The History of Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Media

The Leadership Academy for Women in (Digital) Media was founded in 2015 in partnership with ONA. The joint program became overwhelmingly popular with hundreds of applicants for just 28 spots, so ONA branched off in 2017 to host a sister program and serve more women in the industry. In 2018, Poynter continued to serve the need for formal leadership training by expanding to three academies each year.

ONA and Poynter continue to work together to offer transformative training to diverse women in the news, digital media and tech spaces. As partners, we share best practices and swap ideas, collaborate on application timelines, and coordinate during the selection process to ensure there’s no overlap in accepted applicants.

More than 500 women have graduated from Poynter’s  leadership program alone; many volunteer as mentors on Digital Women Leaders, which is owned and operated by program co-founder Katie Hawkins-Gaar. Meet some past participants and instructors from the Poynter program below.

Past Poynter participants:

Past Poynter instructors:

Note: Titles and employers may not be up-to-date.

Masuma Ahuja

Sarah Alvarez

Kainaz Amaria

Moni Basu

Melissa Bell

Jennifer Brandel

LaSharah Bunting

Emma Carew Grovum

Kari Cobham

Kat Downs Mulder

Meghann Farnsworth

Dr. Michelle Ferrier

Candice Fortman (Knight Fellow)

Tracy Grant

Mel Grau

Adrienne Green

Megan Greenwell

Charo Henríquez

Sabrina Hersi Issa

Mandy Hofmockel

S. Mitra Kalita

Áine Kerr

Sara Konrad Baranowski

Mira Lowe

Joy Mayer

Kelly McBride

Raju Narisetti

Amy O’Leary

Carol Pauli

Lauren Rabaino

Gloria Riviera

Destinée-Charisse Royal

Vivian Schiller

Andrea Schneider

Swati Sharma

Chris Sheridan

Rachel Smolkin

Hannah Storm

Christina Tapper

Millie Tran

Elite Truong