International Conference of Women Media Leaders
Meet the top women executives in the news business from around the world who will be participating in the conference. Click here to see a complete list of confirmed delegates.
> Debra Adams Simmons, USA
> Asia & Oceania
> Middle East and North Africa
> Sub-Saharan Africa
> Adriana Arai, Brazil
> Jill Bright, USA
> Kathleen Carroll, USA
> Shirley Carswell, USA
> Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, Nicaragua
> Ana D’Onofrio, Argentina
> Patricia de Stacy Harrison, USA
> Rossana Fuentes-Berain, Mexico
> Kim Kingsley, USA
> Cynthia Leive, USA
> Libby Liu, USA
> Liz Lufkin, USA
> Jennifer McGuire, Canada
> Yanancy Noguera, Costa Rica
> Beth Polish, USA
> Silvia Miró Quesada, Peru
> Vivian Schiller, USA
> Kerry Smith, USA
> Carolan Stiles, USA
> Gabriela Vivanco, Ecuador
> Alexandra Wallace, USA
> Jan Winburn, USA
> Betty Wong, USA
> María Elena Wood, Chile
Debra Adams Simmons
The Plain Dealer
Debra Adams Simmons is the first African American woman to lead a top 25 newspaper. In 2010, after serving as managing editor of The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper, for nearly four years, Simmons was promoted to editor. Throughout her 25-year career, Simmons distinguished herself in executive and editorial roles at the Akron Beacon Journal, The Virginian-Pilot, the Detroit Free Press, The Hartford Courant and the Syracuse Herald Journal. Adams is a frequent visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is a member of the National Association of Multicultural Media Executives, and has served on several boards of organizations dedicated to literacy, economic development, the arts, and women’s empowerment.
Managing Editor for Latin America
Adriana Arai is the Managing Editor for Latin America at Bloomberg News. Based in Sao Paulo, she is at the helm of a very competitive market, directing news coverage from Bloomberg's 11 bureaus in the region. In 2004, Arai joined Bloomberg News as a reporter in Mexico City, covering the country’s economy, bond markets and billionaire Carlos Slim. In 2006, she took over as Mexico City bureau chief and then moved to Sao Paulo to run the Sao Paulo bureau for a year. Before joining Bloomberg, Arai was a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires in London, Brasilia and Sao Paulo and a reporter for the prestigious Brazilian newspaper Gazeta Mercantil.
Chief Administrative Officer
Jill Bright is the chief administrative officer for Condé Nast, publisher of internationally renowned fashion, travel and special interest magazines including Glamour, Vogue and The New Yorker. In this role, she works closely with the executive leadership team to coordinate cross-company strategic business initiatives. Her responsibilities include assessing organizational effectiveness, providing guidance on people, productivity, and alignment, and managing key performance enhancement projects. Prior to this appointment in 2010, Bright managed Condé Nast’s human resources department for 15 years. Prior to joining Condé Nast, Bright worked in various senior HR positions at Macy’s, American Express, and PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division.
Senior Vice President
Kathleen Carroll is the first female executive editor and senior vice president of the Associated Press, overseeing content in all formats from bureaus in 97 countries. Carroll’s exceptional leadership and editorial savvy has allowed the AP to remain competitive in an increasingly digital media landscape and to preserve its reputation as a leader in breaking news. Prior to serving in this role, Carroll was the bureau chief of Knight Ridder, the prominent American media group now owned by McClatchy. During her tenure, reporters were awarded a 2001 George Polk award for international reporting. Carroll has worked as a writer and an editor in the AP’s New Jersey, Texas, California and Washington D.C bureaus. She has also led the editorial departments of both the International Herald Tribune in Paris and the San Jose Mercury News in California. Carroll serves as an elected member of the Pulitzer Prize Board.
Deputy Managing Editor
The Washington Post
Shirley Carswell makes critical operations and personnel decisions everyday. As the deputy managing editor of The Washington Post, Carswell also oversees the newspaper’s multi-million dollar budget. Before joining The Post in 1988, Carswell served as an editor at newspapers in Virginia and Michigan. After only three years as a copyeditor at The Post’s Metro desk, Carswell was promoted to copy chief. In 1994, Carswell transitioned to a more senior administrative role as the assistant metro editor. Shortly afterward, she became the youngest person ever appointed to the assistant managing editor role at The Post, and the first African-American woman to hold the position. In 2009, she was appointed deputy managing editor. Carswell belongs to the American Society of News Editors and the National Association of Black Journalists. She was a 2004 McCormick Tribune Fellow.
Cristiana Chamorro Barrios
Vice President/Board of Directors
Cristiana Chamorro Barrios has guided one of Nicaragua's most influential newspapers, La Prensa, defending civil liberties through journalism. She is the newspaper's former chief editor and director, and now serves as vice president of La Prensa's board of directors. Her work has been honored by several international organizations, earning her the Interamerican Press Association’s “Excellence in Journalism-Opinion Category 2000.” During the campaign and presidency of Violeta Chamorro (1990-1997), she served as personal advisor. Chamorro went on to found the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, a non-profit that works for the consolidation of freedom of speech and excellence in journalism.
