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.

Marcia Chambers, MSL

Ms. Chambers is a research scholar at Yale Law School. She has been a reporter for The New York Times and 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 Connecticut General Assembly (1979-1991).

Jeannette De Jesús

Ms. de Jesús is senior vice president of Fair Haven Community Health Center, Inc. Before that, she worked as senior vice president of the Wheeler Clinic, a 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. During her tenure, the state health insurance exchange Access Health CT, the All Payer Claims Database, and the State Innovation Model (SIM) were initiated and developed. Ms. de Jesús has a degree in public administration from Harvard University, 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 nine 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.

Shelley Geballe

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 recently retired as vice president for administration at Connecticut College. He is the past chair of the Boards of Directors at Lawrence & Memorial Healthcare, the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. He 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.

Stewart Hudson

Mr. Hudson is a vice president of the National Audubon Society, and executive director of the state office, Audubon Connecticut. He served previously as president of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation with successful philanthropic investment in clean energy and climate protection policies, including the creation of the first-in-the-nation Green Bank in Connecticut. Before that he served as executive director of the Jane Goodall Institute, and as a vice president at the National Wildlife Federation. He began his career as a senior legislative aide to then-U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker.

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 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.

Mitchell Pearlman

Attorney Pearlman is executive director emeritus of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission. He is currently a lecturer in law and journalism at the University of Connecticut. During his career, Mr. Pearlman has been a consultant to government and civil society leaders in more than 20 countries on six continents. The author of Piercing the Veil of Secrecy, he is a much sought-after speaker throughout the United States and internationally on Freedom of Information, privacy, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and related topics.

Bilal Dabir Sekou, PhD.

Dr. Sekou is associate professor of political science in Hillyer College at the University of Hartford. His research interests are race and politics, urban politics, and campaigns, elections and voting behavior. He is chair of the Governing Board of Common Cause in Connecticut, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Center for a New Economy.

Janet Steinmayer, JD

Ms. Steinmayer is the president of Mitchell College. Previously, she has been a corporate lawyer and general counsel of Trans World Airlines; the CEO of a public company, Centerplate, Inc.; and the founder of a business accelerator for food entrepreneurs. She is a vice chair of the Board of Trustees at Bryn Mawr College and a trustee of Lesley University. She has previously served as a director of Eagle Hill Southport School, the Business Council of Fairfield County and the Fairfield County Community Foundation, and was on the Board of Visitors of the John F. Welch School of Business, Sacred Heart University.

Board Members Emeritus

Julie Belaga

Ms. Belaga serves on the board of the Westport Public Library and on the board of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, where she was a co-founder. She has also served on the boards of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound as well as the National Audubon Board for Connecticut. 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.

Stanley A. Twardy Jr, JD, LLM

Attorney Twardy is Managing 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 a Philanthropic Advisor to the Graustein Family and manages the Community Leadership Program in New Haven. He is a founding member and the former Executive Director of Public Allies CT and the co-founder of Street Smart Ventures, LLC. He serves on the board of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and the Connecticut Council of Philanthropy. He received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Connecticut.

Founding 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
Elizabeth Krause, West Hartford
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
Stanley Twardy, Wilton