David Rousseau Chair
Vice President, Media and Technology, Kaiser Family Foundation
David Rousseau is vice president and executive director of Media and Technology at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Based at the Foundation’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, he oversees the Foundation’s media programs, including Kaiser Health News and all journalism programs, and directs the Foundation’s technology and online activities. Previously, Rousseau was director of the Foundation’s statehealthfacts.org project and was an associate director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Rousseau serves as chair of the Media Impact Funders board, is a member of the Grantmakers in Health board, and advises Crisis Text Line on data ethics issues. Rousseau has been a member of the adjunct faculty of the George Washington University School of Public Health as a lecturer in the department of Health Policy, and has served on numerous task forces and advisory groups for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Academy of Sciences, and the City of New Orleans (his hometown). His work has appeared in journals including Health Affairs and the Journal of the American Medical Association, where he created and edits the Visualizing Health Policy series in partnership with the Journal. He has spoken on health policy and journalism topics at a wide range of conferences and events. Prior to joining the Foundation, Rousseau worked as a consultant at the Lewin Group. Rousseau received his Masters in Public Health from Yale University’s School of Medicine, and his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Yale College.
Elizabeth Christopherson Vice Chair
President & CEO, Rita Allen Foundation
Elizabeth Christopherson is president and CEO of the Rita Allen Foundation, an organization investing in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems in science and society. The foundation supports early-career biomedical scholars doing pioneering research, seeds innovative approaches to fostering informed civic engagement, and develops knowledge and networks to build the effectiveness of the philanthropic sector. She is guiding the foundation through a period of rapid expansion, including building new investments and coalitions to strengthen the role of science and evidence in civic dialogue and decision-making. A respected advocate for improving how the philanthropic sector listens to and learns from the communities they aim to serve, she recently was a judge for the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change initiative, which awarded $100 million to a single project to make a measurable impact on a significant problem in the world.
Tim Isgitt Treasurer
CEO, Public Media Company
Tim Isgitt is a nonprofit leader who has worked throughout his career to strengthen and advance public interest media. He is the CEO of Public Media Company, a nonprofit strategic consulting firm that works with public and independent media organizations to drive growth, facilitate partnerships, and provide a variety of other services. Previously, Tim served as Managing Director of Humanity United, a human rights-focused foundation that supports investigative journalists and storytellers around the world. Tim also served as Senior Vice President of Communications and Government Affairs at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, as well as in leadership and service roles at the U.S. State Department and public affairs firms Burson-Marsteller and Meyers & Associates. Tim began his career as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds a BA in political science from Texas A&M University, and his MA in government from The Johns Hopkins University. In addition to serving on the board of Media Impact Funders, Tim is the chair of the board of The Fuller Project, a global newsroom dedicated to groundbreaking reporting on women.
Chief External Affairs Officer, Joyce Foundation
Kayce Ataiyero is the Chief External Affairs Officer at the Joyce Foundation, where she oversees the Foundation’s strategic communications, the Journalism Program and the Lend A Hand community grants fund. She is also a member of the Foundation’s leadership team. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2018, she served as Director of External Affairs for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she led communications and community engagement. She has also led communications for U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly, the Illinois Governor’s Office and the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. A former journalist, Kayce was a staff writer for a number of national newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer. A native of Washington, D.C., she received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.
VP/Journalism, Knight Foundation
Jim Brady, who joined Knight Foundation in 2021, is a digital media innovator whose experience ranges from leading major brands such as washingtonpost.com and Digital First Media to starting a company that built local news sites in three cities.
As CEO of Spirited Media, which developed local news sites Billy Penn in Philadelphia, The Incline in Pittsburgh and Denverite in Denver, Brady differentiated the organizations with a mobile-first approach and a business focus on events and membership — rather than advertising — as core revenue lines. In 2019, Spirited Media sold Denverite to Colorado Public Radio, The Incline to digital startup Whereby.us and Billy Penn to WHYY, Philadelphia’s iconic public radio station.
Previously, as editor-in-chief of Digital First Media, Brady was responsible for the strategy and management of the 75 daily newspapers, 292 non-daily publications and 341 online sites owned by Journal Register Company and MediaNews Group. He also built and managed the company’s Thunderdome unit, which comprised more than 50 digitally focused journalists charged with providing cutting-edge national content for DFM’s local properties.
During Brady’s tenure as executive editor of washingtonpost.com, the site won a national Emmy award for its Hurricane Katrina coverage, a Peabody Award for its “Being a Black Man” series, and numerous other journalism awards. He also ran AOL’s news coverage of the 9/11 attacks and 2000 presidential election, and served as ESPN’s public editor from 2015-18.
Brady is a past president of the Online News Association, a two-time judge of the Pulitzer Prizes, and currently serves on the boards of the American Press Institute and the National Press Foundation. He is a graduate of American University.