Prior to Ana D’Onofrio’s rise to the position of Managing Editor, no woman had ever wielded such influence in La Nacion, Argentina’s most prestigious daily. With a career that spans more than 30 years, D’Onofrio also heads Lanacion.com, an award-winning site that counts with 60 staff members and boasts a character and style of its own. She began her career as the head of the lifestyle section of a weekly magazine and eventually became editor of a women’s magazine. In 1996, D’Onofrio was offered to join the editorial board of La Nacion, becoming the first woman to hold a position of responsibility in a national newspaper in Argentina. Three years later, she was promoted to deputy Managing Editor. She is also the creator of the cooking blog “Mi Cocina Amateur,” which she runs herself and is the fourth most visited blog of the paper.
Patricia de Stacy Harrison
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Honorable Patricia de Stacy Harrison is the president and chief executive officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the leading funder of public radio and public television programming for the American people. She is focused on strengthening public service media through content that educates, inspires and informs; greater innovation; and engagement beyond the broadcast comprising diverse publics and partners. Prior to joining CPB, Ms. Harrison served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. _________________________________________________________
Editorial Vice President
Grupo Editorial Expansion
Rossana Fuentes-Berain is currently the editorial vice president at Grupo Editorial Expansión and professor of International Studies at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM). She founded and chairs the advisory committee of the journal Foreign Affairs Latinoamérico. Fuentes-Berain served as the first woman editor of business affairs for the journal El Financiero, led the investigative team at Reforma, and the op-ed pages at El Universal, three important daily newspapers in Mexico. She is host of the Televisa TV program Contrapunto and contributes frequently to The New York Times, Washington Post, and other U.S. media outlets. She is a former Media Fellow at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland.
Chief Operating Officer
Kim Kingsley is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Politico.com, the website that offers lawmakers, lobbyists and news junkies the latest rumblings from Capitol Hill. Kingsley joined Politico in December of 2006, just prior to the website’s official launch. Having swiftly accomplished her mission to broaden Politico’s radio, TV and Internet presence, Kingsley was promoted to the position of executive director for media and special projects roughly six months later. Prior to working for Politico, Kingsley was the Washington Post’s deputy director of Television and Radio Projects. She also worked as an editor for WTOP News Radio, where she helped produce “24 Hours of Ecstasy,” an award-winning investigative series about drug abuse.
As editor-in-chief of Glamour magazine, Cynthia Leive stands as a major force in the publishing industry. Under her helm, Glamour has increased circulation to a rate base of 2.25 million, the magazine’s highest level in history. Glamour has received a record number of National Magazine Awards, including the top honor, Magazine of the Year. Leive is an active champion of women’s issues - serving on the board of directors for The International Women’s Media Foundation. She is the former president of the American Society of Magazine Editors and was named the “Most Powerful U.S. Fashion Magazine Editor” by Forbes. Leive is a member of the International Women's Media Foundation's Board of Directors.
Radio Free Asia
Libby Liu’s unique combination of experience in law, business and human resources made her a perfect choice to hold the post of president of Radio Free Asia. In September, she took the reins of the private, non-profit corporation that broadcasts and publishes online news, information and commentary in nine East Asian countries, most of who have little access to a free media. Prior to joining RFA, Ms. Liu served as director of administration and strategic planning at the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where she played a pivotal role in implementing the NAACP’s first Five-Year Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives.
Vice President, Front Page Programming
As vice president of front page programming for Yahoo!, Liz Lufkin’s sound editorial judgment and online expertise sends a billion clicks a month to Yahoo’s News, Sports, Finance, Celebrity, and TV sites. Lufkin helped develop Yahoo’s revolutionary content optimization systems, making front page programming more appealing to users and more intuitive. Before working at Yahoo!, Lukfin was a deputy managing editor for USAToday.com and USA Today. She also served in the same role at the San Francisco Chronicle, managing 10 daily and weekly sections and co-founding Sf.gate.com. Lufkin is a board member of the Online News Association. She serves on the advisory board for the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Lufkin was also a 2010 Knight Fellow at the Salzburg Global Academy.
General Manager and Editor-in-Chief
Jennifer McGuire has a successful programming background in television and radio. As a leader of radio current affairs, she led the creation of what is now one of CBC’s Radio One’s flagship current affairs program, The Current. She has been the general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News since 2009. McGuire headed the biggest structural change in the history of CBC News – revamping the look and feel of the broadcaster. She has championed the movement of CBC into a fully integrated multiplatform broadcaster.
In 2010, Yanancy Noguera, boasting twenty years of experience in business journalism, became the director of La Nación, the largest Costa Rican daily. Prior to assuming this position, Noguera led the editorial department at El Financiero, a weekly business publication, for ten years. Noguera began her journalism career at La Nación as a reporter in its economy section, before being promoted to section editor. La Nación and El Financiero are both managed by El Grupo Nacional. Noguera teaches at the School of Collective Communication at the University of Costa Rica. She is also a founding member and treasurer at the Expression Liberty Institute (IPLEX).
Senior Vice President, Corporate Innovation
Hearst Interactive Media
Beth Polish created and directs the Hearst Corporate Innovation program, with a mandate to create new businesses based on ideas from within Hearst Corporation. As Hearst Innovation selects business ideas to fund, she oversees their development and preparation for launch as standalone businesses. After graduating from business school, Polish produced live and filmed entertainment and was an investment banker specializing in the entertainment, media, and communications industries. Before joining Hearst as a consultant in 2008 and full-time in 2009, Polish held senior management positions in media, finance, private investment, and technology. Polish was the founding CFO of iVillage; president of Dreamlife (co-founded by Tony Robbins); CFO of Goldman Sachs Ventures and managing director at KPMG.
