Christy Remey Chin
Interim CEO and Board Chair, Benetch
Christy Remey Chin is the Interim CEO and Board Chair at Benetech. She is also the board treasurer of Venture Forward, Food Forward and Save the Waves Coalition and is a board member of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund, Vote.org and the World Affairs Council of Northern California. Chin was a partner at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation from September 2009 to December 2020. She previously served on the boards of New Story and the National Venture Capital Association. Prior to joining DRK Foundation, Chin was the Deputy Director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Philanthropy Workshop, a donor education program for high net worth individuals, and served as a Senior Program Officer at the Skoll Foundation. She also has for-profit experience in venture capital with Bedrock Capital Partners and Norwest Venture Capital and at a venture-backed company, The Frontier Group. She received her MBA from the Harvard Business School and holds a BA in History from Colgate University.
Founder, CEO and President, Lucas Public Affairs
Donna Lucas has had a 30-year-career in which she has worked in senior executive positions both in public and private sectors. She was the deputy chief of staff for strategic planning and initiatives for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and chief of staff to First Lady Maria Shriver. She was the deputy press secretary for Gov. George Deukmejian, deputy treasurer for state Treasurer Tom Hayes, and California press secretary for the 1988 presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush. Lucas serves on several boards including the Crocker Art Museum, John Burton Advocates for Youth, College Futures Foundation, All About Sacramento, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. She is on the Executive Committee on the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is Chair-Emeritus of the Public Policy Institute of California.
Managing Director, Journalism Fellowship, Starling Lab for Data Integrity, University of Southern California/Stanford University
Ann Grimes is Managing Director, Journalism Fellowship at the Starling Lab for Data Integrity, run by the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation and Stanford University’s Department of Electrical Engineering, at Stanford / USC. She served as interim director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism where she also taught classes in the business of journalism. Earlier she co-directed the bi-coastal Brown Institute for Media Innovation, anchored at Columbia and Stanford University’s School of Engineering. She has also served as Director of Stanford Graduate Program in Journalism. A veteran journalist, Grimes has held senior editorial positions at The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. She earned her MA from the University of Chicago, BA from Georgetown, and was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford.
Co-Founder and Editor in Chief, California Pop-Up Magazine Productions
Douglas McGray is Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of California Pop-Up Magazine Productions, producer of California Sunday and Pop-Up Magazine. His features have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and Wired, and he has made radio stories for This American Life.
NBC4 Los Angles anchor and reporter, Interim Executive Director of CCNMA Latino Journalists of California
Mekahlo Medina anchors the NBC4 weekend morning news Today in LA and reports weekdays on NBC4 Today in LA and NBC News. He is also the Interim Executive Director of CCNMA, Latino Journalists of California. Prior to joining NBC4, Medina was a general assignment reporter for KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, KPNX-TV in Phoenix, and NBC television affiliates, KOB-TV in Albuquerque, and KTSM in El Paso. He is also a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association and the Native American Journalists Association. Medina previously served as president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and secretary of UNITY Journalists for Diversity.
Former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Knight Ridder Company
Tony Ridder brings more than four decades of newspaper experience to the CalMatters board, having served as newspaper division head, president, and ultimately, chairman of the board and CEO of Knight Ridder media company. Under his leadership, Knight Ridder was the second largest newspaper publisher in the United States. Ridder’s California experience includes serving as general manager and publisher of the San Jose Mercury News.
Co-Founder, American Journalism Project and Founder, Texas Tribune
John Thornton is co-founder of the American Journalism Project, the first venture philanthropy nonprofit focused on local news. He also founded the Texas Tribune, the nation’s first statewide nonprofit and nonpartisan online news organization, in 2009. He is the General Partner at Austin Ventures, a position he’s held since 1991. Previously, John was with McKinsey & Co.and has served on the Board of Directors for Ballet Austin, the Austin Museum of Art, and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. He also is a founding board member of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas and a former trustee of Trinity University.
Founding general manager and former President, ProPublica
Richard Tofel was the founding general manager of ProPublica, became president in 2013 and retired in September 2021. He had responsibility for all of ProPublica’s non-journalism operations, including communications, legal, development, finance and budgeting, and human resources. Also an accomplished nonfiction author, Richard was formerly the assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal. He also spent time as vice president of corporate communications for Dow Jones & Company, and as their assistant general counsel. More recently, he served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Professor of Communication and Political Science, University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and Founder and Director, USC Center for Third Space Thinking
Ernest J. Wilson III, Ph.D. is professor of communication and political science and former Dean of the Univeristy of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Wilson is also founder and director of the USC Center for Third Space Thinking, devoted to research, teaching and executive education on soft skills in the digital age. He is also a faculty fellow at USC Annenberg’s Center on Public Diplomacy, a member of the board of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the National Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Wilson was on the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 2000–2010, the last year as chairman, and served as dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism from 2007–2017.