President and CEO, Scripps Howard Foundation
Liz Carter joined the Scripps Howard Foundation as president and CEO in 2015. She is a champion of journalistic excellence and oversees the Foundation’s investment in local nonprofits across the country, including those in Cincinnati, home to The E.W. Scripps Company.
Carter received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Louisville and worked as a reporter for the Community Press Newspapers in Cincinnati from 1995-1999.
Vice President, External Affairs, Rasmuson Foundation
Angela Cox joined Rasmuson Foundation as VP of External Affairs in June 2017. She oversees communication, events and the public policy work of the Foundation. Her past experiences include serving as Vice President of Administration at Arctic Slope Native Association, a nonprofit tribal health organization, Director of Foundation and Endowment Development for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, and a program associate at Ford Foundation. She received her master’s degree in public administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow School of Communication. Angela serves as a board member for the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation, The Foraker Group Operations Board and the Ilisagvik College Foundation. Angela is from Utqiaġvik, Alaska, and previously worked with Rasmuson Foundation as communications intern in 2004-05.
Senior Director of Communications and External Influence, The Colorado Health Foundation
Taryn is a storyteller at heart. At the Foundation, she leads the Communications team, where she sets the vision for the communications department to advance organizational influence through effective and equitable communications and community engagement. She also co-leads the Foundation’s organizational bilingual strategy and media investing work, along with overseeing programming that advances the nonprofit executive leadership sector. Through all of this work, Taryn is driven by her belief that everyone deserves to be healthy, regardless of economic, social or geographic circumstances. As a communicator, she also believes we have a responsibility to tell the story of Colorado’s health and create a sense of belonging for those the Foundation serves.
Taryn has worked in health-related strategic communications for more than 20 years and has been at the Foundation since 2013. She started her career as a journalist, eventually moving into the corporate health communications sector working for about a decade in New York City at leading communications agencies where she honed her skills in public relations, brand development and marketing. After moving to Denver, she transitioned to the nonprofit sector, working as a marketing and communications director for a national patient advocacy organization that is now part of the American Stroke Association/American Heart Association. She then transitioned to the philanthropic health sector to lead communications at the Foundation.
Having grown up in a rural Kansas community, Taryn appreciates reconnecting to her small-town roots while out on the road in rural Colorado. She especially loves producing community events and engaging directly with Coloradans about their experiences in life. It makes sense that this storyteller’s favorite hobbies include reading historical narratives, short stories and The New Yorker. Never one to stay still for long, Taryn has been an avid runner since the age of 17. On weekends, she strikes a healthy balance — brewery hopping, hiking, being a dance mom, and spending time with her husband, Matt, and daughter, Ginger.
Managing Director, Public Engagement and Communications, Skoll Foundation
Suzana helps drive the Skoll Foundation’s “connect and celebrate” mission and strategy to leverage the Foundation’s network–one of its largest and most important assets. Guided by a core belief in storytelling and advocacy as important change agents, Suzana leads the Public Engagement, Communications, and Creative Services team. The team works to engage and activate audiences to mobilize cross-sectoral support for social entrepreneurs driving systemic solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Suzana has decades of experience in communications, marketing, and public engagement. Prior to joining the Skoll Foundation, Suzana built and directed marcom departments and brands for philanthropies like the Ford Foundation, NGOs like the International Center for Transitional Justice, and corporations like IBM/Lotus. With justice and equity as her north stars from an early age, Suzana started her career as a human rights investigator in her home country of Croatia, working to bring to justice human rights violators during Yugoslavia’s civil war in the 1990s. At the International Center for Transitional Justice, she developed public engagement strategies for national transition efforts including: truth commissions in Peru and Morocco; advocacy initiatives for tribunals in Iraq, the Former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda; and campaigns for human rights in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Syria. Suzana received a Master of International Affairs in Human Rights from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree from Harvard University. She is currently working on a range of urgent global problems, including access to health and education, climate change and clean energy, and an initiative looking at how the demand and supply side of the media industry could be improved to better serve and support civil society and democracy.
Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Alex Jakana is a Program Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and former BBC Journalist. Alex started his career as a Presenter at Radio One FM 90, hosting one of the longest running daily talk shows in Uganda. In 2004, he joined BBC as a Journalist and Presenter. Since 2014 he had a position of Executive Producer and left the company in 2016. Alex is a graduate of Makerere University. He describes himself as a communicator, a passionate advocate of collaboration and a believer in the power of partnership. As an international broadcast journalist with eighteen years of experience, he’s been blessed to hear (and tell) the stories of men, women and children across Africa—witnessing first-hand the growth of a continent he loves deeply.