Silvia Miró Quesada
Silvia Miró Quesada is a 20 year veteran at the daily El Comercio, the oldest newspaper in Peru and one of the oldest in the Spanish language. She is the senior editor, tasked with strengthening the editorial processes of El Comercio and supporting the newsroom's main strategic objectives, such as multimedia integration. Miró Quesada also represents the daily before the Board of Directors of the Peruvian Media Council. Miró Quesada is co-author of Derribando Muros, a book that utilizes New Media to illustrate the changing landscape of communications. She is a board member of the Inter American Press Association and sat on the jury of the International Journalism Award Rey de España.
Former President and CEO
National Public Radio (NPR)
Vivian Schiller joined NPR as President and CEO in January 2009 and recently resigned. She led NPR's worldwide media operations, including its partnerships with 900 public radio stations and their service to nearly 30 million listeners. Prior to joining NPR, she served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of NYTimes.com. As a strong advocate of innovation, she is a key driver in leveraging new technologies to advance NPR’s core mission and grow audience for all of public media. Under Schiller’s leadership, NPR was twice included in Fast Company magazine’s World’s Most Innovative Media Companies list. As NPR’s first female CEO, Schiller was listed as one of DC’s Most Powerful Women by Working Mother and Washingtonian magazines. Her other previous roles include SVP and GM, Discovery Times Channel and SVP, CNN Productions.
Photo Credit: © Michael Benabib
Senior Vice President for Editorial Quality
Kerry Smith is Senior Vice President for Editorial Quality for ABC News. She is responsible for maintaining the journalistic integrity and editorial standards of ABC News. During her more than 20-year career as a television news producer and program executive, Ms. Smith has worked for “PrimeTime Live,” “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America” and “Nightline” and was Washington Editor for ABC News. She has produced a number of documentaries for ABC News, including ABC’s broadcast on the 50th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which won a Peabody Award. Ms. Smith is a member of the Advisory Council of the International Women’s Media Foundation.
Blue Creek Foundation
Carolan Stiles is the founder and president of Blue Creek Foundation, which focuses on core environmental issues around water quality. The goal of the foundation is to bring about change through direct legal action, education and coalition building. Throughout her career, Stiles has been committed to environmental, media and women’s issues. Her work experience includes working with homeless women and children in Seattle and teaching in an urban elementary school in Los Angeles. She holds a master’s degree in social work and a law degree. As a sixth-generation member of a small media family that technically retains voting control over its 150-year-old newspaper company, McClatchy Inc., Stiles works with the company’s management and directors to navigate through issues facing publishers in the age of electronic media. Stiles is a member of the IWMF’s Board of Directors.
Editorial Vice President
La Hora Media Group
Gabriela Vivanco is the editorial vice president of La Hora Media Group, a community-oriented news organization based in Ecuador that includes 12 regional newspapers, as well as several radio stations and magazines. In 2003, Vivanco launched her journalism career as a newsroom intern and photojournalist for La Hora Newspapers, ultimately reaching her current position of editorial vice president. She has been a member of the Inter American Press Association’s Awards Committee for six years and served as the group’s vice president until 2010. Vivanco strongly believes in the media’s power to impact a nation’s development and strengthen its democratic institutions.
News Senior VP
Alexandra Wallace is the first woman in a decade to lead a weeknight network evening broadcast, joining an elite cadre of women who have served in the top post of a Big Three daily newscast. In an extremely competitive field, she re-established “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” as the number one evening news broadcast. Wallace was also instrumental in improving and extending the show’s digital reach. In 2008, she was named senior vice president of “NBC News.” Wallace has been honored with eleven News and Documentary Emmy awards, a Gracie Award, a Peabody Award, and Colombia College’s John Jay Award in 2008.
Currently serving as the enterprise editor for CNN.com, Jan Winburn began working at CNN in 2009. During that same year, she won The Mimi Award, a prize that recognizes exceptional work by an editor. Before joining CNN, Winburn was an editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Baltimore Sun and other publications. As enterprise editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Winburn guided a series about a young Army chaplain which enabled readers to explore the intersection of God and guns on the battlefield. As enterprise editor at the Baltimore Sun, Winburn edited “The Umpire’s Sons,” which earned then-Baltimore Sun reporter Lisa Pollak the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Also during her time at the Baltimore Sun, Winburn edited the Joseph Palcyznski story, the series about domestic violence that won the 2001 Dart Award.
Global Managing Editor
Betty Wong is the global managing editor for Reuters News, the world's leading multimedia news organization with 3,000 staff journalists in 200 bureaus covering business and general news in print, still and moving images, video and online. Wong is based in New York and helps design and execute editorial strategy for Reuters to best meet customers’ evolving needs for news. A 20-year veteran of Reuters, Wong's previous roles have included managing editor for North and South America, global equities editor, Americas equities editor, U.S. company news editor, senior Wall Street correspondent and deputy financial copy desk editor. Wong is a board member of the Overseas Press Club Foundation and Columbia University’s Knight-Bagehot fellowship program. Wong has been a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes, SABEW and UCLA Loeb awards.
María Elena Wood
Director of Contents and Programming
Television Nacional de Chile (TVN)
For the last 25 years, María Elena Wood has made a name for herself in public television as a respected editor and advisor of content development. Wood’s film career began at 21, when she helped produce “The Last Grumete of Baquedano,” a coming of age story loosely based on the life of writer Francisco Coloane. In 1999, Wood executive produced “Our Century,” for Television Nacional de Chile (TVN), which was awarded the FIAT/IFTA prize a year later. Wood also directed and edited a TVN program about Chile’s military coup on its 30th anniversary. Three years later, she produced “The General’s Daughter,” a documentary about Chile’s first female president, Dr. Michelle Bachelet. Wood is Director of Contents and Programming at TVN and a founding member of Faces Magazine.
