People + Policy
= Positive Change for the Public Good
Kim Gandy, Board Chair, is the president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, where she leads the nation's foremost voice for domestic abuse victims and the advocates and programs that serve them. She previously served as vice president and general counsel at the Feminist Majority and the Feminist Majority Foundation. 2001, Gandy was elected president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and chair of the NOW Foundation and political action committees. She served as president until being term-limited in 2009. Gandy also served as NOW's principal spokeswoman and is a well-known media commentator on women's rights. After leaving NOW, Gandy accepted a resident fellowship at Harvard University's Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. She was one of the lead organizers of the 2004 March for Women's Lives and a key organizer of the 1989 and 1992 marches. Gandy’s expertise in mass actions ensured that 1.2 million activists made the 2004 march for women's reproductive freedom the largest and most diverse grassroots mobilization in our nation's history.
Craig Aaron, President and CEO, took the leadership of Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund in April 2011. Craig joined Free Press in 2004 and speaks across the country on media, Internet and journalism issues. Craig is a frequent guest on talk radio and is quoted often in the national press. His commentaries also appear regularly in the Guardian and the Huffington Post. Before joining Free Press, he was an investigative reporter for Public Citizen's Congress Watch and the managing editor of In These Times magazine. He is the editor of two books, Appeal to Reason: The First 25 Years of In These Times and Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age.
Michael Copps is a former commissioner and acting chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, where he served from 2001–2011. Prior to joining the FCC, he served as chief of staff to Sen. Ernest Hollings for almost 12 years and was later appointed assistant secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department. Before coming to Washington, he was a professor of history at Loyola University in New Orleans from 1967–1970. Born in Milwaukee, he is a graduate of Wofford College and holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Copps continues to be active in the fight for media democracy, ubiquitous broadband and an open Internet.
Olga M. Davidson is a visiting associate professor in the Middle Eastern Studies program at Wellesley College, where her teaching focuses on Persian and Arabic languages and literature. Prior to joining Wellesley, she served as chair of the concentration in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University and also taught in the women's studies program. She is the author of Poet and Hero in the Persian Book of Kings and Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetry — both translated into Persian — and has published numerous academic articles. Besides her academic duties, she serves as chair of the board at the Ilex Foundation.
Maxie C. Jackson III served until recently as president and chief executive officer of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. He previously served as senior director for program development at New York Public Radio (WNYC), where he was involved in strategic planning for national and local programming, outreach and audience development efforts and new media and marketing initiatives. He helped launch The Takeaway and developed community-engagement strategies and a new evening program for WNYC. Maxie holds a master's degree in multichannel management from Michigan State University. He earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast management from Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Robert W. McChesney co-founded Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund. He is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author or editor of 13 award-winning books, including Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy: The Battle for the Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928–1935; Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy; The Global Media: The New Missionaries of Corporate Capitalism (with Edward S. Herman); Our Media, Not Theirs (with John Nichols); Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times; The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century; Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections and Destroy Democracy (with John Nichols); Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media; The Death and Life of American Journalism (with John Nichols); and, most recently, Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America (with John Nichols). He hosts a weekly program, Media Matters, on WILL-AM radio, the NPR affiliate in Urbana, Illinois.
John Nichols is the Nation's Washington correspondent and editorial-page editor of the Capital Times in Madison, Wis. He is the author of Against the Beast: A Documentary History of American Opposition to Empire; Jews for Buchanan; and Dick: The Man Who Is President. He is co-author, with Robert McChesney, of It's the Media, Stupid!; Our Media, Not Theirs; Tragedy and Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections and Destroy Democracy; The Death and Life of American Journalism; and, most recently, Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America (with Robert McChesney).
Liza Pike founded Resource Media's California office, where she helped shape the overall growth and direction of the organization and was lead strategist on a number of campaigns and projects. Resource Media is a national environmental communications nonprofit that provides strategic communications and media-outreach services to a diverse group of clients, including foundations, advocacy campaigns, nonprofit organizations and individuals working to protect the environment and improve public health. Before joining Resource Media, Liza was a press officer for the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco and worked with the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) as program and marketing director and in a number of other capacities. She is a member of CIR's board and also serves on the board of the Center for Media Change. She is currently developing a social media mentors project for nonprofits.
Josh Silver is the co-founder and former president and CEO of Free Press and serves as president emeritus on both the Free Press and Free Press Action Fund boards. He is the founding CEO of United Republic, an operating foundation challenging the undue influence of moneyed interests over government policymaking. Josh speaks and publishes widely on media, government corruption and technology issues. He was previously campaign manager for the successful Clean Elections in Arizona ballot initiative and director of development for the cultural arm of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
Loris Ann Taylor is the executive director of Native Public Media, which represents Native America's media interests through legacy and new media technologies, including radio, television, video, Internet and print. She was instrumental in helping establish the first FCC Tribal Priority for broadcasting and the FCC Office of Native Affairs. Taylor led the team that published the seminal study on broadband, New Media, Technology and Internet Use in Indian Country, and contributed to the FCC's National Broadband Plan. Taylor was honored with a 2006 Louis T. Delgado Award and the 2005 Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award. Formerly the general manager of KUYI-FM Radio, Taylor co-founded the Indian Country News Bureau, which won the UNITY Journalist of Color Award. She also produced the children's program Shooting Stars and the weekly talk show House Calls. Taylor currently serves as a member of the NPR board's Distribution and Interconnection Committee and is active in the Aspen Institute's Communications and Society program.
People + Policy
= Positive Change for the Public Good