2018-2019 JAWS Board of Directors

About the Board

Election of JAWS officers and new board members takes place at the annual business meeting, in conjunction with our fall Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP).

Eligibility for the JAWS board: Any active member who has attended CAMP twice can run for a seat on the board. Officers and board members serve one- or two-year terms. All are elected by a vote of the membership.

Job description for the board: The primary responsibility of the board of directors is to ensure that the organization operates in a fashion true to its stated mission and principles. The board provides continuity to the organization as individual members come and go.

The board has two trusts: The group’s growth and future, and to further the group’s goals. It is responsible for setting policies, making decisions, delegating work and assuring the decisions are carried out.

The board is legally responsible for governance of the organization and adherence to federal, state and local laws, audits done annually and income tax form filing.

A director’s responsibilities include:

  • Maintain a current membership in JAWS and attend the annual conference.
  • Know the bylaws, mission, purpose, goals, strategic plan, programs and services for the organization.
  • Raise funds and actively seek financial support and donations for JAWS and its projects; The goal is for each board member to give or get $500.
  • Prepare for and attend all board meetings. The board holds regular in-person meetings twice a year, spring and fall. The date of the spring meeting is determined by the president, in consultation with other board members.  The fall meeting is held immediately preceding JAWS CAMP, at the same location. In addition, the board convenes every month via conference call. The president and committee chairs will schedule additional meetings as needed.
  • Build and guide long-range plans for membership, programming, fundraising, staffing and resources.
  • Ensure programs and services address membership needs.
  • Recruit members and attendees for annual conferences, contribute program ideas and make sure members are involved in the group.
  • Contribute and/or solicit stories for the JAWS newsletter, listserv, social media accounts and website.
  • Review the minutes to ensure that critical matters, resolutions and topics of discussion have been adequately covered.
  • Be willing to commit at least several hours per week of volunteer time to areas such as membership, social media, programming, fundraising and CAMP.

Interim President: Lindsey Anderson

Lindsey Anderson is a freelancer based in the Kansas City area. She was previously an investigative reporter covering education at the El Paso Times in West Texas and at the Las Cruces Sun-News in Southern New Mexico.

A native of Phoenix, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in journalism with minors in international relations and Spanish from American University.  Contact Lindsey 

President Elect: Mira Lowe

Mira Lowe is Director of the Innovation News Center (INC) at the University of Florida, College of Journalism and Communications. The INC is a working newsroom covering North Central Florida and staffed with over 100 student journalists guided by nine news professionals each semester. News is distributed on multiple broadcast and digital platforms, including WUFT-FM and WUFT-TV, the local NPR and PBS affiliates, and WUFT.org.

Prior to joining UF, Mira was a senior editor at CNN Digital in Atlanta where she managed the planning, execution and programming of various special projects across a global portfolio. She previously led the Features team, overseeing the entertainment, lifestyle, tech, travel and health sections for domestic CNN.com and mobile. Contact Mira 

Treasurer: Deborah Douglas

Deborah Douglas is the Pulliam Professor of Journalism at DePauw University, and has been a senior leader with The OpEd Project, a global initiative dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices.

She recently served as managing editor of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a year-long reporting project focused on the economic realities of Memphis, Tennessee, leading into the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination there. The project centered on marginalized voices and examined structural barriers to full economic participation. Contact Deborah

Secretary: Rachel Sams

Rachel Sams is editor-in-chief of Albuquerque Business First, where she manages newsroom strategy and has the privilege of helping amazing journalists do their best work online every day and in print once a week. She joined ABF in 2009 as associate editor.

Previously, she was a reporter at the Baltimore Business Journal and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. While at the BBJ, her reporting on the disciplinary records of Maryland stockbrokers received a first-place investigative reporting award from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association. She fell in love with journalism as an intern at her hometown paper, the Greenwood Commonwealth of Greenwood, Mississippi. She previously was Vice President of membership development for the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter. Contact Rachel

Board Members

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Emily DeRuy covers higher education for the Bay Area News Group, including the Mercury News and East Bay Times. She splits her time between San Jose and Oakland.