Asia & Oceania
> Juhong Chen, China
> Maina Dhital, Nepal
> Rehana Hakim, Pakistan
> Moneeza Hashmi, Pakistan
> Bachi Karkaria, India
> Olga Kraus, Kazakhstan
> Nirmala Lakshman, India
> Nasima Khan Monty, Bangladesh
> Nyein Nyein Naing, Myanmar
> Farida Nekzad, Afghanistan
> Ana Marie Pamintuan, Philippines
> Hu Shuli, China
> Jacqueline Ann Surin, Malaysia
> June H.L. Wong, Malaysia
In 2006, Juhong Chen became editor-in-chief of qq.com, the tenth most trafficked website in the world and the product of China’s leading new media company, Tencent. Prior to this position, Ms. Chen was the news and features editor of Southern Weekend, an influential weekly newspaper located in Southern China’s largest city, Guangzhou. After seven years, Chen moved to Window on the South, a major government publication, serving as the magazine’s editor-in-chief. Ms. Chen attended Harvard University on a Nieman fellowship from 2002 to 2003. She frequently lectures about globalization’s impact on the media and the changing landscape of China’s Internet sector.
Maina Dhital is the senior sub-editor and deputy chief of the Business and Economic Bureau for the Kantipur Daily. Working in Nepal’s male-dominated media for the last twelve years, Dhital challenged her colleagues to stop neglecting women leaders. Dhital specializes in stories about agriculture, development and the economy; she has also frequently written about human rights. Dhital is an advisor and the founding general secretary of Working Women Journalists (WWJ). She is also general secretary of the Nepal chapter of South Asian Women in Media (SAWM).
Rehana Hakim is editor-in-chief of Newsline, a news magazine known for its incisive journalism. She has served in this role since 1996. Newsline is owned and run by the only journalists’ cooperative in Pakistan. Additionally, Hakim is president of the Pakistan Chapter of SAWM-South Asian Women in the Media - an association of women journalists aimed at advancing female journalists and highlighting women’s issues in the media. Hakim was awarded the Nesvita Women of Strength Award in 2009.
General Manager, International Relations
Moneeza Hashmi is the President of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, the first woman and Pakistani to be appointed to this prestigious post. The CBA, a non-profit organization, supports broadcasting in the Commonwealth and beyond. In a media career that spans four decades, Hashmi has distinguished herself for her work promoting a more positive image of women in the Pakistani media. For this she was awarded the President of Pakistan’s Pride of Performance Medal in 2003. She retired as Director of Programs of the Pakistan Television Corporation, the only woman in Pakistan to have held this position. At present, she is General Manager International Relations for HUM TV, a private cable satellite network.
Times of India
One of India’s most respected journalists, Bachi Karkaria is a popular columnist, analyst and media trainer. Karkaria created and edited some of the Times of India’s most successful papers and turned its editions around. A game changer, she is significantly responsible for the city-centric look of the Indian print media. She was the first journalist in India to seriously address AIDS in that country. She also wrote strongly about the issues of gender in reproductive health. In addition, Karkaria is a literary fixture in her country. Her adaptation of DL Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, The Gin Game, was a critical and commercial success.
In 1997, when Olga Kraus started working at Novyi Vestnik, in Karaganda Kazakhstan, the newspaper was still in its infancy. It had eight pages and a circulation of 5,000. Today, the Russian language daily is nine times its original size and boasts 25,000 readers. In 2001, Kraus became editor-in-chief, a position she still holds today. In addition to her role at the Novyi Vestnik, she is a powerful activist, fighting for press freedom throughout the region.
Director and Editor
Nirmala Lakshman is editor and director of The Hindu, the second largest English language newspaper in India and the third most read in the country. A commentator on social and development issues, Lakshman regularly writes on these subjects for the newspaper. She has published an anthology of Indian journalism “Writing A Nation,” which examines the role of the press in India and how it has shaped the national discourse. In senior roles at The Hindu, Lakshman edited various feature sections, including the Sunday Magazine and the Literary Review. She also introduced the popular children’s weekly supplement Young World, looking to attract younger readers. She initiated the Newspaper in Education program of The Hindu, which currently runs programs in over 400 schools in India. Lakshman is the chairperson of the Media Fellowship Committee of the National Foundation of India (NFI) and sits on its Board of Trustees.
Nasima Khan Monty
Executive Editor/Newsroom Editor
The Daily Amader Orthoneeti/ ATN News
Nasima Khan Monty’s dream is to see more successful women leaders in the media in her native Bangladesh. She herself is the fulfillment of that dream. Khan Monty is the executive editor of the Bangladeshi daily, Daily Amader Orthoneeti. She began her studies convinced that she wanted to be a career diplomat, with a focus on women and gender. It was Khan Monty’s extensive research into the status of women in positions of power in newspapers in Dhaka that convinced her that journalism and the media would be her ground. In addition to her leadership posts both in TV and print journalism, she is a member of the media think tank Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication.
Nyein Nyein Naing
7 Day News Journal
Nyein Nyein Naing is executive editor and reporter of the 7 Day News Journal in Myanmar, where conditions for journalists are ranked among the worst in the world. In 2008, authorities reprimanded Naing for a story she wrote about five murders that took place near the home of Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s best loved pro-democracy leader. In addition to her reporting, Naing is a vocal human rights activist.
