Board & Friends

Board Members

Board members share a commitment to public service through their work in various nonprofit and educational organizations. They also share a belief that vigorous coverage of government and public policy is essential to the common good. It is that belief, rather than commitment to any particular cause, that has led them to contribute their time and expertise to the Connecticut News Project. The Board of Directors has no role in shaping news coverage.

Julia Belaga

Ms. Belaga serves on the board of the Westport Public Library and on the boards of the CT League of Conservation Voters (where she was a co-founder) and the CT Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound. She was the Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, appointed by President George H. W. Bush, and was the Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of the Export-Import Bank, appointed by President Bill Clinton. Ms. Belaga was the Republican candidate for Governor in 1986, having represented Westport from 1976 to 1986 in the CT House of Representatives.

Marcia Chambers, MSL

Ms. Chambers is a Research Scholar at Yale Law School. She has been a reporter for The New York Times, the Associated Press and a columnist for The National Law Journal, and is now the editor of the award-winning online news site, the Branford Eagle. She is a member of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information and a former member of the Poynter Advisory Board at Yale.

William Cibes, Jr., PhD.

Dr. Cibes was Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management under Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., (1991-1994) and Chancellor of the Connecticut State University System (1994-2006). While professor of government at Connecticut College (1969-1991), Cibes also served in the CT General Assembly (1979-1991).

Jeannette DeJesus

Ms. DeJesus is Senior Vice President of the Wheeler Clinic, the statewide behavioral health organization. Previously, she was Gov. Dannel Malloy's special adviser on health reform and Director of the Office of Health Reform & Innovation. DeJesus has a degree in public administration from Harvard and one in social work from New York University. She has worked as Vice President for strategic alliances at the Connecticut Hospital Association and also spent eight years at the Hispanic Health Council, where she was president and CEO. She previously served as executive vice president of the National Conference for Community and Justice.

Juan A. Figueroa

Attorney Figueroa is Corporation Counsel of the City of Hartford. Before that, from 2003-2012, he led the Universal Health Care Foundation. The Foundation's innovative strategies have garnered national recognition, including the Council on Foundations' prestigious Wilmer Shields Award. Mr. Figueroa is a former CT legislator, Asst. Attorney General and staff attorney for the CT Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. In 2010, Mr. Figueroa took a leave of absence to run for Governor as a petitioning candidate in the Democratic Party primary, the first Latino to run for Governor in CT. He was president of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund in NYC. He serves on the boards of Progreso Latino Fund, Latinos for National Health Insurance, Partnership for Strong Communities, and Proteus Fund. He received his J.D. from Santa Clara University and his B.A. from Macalester College, and honorary doctorates from CUNY Law School and Charter Oak College.

Shelley Geballe, JD, MPH

Attorney Geballe is on the faculty of Yale School of Public Health and Yale Law School, where she teaches courses in public health law, health disparities, and legislative advocacy. A co-founder of CT Voices for Children and its President until 2008, she now serves as its Distinguished Senior Fellow. A former civil rights attorney, Geballe was a founding member of Yale's Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) and has done national and international consulting in the areas of public health and AIDS law. Her publications include "Forgotten Children of the AIDS Epidemic" (Yale University Press, 1995).

Ulysses B. Hammond, JD

Mr. Hammond is Vice President for Administration at Connecticut College. He is the past chair of the Boards of Directors at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. He has also recently served on the boards of the Connecticut Judicial Selection Commission and Connecticut Legal Services. Mr. Hammond was Executive Officer of the District of Columbia Courts from 1990 to 2000, and was the first African American in the U.S. to administer an appellate and general jurisdiction court system.

Meghan Lowney

Ms. Lowney is the founding Executive Director of the ZOOM Foundation. She launched the ZOOM Fellowship Program in 2012 to create action-oriented learning opportunities for emerging public policy and social change leaders. She is also currently on the Board of Excel Bridgeport and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. In the past, Ms. Lowney founded Ripple Effect Consulting, and the Leadership Development Roundtable. She also served for 10 years as the Executive Director of Operation Hope of Fairfield.

Morgan McGinley

Mr. McGinley of New London was Editorial Page Editor of The Day for more than 25 years. He was president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers in 1998 and the New England Society of Newspaper Editors in 1992. He served as a Pulitzer Prize juror in 2004 and 2005. He was a member of the Task Force on Minorities in the Newspaper Business and established a New England jobs bank for minorities. He is a past president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information and serves on that board, as well as the board of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government. He was the first James Clendinen Fellow in Critical Writing at the University of South Florida, received the Stephen Collins Award for FOI causes in Connecticut and the Yankee Quill Award from the Academy of New England Journalists.

Stanley A. Twardy, Jr., JD, LLM

Attorney Twardy is a partner at the Day Pitney LLP law firm. He served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut (1985-1991) and Chief of Staff for Connecticut Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. (1991-1993).

Fahd Vahidy

Mr. Vahidy serves as an Advisor to the Graustein Family Office and co-leads the Community Leadership Program in New Haven. He is a founding member and the former Executive Director of Public Allies CT. He serves on the board of Youth Rights Media and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. He received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Connecticut.

Former Board Member

Robert Hohler

Robert Hohler, executive director of the Melville Charitable Trust and a founding member of the Board of The Connecticut News Project, publisher of The Mirror, died on June 2, 2011, while hiking with his family in England. He was a civil rights activist who marched on Selma, Ala., with Martin Luther King Jr., then helped produce an acclaimed television history of the movement, "Eyes on the Prize." As head of the Melville Charitable Trust, he led efforts to combat homelessness and shape public policy. He was the 2009 recipient of the national Grantmaker of the Year Award from the Council on Foundations. He also headed a consulting company focused on enhancing the effectiveness of nonprofits, and he wrote and produced 20 film, radio, and TV programs, among many other endeavors over his long career.

Friends of the Connecticut News Project

The Connecticut Mirror would like to thank the following people who provide guidance to the Board of Directors:

Paul Bass, New Haven
Scott Brohinsky, Simsbury
Roxanne Coady, Madison
John Dankosky, Hartford
Don DeCesare, Norwalk
Kate Emery, Farmington
Nathan Garland, New Haven
Gordon Geballe, Branford
Lou Golden, Hartford
Bill Graustein, New Haven
Carl T. Horton, Jr., Bridgeport
Stewart Hudson, Madison
Elizabeth Krause, West Hartford
Meghan Lowney, Fairfield
Marta Moret, New Haven
Matt Nemerson, New Haven
Alan Nevas, Westport
Mark Oppenheimer, New Haven
Karen Pritzker, Branford
Richard Sugarman, Hartford
Basil Talbott, West Hartford