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Board of Directors

  • Photo of David Boardman

    David Boardman

    Board Chair

    David Boardman is Dean of the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has academic and financial responsibility for one of the largest and most comprehensive programs of its kind, with some 2,500 students and 200 faculty members.

    Since joining the college in 2013, Boardman has led major strategic initiatives that have raised its profile, resources and standing. In 2022, he was named the Scripps Howard Administrator of the year by his peers in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). In 2018, Klein College received the nation’s top Equity and Diversity Award from AEJMC. Also in 2022 and 2018, Temple University Television, an enterprise of the Klein College, was named the nation’s best college television station by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System.

    Previously, Boardman was Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of The Seattle Times, the largest news organization in the Pacific Northwest. Under his leadership, The Times won four Pulitzer Prizes and produced 10 Pulitzer finalists.

    Boardman personally has been the recipient of numerous other major national awards, including the National Ethics Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Goldsmith Prize in Investigative Reporting from Harvard University, the Worth Bingham Prize in Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and the Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service Award.

    Boardman is founding chair and a current board member of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the nonprofit that owns The Philadelphia Inquirer and is focused on sustainability of local news. He also chairs the nonprofit news site The Markup, focused on the nexus of technology and society, and Spotlight PA, a nonprofit investigative news site. He is the immediate past chair of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and is a member of its Executive Committee. He also serves on the boards of the Solutions Journalism Network, the American Society of News Editors Foundation and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. He sits on the advisory boards of ProPublica, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and Investigative Reporting Denmark. Boardman serves on the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and is its immediate past president.

    Boardman also is a past president and board member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and of the American Society of News Editors, and served as chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He is a Poynter Ethics Fellow. He is a former member of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Board and has served six times as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes.

    Boardman has conducted seminars for journalists in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hong Kong, Israel, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa and Turkey.

    Before joining The Times in 1983, Boardman was a reporter and editor at several papers in the Northwest, and worked on a construction project in Liberia, West Africa. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and has a graduate degree from the University of Washington. He is an inductee of both the Medill Alumni Hall of Achievement and the University of Washington Communications Hall of Fame.

    He has volunteered as a youth basketball coach and has served on advisory boards supporting music and journalism programs in public schools. He enjoys kayaking, hiking, yoga, reading, cooking, wine, travel, music, and cheering on the Temple Owls and Philadelphia’s sports teams.

  • Photo of Annie McCain Madonia

    Annie McCain Madonia

    Vice Chair

    Annie is The Lenfest Institute for Journalism’s Chief Advancement Officer. In this role, she works across the organization, leading fundraising, communications, and Board development. She also launched and leads the Lenfest News Philanthropy Network, a community of practice focused on fundraising for local news, which now reaches more than 2,000 members. Prior to the Institute, Annie led the development programs at the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra. Prior to that she held development positions at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Annie graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Art History. She lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.
  • Photo of Christopher Baxter

    Christopher Baxter

    CEO & President

    Christopher Baxter is the CEO/president and founding editor of Spotlight PA, and oversees all aspects of the organization. His work as an investigative reporter and editor has regularly prompted meaningful change in the form of new laws and regulations, criminal investigations, resignations, legislative hearings, and more. Most recently, he was the editor for data and investigations at NJ Advance Media ( & The Star-Ledger), where he led the newsroom’s highest-level investigative projects with a digital-first approach and an emphasis on journalism that gets results. Previously, he was the Mike Wallace Fellow in Investigative Reporting with the Knight-Wallace Fellowships at the University of Michigan and, before that, worked for four years as a statehouse investigative reporter in The Star-Ledger’s Trenton Bureau. He began his career as a local reporter for The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. His work has garnered numerous state and national awards, including the 2014 Livingston Award in Local Reporting, the 2018 Investigative Reporters & Editors Freedom of Information Award, as well as the 2019 Knight Award for Public Service and the 2019 Investigative Data Journalism Award from the Online News Association.
  • Photo of Michael Berry

    Michael Berry

    Ex Officio

    For over 20 years, Michael Berry has represented news, entertainment, and other media clients in defamation and privacy suits, fought for the right of the press and public to access government and court records, defended reporters who are subpoenaed, and advised clients on newsgathering and other First Amendment matters. He is a trial lawyer who regularly defends media companies in federal and state courts throughout the country. For example, Michael has served as trial counsel for prominent newspapers and websites and succeeded in unsealing records in high-profile criminal prosecutions and high-stakes corporate litigation.

    In light of his accomplishments, The Best Lawyers in America named Michael its First Amendment Law Lawyer of the Year in Philadelphia for 2018, 2020, and 2023, its Media Lawyer of the Year in Philadelphia for 2019, and most recently its 2022 Lawyer of the Year in Philadelphia for First Amendment Litigation. In 2020, The Legal Intelligencer named him as a “Power Player,” which recognizes attorneys who through their advocacy made a significant impact on public policy, legislation, or jurisprudence in Pennsylvania.