Director and Editor-in-Chief
Wakht News Agency
Farida Nekzad is a champion of press freedom and women’s rights in Afghanistan. She works under tremendous pressure at a time when women journalists are being threatened and killed for their reporting. Despite the danger, Nekzad is committed to staying in her country and continuing her work. Nekzad works in Kabul, where she is the director and editor-in-chief of Wakht News Agency. She is also Vice President of the South Asia Media Commission. She previously worked as managing editor of Pajhwok Afghan News, Afghanistan’s leading independent news agency which Nekzad helped to create in 2004. In 2008, Nekzad won the International Women's Media Foundation's Courage in Journalism Award.
Ana Marie Pamintuan
The Philippine Star
Ana Marie Pamintuan is executive editor at The Philippine Star, a Manila English daily broadsheet circulated nationwide. She not only directs the operations, but also writes a popular opinion column three times a week, tackling issues such as politics, foreign affairs and the environment. Pamintuan has been with The Star since it was launched in 1986, starting as a reporter. In the fall of 2001 she became a Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii - a program focusing on the challenges of globalization in the age of terrorism. In 2007, she won a journalism fellowship from the International Center for Journalists and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Pamintuan is also the author of The Face of the Enemy, a historical novel about the Philippine-American War.
Hu Shuli is considered one of the most powerful media leaders in China and one of ten women to watch in Asia. Shuli founded Caijing magazine and guided it to become one of China’s most authoritative business publications. At the editorial helm for 11 years, in 2009 she left to create the breakthrough new media company, Caixin Media. Shuli is currently editor-in-chief of Caixin Media, China Reform and Century Weekly magazine. Internationally recognized for her achievements in journalism, Shuli received the 2007 Louis Lyons Awards for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. In Nov. 2009, Foreign Policy magazine named her one of Top 100 Global Thinkers. Shuli is a member of the International Women's Media Foundation's Board of Directors.
Jacqueline Ann Surin
The Nut Graph
Jacqueline Ann Surin is an award-winning journalist best known for her celebrated column “Shape of a Pocket.” Writing about press freedom and racial bias in her native Malaysia, Surin received the Excellence in Opinion Writing Award from the Society of Publishers in Asia. She co-founded MaIaysiaVotes.com in early 2008 and went on to start The Nut Graph in August of that year, on on-line news site that addresses politics and pop culture. The site has become an important independent voice for Malaysian youth.
June H.L. Wong
Wong is managing editor of Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad, a media company that publishes The Star, the largest English language newspaper in Malaysia, with over a million readers daily. Wong worked as a news reporter covering politics, housing, transport and City Hall for almost 10 years before moving to the features desk where she covered, among other things, women, social and human rights issues. She has been responsible for starting or building up almost all the features sections in The Star. She was the founding editor of Weekender, Clove (a monthly women’s edition) StarMag (the Sunday magazine), the Youth Desk and was editor of Star Two (the Monday to Friday issues and lifestyle section) for many years.
> Lola Alvarez-Morales, Spain
> Stephanie Czerny, Germany
> Ilona Fanta, Ukraine
> Alexandra Foederl-Schmid, Austria
> Béatrice Garrette, France
> Kateryna Ivanova, Ukraine
> Romaine Jean, Switzerland
> Margarita Kadriu, Kosovo
> Cosmina Noaghea, Romania
> Teodora Peeva, Bulgaria
> Ines Pohl, Germany
> Cristina Simion, Romania
> Margo Smit, Netherlands
> Kjersti Sortland, Norway
> Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, Iceland
In 2006, Lola Alvarez-Morales was appointed director general of Agencia Efe, the first Spanish-language and fourth-ranking world news agency. She was the first woman to hold the post of managing director at Efe in February 2005. Alvarez-Morales joined the Prisa Group in 2000 as the director of international projects for TV after serving various roles at Canal Sur TV, public regional television in Andalusia. Alvarez-Morales is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Television Arts of Spain and the U.S. as well as the Press Association in Seville and Madrid. She is a founding partner and president of the Andalusian Association of Professional Women of the Media. She has won numerous awards for her work including the Medal of Equality (Junta de Andalucía, 2004).
Stephanie (Steffi) Czerny
Hubert Burda Media
Steffi Czerny is one of the creative minds at Hubert Burda Media. She is co-founder of the DLD Conference, Managing Director of DLD Media & DLD Ventures GmbH as well as founder of the inspirational DLDwomen Conference
. Joining the Burda group in 1995, Czerny held several executive posts in new media activities. Her background is in political sciences and communications. Furthermore, she earned a degree in journalism at the renowned Deutsche Journalistenschule. Czerny has followed developments in the digital world for over 20 years now and focuses on developing branding and communication initiatives. In everything she does, she follows her personal guideline: connect the unexpected.
Ilona Fanta’s first journalism job was as a Russian language interpreter through an exchange program for American and Ukranian reporters in 2005. Two years later, Fanta’s online expertise and leadership savvy earned her a job at Kolo, a local newspaper, managing its transition from print to multi-media. Kolo is now one of the fastest growing regional publications in the Ukraine. Today, Fanta is editor-in-chief of Zhovta Gazeta Publishing House. In this position, she oversees three outlets: Kolo’s newspaper and website, a TV guide and classified ads. Fanta also serves as deputy head of the Association Poltava Media Initiatives, leading the journalistic movement against paid news.
