a 2007 Peter Jennings Fellow at the National Center for the Constitution.

Lisa can be reached at lisa@investigativenewsnetwork.org or on Twitter at @lisawilliams.

adam_schweigert_500Adam Schweigert — Director of Technology

Adam Schweigert is the Director of Technology with the Investigative News Network where he is responsible for leading all of the organization’s technology-related efforts including developing publishing tools, managing content syndication and measuring the impact of members’ journalism.

He joined INN in September 2012 after founding his own digital consultancy, Media Toybox. Before that he served as Director of Strategy for Mindset Digital, a Columbus, Ohio based firm providing customized social media training and strategic consulting to Fortune 500 companies and institutions of higher education and spent the previous 8 years working in public media heading up digital efforts at two NPR/PBS member stations, WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio and Indiana Public Media (WFIU/WTIU) in Bloomington, Indiana.

He holds degrees in music composition, music theory and oboe performance from The Ohio State University and has pursued graduate study in music composition, electronic music and nonprofit management at Indiana University.

denise01_thumbnailDenise Malan, INN/IRE Director of Data Services

Denise Malan is director of data services for INN and Investigative Reporters and Editors, responsible for helping INN newsrooms collaborate on investigative data projects. As a joint employee of INN and IRE, she also helps INN members take advantage of the vast resources at IRE, including a database library and training.

Denise has been a journalist for 10 years, covering education, government, politics, the environment and enterprise stories on a variety of subjects. She was data/investigative editor at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in Texas for three years, joining INN and IRE in June 2013.

Denise can be reached by email at denise@ire.org or on Twitter @DeniseMalan.

Shelby-Mugshot-157px widthShelby Ilan — Administrator

Shelby Ilan is the Executive Assistant to Kevin Davis at INN, and the administrator for the organization. She has been with INN since its inception in 2010. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from San Diego State University. She has worked in the nonprofit, social-services sector for the past 16 years. For the past 13 years Shelby has also been an instructor of Hebrew studies.

houston_brant08 157px widthBrant Houston — Chair of the Board

Brant Houston is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Investigative News Network, which he helped launch in 2009.  Houston holds the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting and teaches investigative and advanced reporting in the Department of Journalism in the College of Media at Illinois.

Houston became the chair after serving for more than a decade as the executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), a 3,500-member organization, and as a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Before joining IRE, he was an award-winning investigative reporter at daily newspapers for 17 years.

Houston also is the author of three editions of the textbook, "Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide," and co-author of the fourth edition and fifth edition of "The Investigative Reporter's Handbook."  Currently he is working on projects involving nonprofit journalism, ethnic media newsrooms, and new technologies for news-gathering.

Consultants

irmapic-157 widthIrma Simpson — Fundraising

Irma Simpson is a fundraising consultant to Investigative News Network. From 1985 to 2006, she worked at Gannett Co., Inc. in the Washington, D.C. metro area, first as executive assistant to the vice president of public affairs and government relations, and from 1990 to 2006 as manager of the newly-formed Gannett Foundation. The foundation made grants in more than 100 communities where Gannett operated newspapers and TV stations, as well as journalism grants on a national basis, and an employee matching-gift program. By 2006, the foundation was annually contributing approximately $12 million in grants and matching gifts. She was a popular speaker on corporate and foundation grant making in the DC area, and taught certificate courses in fundraising at both American and George Washington universities.

She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and has served on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the past 10 years. She lives in Bradenton, Florida.

Board of Directors

Brant Houston (Chair of the Board) Knight Chair of Investigative Reporting, Journalism Dept., College of Media, University of Illinois. See full bio above.

Charles “Chuck” Lewis (Treasurer) is founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop and a tenured professor of journalism at the American University School of Communication in Washington. A former ABC and CBS News 60 Minutes producer and bestselling author, he founded the Center for Public Integrity in 1989, its International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in 1997 and he co-founded Global Integrity in 2005. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (1998) and given the PEN USA First Amendment Award in 2004.

Robert “Rosey” Rosenthal is the Executive Director of the Center for Investigative Reporting. An award-winning journalist, Robert Rosenthal has worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country, including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and, most recently, the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosenthal worked for 22 years at the Inquirer, starting as a reporter and eventually becoming executive editor in 1998. He became managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in late 2002, and joined CIR as executive director in 2008.

