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Home » Meet the next Leadership Academy for Women in Media cohort in 2023

Meet the next Leadership Academy for Women in Media cohort in 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (May 10, 2023) — The Poynter Institute, renowned for training newsroom leaders and fostering diversity in journalism, is delighted to announce the 31 leaders selected for the May 2023 Leadership Academy for Women in Media cohort.

The group will come to Poynter from Canada, Hungary, the U.K. and 14 states in the U.S, representing a variety of outlets, audiences and areas of expertise.

“I can’t wait to meet all the innovative women in this cohort, because I know each leader’s experience and expertise will contribute to a powerful week of community building and growth,” said Sitara Nieves, Poynter vice president of teaching and organizational strategy and one of the instructors for the May class. “With newsrooms shrinking or even closing, the pace of change in the media industry has only accelerated in recent months. That uncertainty is a heavy burden for leaders. This week will lighten the load and help guide leaders on a path forward.”

Poynter designed the Leadership Academy for Women in Media to diversify the ranks of people who lead the media industry, helping individual managers gain confidence, clout and connections. Each new cohort grows the alumni group of more than 550 women and nonbinary journalists. In a 2023 survey of program alumni from the last eight years, 60% of respondents took on new or expanded leadership roles, 60% reported being more influential in the strategy of their workplace and 75% said they were more confident. In open-ended survey responses, alumni said the confidence they gained from the program was crucial to helping them make tough decisions, proactively coach colleagues, lead change, pitch new ideas, advocate for better conditions and even choose to continue working in a challenging industry.

“Leaders often come into this program feeling totally alone in their experiences. What they learn is that they’re in fact supported by an alumni community of 550-plus unseen advocates for their success — all of whom understand the uniquely complex positions they’re in,” said academy director Kate Cox. “The impact on newsrooms of educating hundreds of leaders to navigate unsteady times hasn’t just been good for journalism — it’s been good for the communities these journalists serve. I’m so excited to extend our reach even further with this next cohort.”

Welcome to the newest Leadership Academy for Women in Media cohort:

  • Eunice Au, Global Team Manager, Global Investigative Journalism Network
  • Clarice Bajkowski, Creative Director, The 19th* News
  • Jennifer Barrios, Assignment Editor, The Washington Post
  • LA Blake, Senior SEO Manager, Hearst Magazines
  • Lauren Comitor, Deputy Managing Editor, The Athletic
  • Sarah DiLorenzo, Deputy Director, Top Stories Hub, The Associated Press
  • Emma Discher, Assistant Digital Editor, The Advocate | The Times-Picayune
  • Kara Estelle-Powers, Web Content Strategy Manager, Science/AAAS
  • Angela Evancie, Director of Engagement Journalism | Executive Producer, “Brave Little State,” Vermont Public
  • Meredith Garretson, Senior Producer, Marketplace Morning Report, Marketplace
  • Esther Gim, Managing Editor, Rewire News Group
  • Wendy Greenlaw, Head of Subscriptions, Raw Story
  • Yukari Kane, Co-Founder and CEO, Prison Journalism Project
  • Reina Kempt, Senior Editor, ESPN
  • Jessica Marshall, Formerly Executive Editor, Life Sciences, Chemical & Engineering News
  • Margaux Maxwell, Director of Digital, Seattle Times’ Affiliate Newspaper Group
  • Kristie May, Managing Editor, NowKalamazoo
  • Meagan McGinnes, Assistant Managing Editor, Newsletters, WBUR
  • Teresa Mioli, Program Coordinator, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
  • Natalie Moore, Product and Engagement Manager, Texas Highways Magazine
  • Nneoma (No-ma) Nwaigwe, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Commerce, Business Insider
  • Lindsay Putnam, Senior Editor, Bangor Daily News
  • Jacqueline Ronson, Managing Editor, The Discourse
  • Maura Sadovi, Senior Editor, CFO Dive, a publication of Industry Dive
  • Myrna Salas, Assistant News Director, Univision San Antonio
  • Mallika Sen, News Editor, Entertainment, The Associated Press
  • Amanda Steen, Producer II, Digital Video News, CNN
  • Cher Vincent, Supervising Producer, Content Development Team, NPR
  • Alana Watson, “All Things Considered” Host, WKYU; General Manager, WWHR
  • Marina Whiteleather, Director of Social Media and Audience Engagement, Education Week
  • Emily Zendt, Senior Digital Video Producer, NOVA PBS


The May academy will kick off with a keynote address from Los Angeles Times managing editor Sara Yasin. She will reflect on her career in digital media, including as the former BuzzFeed News managing editor who oversaw the newsroom’s first Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation. She will also talk about navigating industry changes and share why she still feels optimistic.

Other lessons during the week include:

  • The ever-popular work-life chemistry talk, plus how to market yourself, with Poynter faculty Kristen Hare
  • Intentional delegation, negotiation tactics, and ethical leadership with Cox
  • Managing through authenticity with consultant Maria Carrillo
  • Using positive psychology to silence your inner critic, with Tampa Bay Times communications director Sherri Day
  • Creating brave spaces for your team, with Poynter adjunct Mary Nahorniak
  • Getting smarter about conflict, Tampa Bay Times columnist and women’s leadership academy alum Stephanie Hayes

Selection process

Those chosen for Poynter’s 2023 Leadership Academy for Women in Media passed through multiple rounds of review with an emphasis to ensure diversity across race, ethnicity, geography, age, platform/medium, organization size and expertise to further enrich the participant experience. The academy takes place three times each year, and participants for all three academies are selected at the same time.

Applications open in August for the 2024 program. Learn more at

Poynter thanks the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Newmark Philanthropies, Gannett Foundation and Gill Foundation for support in making the 2023 Leadership Academy for Women in Media possible.

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