Alexandra Foderl-Schmid had a stellar career as a correspondent before taking on the position of editor-in-chief of Der Standard in 2007, one of the most prominent newspapers in Vienna, a position she has held since July 2007. Between 1988 and 1990, she was a freelance journalist with the weekly paper Mühlviertler Rundschau. From 1990, Forderl-Schmid was a correspondent for Der Standard in Linz and Vienna, later the paper’s correspondent in Germany and then the EU correspondent in Brussels. In 2004, she became the first female chairperson of the “Verein der Ausländischen Presse in Deutschland.”
It takes a courageous and visionary woman to head Sipa Press. Beatrice Garrette joined Sipa Press in 2001 as deputy general manager and a year later was appointed to managing director of the company. A proactive agency with a penchant for risk taking, Sipa Press is one of the pioneers of photojournalism and today’s foremost photo-press agency in France. Prior to joining Sipa, Ms. Garrette was the publisher of Eureka, a monthly magazine about science, and Terre Sauvage, a monthly magazine about wildlife.
In a difficult region for journalists, Kateryna Ivanova heads the only investigative news organization, the Rivne Agency of Investigative Reporting. A certified media trainer, she also runs a multimedia investigative project called Chetverta Vlada - The Fourth Power. In 2005, Ivanova took a course for media trainers and since then has been working with novice journalists. Together with NGO Rivne Press Club, she developed two training courses on reporting. In addition, Ivanova worked as a co-trainer in seminars on investigative reporting organized by Regional Press Development Institute. She worked as a journalist and executive editor in several newspaper of the publishing house “OGO,” in Rivne. In 2008, she a co-authored the book Investigative Reporting: Manual for Beginners.
Co-Editor-in-Chief of News
Romaine Jean was appointed co-editor-in-chief of news for Geneva-based Swiss Television (TSR) in 2009, having held several executive posts there since she began her TSR tenure in 1992. Jean led the evening newscast for TSR between 1996 and 2003. The following year, she became host and producer of “Infrarouge,” a series of discussions with politicians and leading international affairs experts. Her first journalism jobs include working for the Swiss News Agency in Bern and for Swiss Radio, where she served as a political correspondent. Jean served as a moderator for the 2010 Davos Open Forum, exploring issues such as nuclear weapons and climate change. She is also a board member of the Hirondelle Foundation, a media organization that promotes peace and democracy through independent radio networks.
Top Kosova Radio
Interpress Group - Kosova Sot
Margarita Kadriu is the director of Top Kosova Radio, based in the capital city of Pristina. She is also director and editor-in-chief of the independent Albanian language daily Kosova Sot. Previously, Kadriu served as editor-in-chief of Elita magazine in Slovakia. Kadriu has made frequent guest appearances on the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network show “Life in Kosovo,” discussing education and social welfare as well as business, local politics and international relations.
Cosmina Noaghea represents a new generation of women leaders in Romania. In 2010, she became the general manager of Mediafax, a highly-regarded publisher of print and online media in Romania. Prior to her promotion, Noaghea served as the general manager of Publimedia, the magazine and newspaper arm of Mediafax. Noaghea began her journalism career in 2000 in the human resources department of Ringier Romania, the largest media publisher in the country.
Teodora Peeva has been the editor-in-chief of the Sega Daily, a Bulgarian-language newspaper, since 2004. Prior to working for the Sega Daily, Peeva was a reporter for Sega magazine as well as the Standart and the Fax, both dailies. She has been a journalist for the last 20 years. In 2002, the Sega Daily was awarded the prestigious Bucerius Prize for the East European Press from Zeit, a German foundation.
Ines Pohl kick-started her journalism career by freelancing for Radio ffn and several local newspapers. Her work drew the attention of management at the German daily, Hessische /Niedersächsische Allgemeine, who invited her to lead the newspaper’s political department--a challenge she accepted. In 2004, Pohl was awarded a fellowship at the Harvard-based Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Afterwards, she became a political correspondent for the media group Ippen. In July, 2009, Pohl made headlines as the “outsider” chosen to be editor-in-chief of Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Germany’s leading alternative newspaper. Later that year, Pohl’s efforts at the daily were validated when Medium Magazine awarded her the title “Newcomer of the Year.”
Cristina Simion, a publishing maven and media executive, manages more than 15 magazines for Edipresse AS Romania. After graduating from the BBC’s Radio Journalism School in 1992, Simion was hired to direct programming at Radio Nord Est. She later moved to Monitorul, where she managed the marketing, sales and distribution of 10 local newspapers. In 1997, she joined Romania Publishing Group, which was later renamed Edipresse AS Romania after a merger. Simion’s leadership skills and business savvy ensured several promotions and ultimately led to her current position as managing director. Simion has taught marketing and management classes at the Universities of Bucharest and Iasia, and is currently a visiting lecturer at A.I. Cuzi University.
Margo Smit is the Director of the Dutch-Flemish Association of Investigative Journalists (VVOJ). An independent, self-employed investigative TV-documentary filmmaker, Smit studied journalism in the United States. In 1989, she began working as a news and features reporter for a Dutch commercial TV station and later as their political correspondent. In 1997, she moved to KRO Reporter, an investigative television documentary series on Dutch public TV, where she worked until 2009. Smit has investigated the Dutch monarchy, nuclear safety and proliferation, Islam, honor killings and the banking industry.
