August 30, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2023) — The Poynter Institute, renowned for training newsroom leaders and fostering diversity in journalism, is pleased to announce the 29 people selected for the third and final Leadership Academy for Women in Media cohort in 2023.  

The group will come to Poynter in September from Canada, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and 15 states in the U.S., plus Washington, D.C. They represent a variety of outlets, audiences and areas of expertise, including engineering, podcasting and visual storytelling. 

Poynter hosted two other women’s leadership academies this year in March and May; all participants were selected at the same time and placed into a specific cohort designed to generate rich and diverse group dynamics. Including these 29 women, Poynter will train 91 managers through this transformative program in 2023. 

“We can’t wait to welcome — and learn alongside — this newest cohort of high-impact leaders,” said Sitara Nieves, Poynter vice president of teaching and organizational strategy. “As we conclude another year of the Leadership Academy for Women in Media, we celebrate each alum’s contributions to making the journalism industry more sustainable and innovative. Poynter remains as dedicated as ever to empowering women in media through the connections and confidence-building inherent in the academy experience.”

Poynter designed the Leadership Academy for Women in Media in 2015 to diversify the ranks of people who lead the media industry. Each new cohort grows the alumni group of more than 550 women and nonbinary journalists.

“Journalism roles are increasingly dynamic, which means leaders need to be skilled in so much more than minding the craft and workflow. They also need to be emotionally intelligent experts in navigating newsroom culture, from ethics to retention and belonging to conflict management,” said academy director Kate Cox. “Even more, successful leadership requires a community of people who speak the same language around innovation and change. Each person who comes through Poynter’s program makes that community more robust and increases its impact on journalism writ large. I can’t wait to see what the final cohort of 2023 will contribute to the conversation.”

Read a conversation about career management with Leadership Academy for Women in Media Director Kate Cox and program alumni Zainab Shah, Jin Ding and Erika Hobbs. 

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

  • Kelly Anderson, Audience Engagement Editor, News24
  • Breann Birkenbuel, Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic
  • Amruta Byatnal, Inclusive Economies Editor, Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • Maggie Cassidy, Managing Editor, VTDigger
  • Rosalie Chan, Senior Tech Editor, Insider
  • Megan Doyle, Morning Executive Producer, 9NEWS
  • Nelle Dunlap, Digital Director, States Newsroom
  • Amanda Fiscina-Wells, Editor, Strategy and Platforms, Newsday Opinions
  • Kanina Holmes, Executive Producer, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Amber Jamieson, Senior News Editor, The Independent
  • Megan Kamerick, News Director, KUNM-FM
  • Erin Keane, Chief Content Officer, Salon
  • Ellen London, Managing Editor, GBH News
  • Johanna Love, Editor in Chief, Jackson Hole News&Guide
  • Melissa Mangini, Editor in Chief, Albany Business Review
  • Brittany Mayes, Engineering Lead, Election Features, The Washington Post
  • Holly Moore, Executive Producer, APTN
  • Samantha Nicles, Senior Social Producer, theSkimm
  • Marta Oliver Craviotto, Visual Innovation Editor, Miami Herald
  • Melina Olmo, Founder & CEO, Cultura Diplomática
  • Amanda Peacher, Senior Acquisitions Editor, Marketplace
  • Lidia Ryan, Managing Editor, Features and Trending, Hearst Connecticut Media Group
  • Laura Scheer, City Editor, Missoulian
  • Gabrielle Sierra, Director of Podcasting, Host of “Why It Matters,” Council on Foreign Relations
  • Mc Nelly Torres, Editor, Center for Public Integrity
  • Anika Varty, Assistant Metro Editor, The Seattle Times
  • Priyanka Vora, Director, Audience, Axios
  • Azia Wiggins, Deputy Editor of Voices and Systemic Reporting, Mississippi Free Press
  • Nicole Zhu, Engineering Manager, Vox Media

Poynter is seeking applicants now to seat all three Leadership Academies for Women in Media in 2024. The deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 8. Interested applicants can learn more here


The September academy will kick off with a keynote conversation between Cox and women’s leadership academy alum and executive director of Outlier Media, Candice Fortman. They will talk about how nonprofit and local news are changing.

Other lessons during the week include:

  • The 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, and recruitment and retention, with consultant Maria Carrillo
  • Using positive psychology to silence your inner critic, with Tampa Bay Times communications director Sherri Day
  • Decision-making styles at work, and getting smarter about conflict, with Poynter adjunct Cheryl Carpenter 
  • How to mind your own career trajectory as you support others, with Tampa Bay Times columnist and women’s leadership academy alum Stephanie Hayes

Each instructor will also offer coaching, as will Poynter’s senior director of publishing and local news initiatives, Jennifer Orsi.

Selection process

Those chosen for Poynter’s 2023 Leadership Academy for Women in Media passed through multiple rounds of review that emphasize diversity across race, ethnicity, geography, age, platform/medium, organization size and expertise to further enrich the participant experience. 

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.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Mel Grau is the director of program management at The Poynter Institute. Mel was formerly the senior product specialist, focusing on Poynter's training experiences and…
Mel Grau

More News

Back to News