Vice President, Journalism, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Vice President, Communications, Pittsburgh Foundation
Doug joined The Pittsburgh Foundation in 2014. As vice president of communications, he is responsible for all internal and external communications, marketing and branding of key programs. He oversees production of all Foundation publications, including the annual report to the community and a quarterly news publication. He also serves as the primary contact for media and chief spokesperson for the Foundation.
Doug comes to the position with an extensive background in local philanthropy, daily newspaper journalism, magazine and book writing, as well as some government service.
Before joining The Pittsburgh Foundation, he directed communications and public affairs for The Heinz Endowments, one of the largest regionally-focused foundations in the country. Before that, he served for several years as communications director for then Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University’s journalism program, he worked for more than a decade as a writer for the Pittsburgh Press. When the newspaper closed, Doug taught nonfiction creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh, completed an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship and then wrote for more than a dozen national and regional magazines. He also is the author of two books, one a travel history guide to Pennsylvania.
Program Officer, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
A committed partnership-builder, Andres has worked in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors fostering collaborations to drive social change. His experience includes policy-making in several fields, from transportation to tourism. Prior to McCormick, he led work at Grand Victoria Foundation developing networks to improve early childhood and environmental policy in Illinois. He brings to the Democracy Program an understanding of government institutions, built through service in local, regional, and national public agencies, including most recently, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, where he focused on developing strategies to promote inclusive economic growth. Andres holds degrees in City Design and Policy, from the London School of Economics, and Humanities, from Yale University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Children’s Choir. Andres served as a non-board committee member of Media Impact Funders prior to joining the Board of Directors.
Director, Strategic Communications, Annie E. Casey Foundation
As director of strategic communications, Norris West leads a team that works to support the Foundation’s program and capacity-building units in developing messages, tools and communications materials that share lessons and best ideas. He is a former journalist who spent the majority of his 23-year journalism career at The Baltimore Sun, covering a broad range of assignments that included legal affairs, nonprofits, business and transportation. Since leaving journalism, he has worked as a communications professional. He has been director of communications at the Maryland Department of Human Resources and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association and Casey Family Programs. In addition, he has served as press secretary at the Corporation for National and Community Service and communications strategist at the U.S. Coast Guard.
Chief Storytelling Officer, Senior Vice President, National Geographic Society
Kaitlin Yarnall is the Vice President of Media Innovation for the National Geographic Society, where she is responsible for expanding the organization’s impact in journalism, photography and data visualization. In this capacity, Yarnall identifies key partnership, grantmaking and fellowship opportunities with creative talent to help the Society further illuminate issues around its three areas of focus: Our Changing Planet, Wildlife and Wild Places and the Human Journey. Prior to assuming her current role, Yarnall was head of Nat Geo Labs, where she oversaw programs, funding and outreach in the core areas of geographic visualization, exploration technology, digital exploration and the science of communication. Yarnall began her career at National Geographic 12 years ago as a cartographer. Since that time, she has served as Executive Editor of National Geographic magazine, Director of Cartography and Deputy Creative Director. Yarnall was the lead editorial manager for National Geographic’s groundbreaking food initiative, which launched in 2014. At the time, this multi-year platform was National Geographic’s most commercially successful editorial initiative. In addition to her editorial responsibilities, she negotiated and oversaw groundbreaking collaborations with multiple U.N. agencies around food security and agriculture. Yarnall was also deeply involved in conceptualizing the storytelling for past National Geographic series on urban impacts and population. Yarnall frequently speaks on topics such as storytelling, data visualization, mapping and visual narratives. She has been a keynote speaker at conferences around the globe, addressing the UN General Assembly, Scandinavian royals and rock concert stadiums. Yarnall has written extensively about information graphics, data visualization and cartography. Her book contributions include publications by Taschen, Gestalten and other international publishing houses. Additionally, she often serves as a jury member for international journalism and design competitions. Yarnall studied Latin American literature and geography at Humboldt State University and earned her M.A. in geography from The George Washington University.
David Haas Emeritus
Vice Chair, Wyncote Foundation
David Haas is a Philadelphia-based philanthropist with a longtime interest in public media, journalism and arts and culture. He is vice chair of the Wyncote Foundation, founded in 2009, which makes grants in a variety of areas including public media and journalism, and has served since 1982 on the board of the William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by his grandparents Otto and Phoebe Haas. He has been a board member of Media Impact Funders since 1994, and board chair from 2002-2015. Haas serves on the board of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, created in 2016 by philanthropist Gerry Lenfest with the donation of the Philadelphia Media Network. He has worked as a freelance photographer, and ran the Philadelphia Independent Film/Video Association from 1989-1997. He grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, and has been a resident of Philadelphia since 1981.
Board leadership opportunities
Are you working at the intersection of media and philanthropy and would like to learn more about serving on the Board of Directors of Media Impact Funders? MIF considers new members on an ongoing basis.