Kjersti Sortland has been the managing editor of Verdens Gang since 2005. When Sortland started at the daily in 1991, she reported primarily on crime and health care. The following year, she won a SKUP (Stiftelsen for en Kritisk og Undersøkende Presse) diploma from the Norwegian Foundation for Investigative Journalism. In 2007, frustrated by the scant attention given domestic murders, Sortland gave her reporters a challenge: profile all of the victims of domestic violence in Norway since 2000. The idea grew into the newspaper’s largest multi-media project and ultimately won its journalists another SKUP diploma. More importantly, the project changed the way police report murders and prompted a government-funded investigation of domestic violence.
Steinunn Stefánsdóttir is the deputy editor of Fréttablaðið, Iceland´s most widely circulated newspaper, having held her current post since 2006. Since Fréttablaðið‘s inception in April 2001, Stefánsdóttir has been one of the major influences on the development of the paper, serving as editor-in-chief of its lifestyle magazine, Birta, from 2003 to 2006 and heading the acclaimed community awards Samfélagsverðlaun Fréttablaðsins since they were first given in 2006. She is also one of the editorial writers at Fréttablaðið, focusing on subjects like human rights, gender equality and education. Stefánsdóttir has been a member of the board of the Safe shelter for women and children since 2007 and chairman of the board since 2010. She has been a member of The Icelandic language committee for the last five years and has a seat on the Icelandic Unesco National Commission.
> Mariam Bassam, Lebanon
> Ilana Dayan, Israel
> Nawal Mostafa, Egypt
> Maysoun Odeh-Gangat, Palestinian Territory
> Eetta Prince-Gibson, Israel
> Nadia al-Sakkaf, Yemen
News and Political Program Manager
Mariam Al-Bassam began her media career in the news department at Lebanon’s Voice of the People radio station in 1990. Al-Bassam worked her way up to become chief editor in 2000. In addition to her radio background, she has also worked in print journalism for the Arabic department at Beirut’s Reuters News Agency office. In addition, she worked as a BBC reporter for five years before moving to television broadcast news in 2001. As news manager at Aljadeed Television’s New TV, Al-Bassam has won awards for highlighting political and social issues. In 2010, she served as a jury member at Aljazeera’s International Documentary Film Fesitval. She continuously works toward a society without corruption, in which there is meaningful gender equity.
Uvda/ IDF Radio
Ilana Dayan’s reputation as one of Israel’s finest TV journalists is a result of rigorous reporting and unfailing integrity. Whether profiling a rock star, a soldier or a president, Dayan pulls no punches. In 1982, Dayan took her first job as producer of the Israeli Defense Forces Radio and was swiftly handed the microphone. Five years later, at 23, she became the first woman anchor for “New Evening,” a television interview program. Since 1993, Dayan has anchored the popular weekly investigative news program, “Uvda,” gaining semi-celebrity status in the region. She has also hosted a weekly news program for I.D.F. Radio for more than 13 years. Dayan has a doctorate in law from Yale University and taught constitutional law at Tel Aviv University until 1998. She is also a Fulbright Fellow.
NISAA Broadcasting Radio Company
Maysoun Odeh-Gangat helped develop and manage the first English radio station in Palestine and Israel, RAM FM. Modeled after a station built in apartheid South Africa, RAM FM aimed to promote understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Launched in 2007, it was shut down only a year later by police. During the investigation, Odeh-Gangat was questioned and put under house arrest. Before her radio career began, Odeh-Gangat earned her degree in Economics in Washington, DC. She later worked in the Palestinian private sector and in the South African Representative’s Office. Odeh-Gangat currently oversees NISAA FM, a women’s radio station built to empower and entertain listeners. In 2010, Odeh-Gangat became a partner in Madrasati Palestine, an education project started by Queen Noor of Jordan that targets impoverished Arab schools in East Jerusalem.
For the last thirty years, Eetta Prince-Gibson has been recognized as both a journalist and a champion of human rights. Prince-Gibson is the editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Report, a prominent bi-weekly magazine offering news, business, sports, and health stories as well as insightful commentary about the Middle East, Israel and the Jewish world. Prince-Gibson came to the Jerusalem Report after working as the local news editor at the Jerusalem Post, which owns but is editorially separate from the Report. Prince-Gibson has also written for the Christian Science Monitor and The Washington Post. She is earning her PhD in Political Psychology at Hebrew University.
Photo Credit: © Ariel Jerozolimski
Nadia al-Sakkaf became editor-in-chief of the Yemen Times in 2005. Al-Saakaf joined the Yemen Times as a translator and reporter in July 2000, and she became an assistant editor in September 2000. Her areas of expertise are development issues, gender and media in the Middle East. In 2003, al-Sakkaf joined Oxfam-GB and worked in the Humanitarian Program, the Poverty Reduction Strategy paper and also served as the media person for the organization in Yemen. Al-Sakkaf is a member of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate and the International Journalists Syndicate. The World Association of Newspapers and An-Nahar Newspaper in Beirut awarded her the first Gebran Tueni Award in 2006.
> Sarah Akrofi-Quarcoo, Ghana
> Khady Cissé, Senegal
> Amina Frense, South Africa
> Catherine Gicheru, Kenya
> Julie Gichuru, Kenya
> Barbara Kaija, Uganda
> Farida Karoney, Kenya
> Benita Levin, South Africa
> Juanita Williams, South Africa
> Miriam Zimba, Zambia
Founder and President
Women in Broadcasting
After co-founding Women in Broadcasting (WIB), Sarah Akrofi-Quarcoo became the first female editorial team leader of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s (GBC) radio newsroom. Akrofi-Quarcoo worked at the GBC for over 20 years as a reporter, social affairs correspondent, editor, and trainer, before assuming the role of editor-in-chief. Through the WIB, she improved coverage of women’s issues and helped other women journalists rise to decision-making positions. Today, Akrofi-Quarcoo is a lecturer at the University of Ghana’s School of Communication Studies. She is currently researching the status of women in the broadcast media in Ghana.