  • Photo of Olivia Benson

    Olivia Benson

    Olivia Benson is the Chief Operating Officer of The Forbes Funds (TFF). At TFF, Olivia leads the implementation of the organization’s social impact goals – including program alignment to the Social Determinants of Health and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the development of humanity centered training for community based partners. She also manages the organization’s largest funding portfolio, the Catalytic Community Cohorts, designed to develop best practices for the nonprofit sector through collaboration, identifying community-wide assets, and tracking key metrics. Olivia served as a thought partner for one of the first green infrastructure, pay-for-success projects in the Pittsburgh region and also helped co-found She Runs SWPA, an initiative to help more women run for and get elected to public office.

    Before TFF, Olivia worked for the Women and Girls Foundation of SWPA (WGF). Prior to joining WGF, Olivia program managed multi-million dollar smart city technology implementation programs for various cities throughout the country. Olivia has also worked for the US House of Representatives and on a number of political campaigns in Pennsylvania. From 2011 - 2013, Olivia served as the Director of Youth Policy for the City of Pittsburgh..

    Olivia is a featured commentator who regularly speaks on national political trends, women seeking election to public office, civic engagement, nonprofits, and social impact policies.

    Olivia holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Point Park University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Olivia and her husband Andrew have two children Henry and Celia and a dog, Bruce Wayne (“The Bark Knight”).

  • Photo of George Fernandez

    George Fernandez

    By combining his authentic experience with a passion for leadership and service, George M. Fernandez builds companies that deliver high-impact solutions to address social determinants of health in culturally diverse markets.

    George is a highly accomplished and respected visionary and leader in the multicultural community. He is the President & CEO of Color & Culture which is an integrated family of brands and changemakers that provide culturally relevant, human-centered strategies to solve ever-evolving challenges. As the brainpower and visionary within Color & Culture, George is focused on helping organizations transform lives and communities by embracing all cultural identities.

    Color & Culture encompasses two separate organizations, each uniquely impactful in their own right, Latino Connection and PPO&S. Founded in 2014, Latino Connection is Pennsylvania’s premier marketing and communications agency that launches brands into the country’s most powerful multicultural market. With a passionate mission to educate and support the Latino community, Latino Connection has developed a non-traditional approach to strategic communications assignments, marketing and PR, high-quality translation, and digital media campaigns.

    Since its founding more than 40 years ago, PPO&S has developed into one of the most successful advertising and communications practices in the region. Today PPO&S is a full-service, integrated marketing communications firm with an award-winning reputation for conducting marketing and advertising campaigns for a variety of private sector and mission-driven clients. PPO&S has a longstanding reputation for its client service and collaboration, along with its research-based approach to developing measurable solutions, particularly in working on issues requiring public involvement and outreach.

    George is also the Founder & CEO of Fernandez Realty Group, a minority-owned commercial real estate development and property management company with a broad portfolio of over 20+ rental properties and numerous affordable housing development projects located throughout South Central Pennsylvania. With a heart for meeting the needs of the community, FRG’s low-income housing projects take a holistic approach to directly address the major social, economic, and health disparities among our minority communities.

    As a rising leader and visionary within the Latino community, George has been recognized with many unique opportunities and prestigious honors including the Jefferson Award, the Harrisburg Chamber’s Business Diversity & Inclusion Champion, and multiple honors from the Central Penn Business Journal including Forty Under 40, Healthcare Hero, and Game Changers Award for the most-loved CEO.

  • Photo of Kathleen Pavelko

    Kathleen Pavelko

    Kathleen Pavelko is a journalist, media executive and consultant to non-profits. She served as President and CEO of WITF Public Media in Harrisburg, PA from 1999 to 2019. Ms. Pavelko was founder and advocate for PA Post, a non-partisan digital news service launched by WITF in September 2018. PA Post is now part of Spotlight PA.

    As CEO of WITF, Pavelko raised $21 million to build the Public Media Center and negotiated an EBS spectrum lease and a channel sharing agreement which brought $65 million in assets to WITF, increasing its endowment from $430,000 in 1999 to $33 million in 2019. Ms. Pavelko also served as president of Prairie Public Broadcasting (1996-99), at Penn State Public Broadcasting, at West Virginia Public Broadcasting and as a freelance journalist in Athens and London.

    Ms. Pavelko served as assistant professor of communications at Penn State, where she earned a B.A. in ancient history and an M.A. in Journalism. She also earned certificates in non-profit management from the U.C./Berkeley and the Harvard Business School, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Elizabethtown College. She currently serves on the boards of UPMC Central PA, UPMC Health Plan and the Archaeological Institute of America.