Prior to joining BANG, Emily covered education for The Atlantic in Washington, D.C. Before that, she wrote about politics and education for Fusion, at the time a joint venture between ABC News and Univision.  Her work has also appeared in National Journal, Congressional Quarterly, the San Francisco Chronicle and other outlets. Emily served as co-captain (with fellow board member Lottie Joiner) of the Washington, D.C. JAWS regional group. She is also a member of the National Press Club and the Education Writers Association. Contact Emily

Sarah Garrecht Gassen is the Editorial Page Editor, award-winning columnist and host of the opinion podcast “The Point Being” at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, where she has taught at the University of Arizona School of Journalism for more than a decade. She is a mentor with JAWS, a mentor/editor with The OpEd Project and captain of the Arizona Regional Group.

She began her career at The Associated Press and is a regular contributor to public affairs radio and television programs. She manages university students who work in The Star’s newsroom in an apprentice journalist program and has been a faculty member with The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. She specializes in coverage of education, children, social services and immigration policy. She’s passionate about disability issues and applied that to her 2010 University of Arizona Master’s Thesis: “Cultural Disability: Stories from journalists confined by outdated attitudes in the newsroom.” Contact Sarah

Charisse Gibson is a television news anchor and host at FOX 19 NOW- Cincinnati, Ohio.

She was a a 2015 JAWS Diversity Fellow and is a member of the JAWS Diversity Committee. Charisse believes JAWS has a unique opportunity to expand its core membership to women across the journalism field. As a Television News Anchor and woman of color, she finds opportunities to build relationships and partnerships with other affinity groups such as NABJ, AAJA, NAHJ, and NLGJA-the association of LGBTQ journalists which can lead to an expansion in education, leadership, mentorship, and membership. Contact Charisse

Lottie Joiner is the interim editor-in-chief of The Crisis magazine and a Washington, D.C.-based freelance journalist. She covers race, social justice, civil rights and African American culture. Her work focuses on issues that impact minorities, women, marginalized and underserved communities. She has written for The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Time.com, Vox.com, The Undefeated, Essence magazine and TheAtlantic.com.

Lottie is a John Jay Criminal Justice Reporting Fellow and a 2017 Schuster Institute/Fund for Investigative Journalism Fellow. Lottie is the Washington, D.C., regional captain for Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and a board member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Contact Lottie

Jennifer Kho is Managing Editor at HuffPost in New York.

She is interested in working in the Mentoring, Regional Groups, Diversity and CAMP committees, and aims to be part of the team helping to grow JAWS’ impact, visibility and inclusiveness to help more women succeed and improve the journalism industry overall.  Contact Jennifer

Marina Trahan Martinez is a New York Times freelancer and former producer/reporter at The Dallas Morning News in Dallas, Texas.

Marina has 18 years of professional print and broadcast newsroom expertise, and her contributions to JAWS have included membership support, panel speaking, regional organization, mentoring, and involvement encouragement within The Dallas Morning News. Contact Marina

Nicole Raz is the business editor at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

She formerly covered local politics for the Northern Virginia, D.C. and Southern Maryland area, as well as national and some international news as a multimedia reporter for Fliparc.com. Her video, audio and written reports have been published/broadcast by Voice of America, PBS, Discovery, and ABC News.

Raz was raised in an Israeli-American household on an apple orchard in Corrales, New Mexico, and attended middle school in Shanghai, China. She graduated from American University with a degree in journalism. When she is not chasing a story and/or fantasizing about future travels, Raz spends her time playing the violin, swing dancing and educating herself. Contact Nikki

Fara Warner is the founder of Shokan Studios (digital media, editing, consulting), in West Shokan, New York.

She is a former JAWS board member and worked on programming for CAMP in Asheville. Fara is glad to re-engage with the organization as her career shifts away from corporate media to founding a journalism start-up with a JAWS member, returning to teaching via the Poynter Foundation, and working with a non-profit focused on pay equity for women, specifically in the media industry.

She would like to focus on fundraising as the organization continues to evolve, improving diversity within JAWS and helping with CAMP planning. Contact Fara