Radiodiffusion Télévision Sénégalaise (RTS)
Khady Cissé, also known as Cissé Diatou Badiane, began her journalism career in 1992. In 2007, she was elected president of the Senegalese journalists’ union (SYNPICS) and continues to serve in that role. She is also the general secretariat of West African Associations of Journalists (WAJA) and the first African woman vice president of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). Cissé, now the editor-in-chief of Radiodiffusion Télévision Sénégalaise (RTS), calls for more serious treatment of violence against women and improved coverage of critical issues, such as illegal migration. Her core goals include ending corruption in the media and mobilizing men in the fight for gender equality.
South African Broadcasting Association
Amina Frense is a South African based broadcast journalist, executive producer and editor who is active in news, current affairs and documentary filmmaking. She initially worked as a foreign correspondent for various broadcasters such as ZDF and WDRT, Germany, before joining the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). She has held various senior editorial and management positions at SABC, including Political Editor. Frense has taken her journalistic experience and search for media diversity and applied it to organizations such as the South African Editors Forum (SAEF), the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and the Institute of the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ). Last year, she joined SABA, the Southern African Broadcasting Association. She is also the co-producer of the television documentary “Mandela, Son of Africa.”
Catherine Gicheru is the first African female news editor to supervise a staff in excess of 150 reporters, correspondents and freelancers. Gicheru is the editor of The Star, one of the fastest growing newspapers in Kenya. She started as a junior reporter in the Nation Media Group and rose through the ranks in a male dominated environment. She left NMG to help start The Star, which in the last three years has emerged as the third largest newspaper in Kenya. She is the winner of the 1992 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award and a staunch advocate of press freedom in her country.
Group Business Digital Manager
Royal Media Services
Julie Gichuru is one of Kenya’s best-loved anchors and a role model to many young Kenyans. She is the TV Host and Group Business Digital Manager at the fastest growing media house in East Africa, Royal Media Services. She is also responsible for spearheading RMS’s move toward establishing a global presence through the Internet and raising revenue through digital platforms. Gichuru is the first African woman to receive the Martin Luther Salute to Greatness Award for Advocacy of Non-Active Violence and Peace for her outstanding work during the post-election violence in Kenya in 2008. She is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Leadership Network.
New Vision Printing and Publishing Company
Chosen for her editorial skills and leadership qualities, Barbara Kaija scooped the top editorial position in Uganda when she was named Editor-in-Chief of New Vision last year. The New Vision is the leading brand of the Vision Group, a media powerhouse in Uganda, which owns a host of media outlets. Kaija joined New Vision as a sub-editor in 1992. She rose through the ranks and was placed in charge of various sections of the newspaper, becoming Deputy Features Editor and then Features Editor, a position she held for 10 years. In her present position, Kaija is responsible for overseeing and maintaining editorial quality throughout diverse media platforms.
Group Editorial Director
Royal Media Services
Farida Karoney is the group editorial director at Royal Media Services, the leading broadcast media house in Kenya, comprising thirteen radio stations and one television station. Karoney joined the Royal Media Services Group in 2009, after working at the Standard Group, where she was the assistant director of the broadcasting division. She has worked in broadcast media for the last 16 years years, beginning her career as an intern in 1994. Prior to her current role, Karoney has been a reporter, news producer, news editor, and managing editor. She is currently studying for a PhD in Business Administration.
News Editor, Eyewitness News
Benita Levin is news editor for Eyewitness News at Primedia Broadcasting in Johannesburg. She has worked in radio for 18 years, and is currently a news manager, sports manager and news anchor. Eyewitness News provides news for the company's four radio stations in Johannesburg and Cape Town - 94.7 Highveld Stereo, 702 Talk Radio, 567 Cape Talk and KFM. Levin began her radio career at the SABC after the 1994 elections, and later worked as a news anchor at East Coast Radio and Classic FM before joining Primedia Broadcasting in 2002. She describes radio news as her first love.
Deputy Managing Editor
Juanita Williams is one of the leading media professionals in South Africa. She is the deputy managing editor for AllAfrica.com, the largest electronic distributor of African news. During the apartheid era, Williams worked as a reporter for the South newspaper, before transitioning to Bush Radio, Africa’s first community radio station. For nearly five years, Williams hosted and produced a gender issues program for the station. In 1999, she moved to the Independent Online, serving ultimately as the head of its editorial department. After a brief stint as an online TV news editor for Zoopy.com, Williams discovered her current role at AllAfrica.com, where she plans to focus on development issues on the continent. She also serves as Treasurer of the South African National Editors' Forum.
Times of Zambia
Miriam Zimba’s career as a journalist spans 20 years. She began as a junior reporter in the Times of Zambia, one of the country’s oldest dailies. Zimba worked her way through the ranks - from reporter to sub-editor – and finally to managing editor. She is the first woman in the newspaper’s history to grace this position. During her stewardship, Zimba introduced the weekly pullout - Times Woman – which addresses women’s issues, thereby increasing content geared towards woman in the newspaper.