Laura Frank is the executive director of I-News, the Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network. I-News delivers multimedia reports to news outlets across the Rocky Mountain region and is a founding member of the national nonprofit Investigative News Network. Frank, a Denver native, has nearly two decades experience at daily newspapers, radio and public television. She was an investigative reporter at the Rocky Mountain News until it closed in 2009. Her stories have won top awards in both print and broadcast, and helped release innocent people from prison, protect abused children, and win aid for sick nuclear weapons workers.

Margaret Wolf Freivogel is the founding editor of the St. Louis Beacon, a non-profit organization that provides news that matters for the St. Louis region. The Beacon focuses especially on politics, the economy, health, education and the arts. In addition to its website (stlbeacon.org), the Beacon reaches St. Louis-area residents through in-person events, partnerships with other media, and through email and social media.

Previously, Margie worked for 34 years at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as a reporter, Washington correspondent and assistant managing editor. Her Washington reporting won several awards, including the National Press Club Washington Correspondent's Award and the American Bar Association Gavel Award. She recently received a lifetime achievement award from the St. Louis Press Club. She was president of Journalism and Women Symposium, a national organization. Margie grew up and currently lives in Kirkwood, Mo., and graduated from Stanford University. She is married to William H. Freivogel, director of the school of journalism at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. They have four children and two grandchildren.

Vivian Schiller, Chief Digital Officer at NBC News, leads the digital strategy for both NBC News and MSNBC to ensure future growth and innovation. She joined NBC in July of 2011. Her responsibilities include strategic oversight of the network's digital extensions on the web and in mobile, as well as interaction with the Joint Venture that oversees the msnbc.com digital network.  In addition, she will provide direction to the network's new emerging properties such as EducationNation.com and theGrio.com.

Schiller was most recently President and CEO of NPR, leading all of NPR's worldwide media operations, including the organization's partnerships with a network of more than 900 public radio stations. During her tenure, NPR received the highest honors in excellence in journalism, grew its audience by double digits, and earned recognition in the mobile and digital space.

Prior to joining NPR, Schiller served at The New York Times Company as Senior Vice President and General Manager of NYTimes.com. Schiller led the day-to-day operations of NYTimes.com, the largest newspaper website on the Internet, overseeing product, technology, marketing, classifieds, strategic planning, and business development.

Previously, Schiller spent four years as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications. Schiller launched the network, and under her leadership, Discovery Times Channel tripled its distribution while achieving critical acclaim for its award winning journalistic programming.

Schiller also served as the head of CNN Productions, where she led CNN's long-form programming efforts. Documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned multiple honors, including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys.

Neal Shapiro joined New York public media provider WNET as President in February 2007, becoming President and Chief Executive Officer on February 4, 2008. WNET is the parent of New York public television stations Thirteen and WLIW21 and operates NJTV, the state-wide New Jersey public television network.

At the helm of WNET, Shapiro has revitalized programming, set new fundraising records and inaugurated a new, all-glass studio at Lincoln Center.

Before coming to WNET, Shapiro was President of NBC News from June 2001 to September 2005, where he oversaw the global operations of NBC Universal’s top-ranked news division: Today in the morning, NBC Nightly News in the evening and Meet the Press on Sunday morning.  He oversaw Dateline NBC, which, at the time, was the most-watched and most-honored news magazine on television and personally directed the successful anchor transition from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams.  From 1993 to 2001, Shapiro was executive producer of Dateline NBC.

Before NBC, Shapiro spent 13 years at ABC News, where he produced for all the network’s news programs and worked with Peter Jennings, Diane Sawyer, Ted Koppel and Sam Donaldson, among others.

Shapiro has won 34 Emmys, 31 Edward R. Murrow Awards, nine Sigma Delta Chi Awards, three Alfred I DuPont-Columbia University Silver Batons, three George Foster Peabody Awards, three George Polk Awards, three Overseas Press Club Awards and many more.

Shapiro graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University in 1980 with degrees in history and political science.  He has taught journalism at Tufts and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and has lectured at many universities, including MIT and Stanford.  He sits on the Boards of Gannett, Tufts University and Investigative News Network (INN). He is married to ABC News Correspondent Juju Chang, they have three sons and live in New York City.

Kevin DavisCEO & Executive Director, Investigative News Network. See full bio above.