Jessica is the director of research for Media Impact Funders, and the founder and director of media production/strategy firm Dot Connector Studio. She is also currently a senior fellow at the Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project. Previously, she served as the media strategist for AIR’s groundbreaking Localore project, the director of the Future of Public Media project at American University’s Center for Media and Social Impact, and a Knight Media Policy Fellow at D.C.-based think tank the New America Foundation. Over the past decade, she has led research and convenings with high-profile universities and national media networks, including NPR, PBS, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, MIT, and USC’s Annenberg School for Communication. She is the co-author of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media (The New Press, 2010), and a longtime independent journalist.
Katie is a research consultant for Media Impact Funders and associate director for media strategy and production firm Dot Connector Studio. She formerly served as associate research director at American University’s Center for Social Media (now the Center for Media and Social Impact), and as senior research associate at the University of Rhode Island’s Media Education Lab. Katie has led impact evaluations for many media organizations including PBS, Working Films, and the National Association for Latino Independent Producers. She has conducted extensive impact research, particularly on the power of documentary film, and has written about the power of media to make change for numerous academic and journalistic publications. Katie has created many educational toolkits that use media to dig into social issues, including curricula addressing youth and gender, substance abuse, and gender-based violence. Having also spent four years as the associate director of an environmental nonprofit, Katie is passionate about environmental causes.
Sabira De Piero
Before joining Media Impact Funders as operations manager, Sabira was lead account director and producer at ArsenalFX Color, a post-production facility in Santa Monica, Calif. Sabira has a B.A. in Communications from Santa Clara University, with a 10-year career in Los Angeles spanning a wide variety of roles in media, from assistant to producer. She has worked in film, commercials, and long-form television, from production, to visual effects, to post-production, collaborating with top studios such as HBO, Fox, NBC Universal, to name a few. Sabira moved from content production to philanthropy to return to her early goals of supporting media that makes a difference.
Roshni serves as Media Impact Funders’ program consultant. In that role, she works with members, partners, and the staff to develop and implement the organization’s programs and events. Roshni manages MIF’s program strategy to expand program offerings to foster meaningful collaboration and knowledge exchange between philanthropy and media makers. Prior to joining Media Impact Funders, Roshni worked at the Ford Foundation as an event producing consultant. She has worked in the philanthropic sector for most of her career in various capacities at organizations such as The Altman Foundation, North Star Fund, and Philanthropy New York. Roshni Melia holds a B.S. in Social Policy from Northwestern University and an MPA from New York University.
Nina joined MIF as communications director in January 2016. Before that, she spent two years in the wild world of corporate retail marketing, and before that, 10 years as a journalist. Nina has worked at the Dallas Morning News, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Weekly, in almost every capacity imaginable. She is just as comfortable editing a Pulitzer Prize-winning series on police corruption as she is writing those tabloid headlines that everyone loves to hate (or the other way around?). She started her career as a copy editor, so you know her grammar is tight. Nina is the creator and co-editor of the award-winning The Survivors Project: Telling the Truth About Life After Sexual Abuse, a book-length work of nonfiction that utilizes first-person storytelling to address the reality of healing from the effects of sexual abuse. Nina holds a master’s in journalism from Temple University.
Vince is a longtime and widely respected advocate for philanthropic efforts. Before joining Media Impact Funders as executive director, he was program director for Nonprofit Sector Support at the Surdna Foundation, a family foundation based in New York City. He also served as a consultant with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in support of its efforts in media innovation and journalism. Prior to joining Surdna, Stehle worked for 10 years as a reporter for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, where he covered a broad range of issues about the nonprofit sector. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the Center for Effective Philanthropy.