Meet the Founders

Elizabeth Green

Co-founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, the nonprofit news organization dedicated to telling the story of education in America, one community at a time. Founded in 2014, Chalkbeat is now one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit news organizations, with reporters in seven locations. Elizabeth is also the author of Building a Better Teacher, the New York Times Book Review notable book of 2014 and bestseller.

John Thornton

Venture capitalist at Austin Ventures since 1990, where he has co-led the technology practice for more than two decades. He also co-founded venture capital firm Elsewhere Partners in 2017. In 2008, John founded the Texas Tribune, the only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues.

Meet the Staff

Jason Alcorn

VP of Operations

Jason joins AJP after two years as project director for NewsMatch, a national matching-gift campaign that in November and December 2018 raised $7.6 million for nonprofit newsrooms through a national challenge match, wrap-around coaching and support, and a national campaign to promote giving to journalism among donors. He has worked as a consultant with Democracy Fund, the Institute for Nonprofit News, and local nonprofit newsrooms and served as associate director of InvestigateWest, a nonprofit investigative news organization in Seattle. Jason is currently an advisor to the Listening Post Collective and Migratory Notes.

Anna Nirmala

Director of Portfolio Development

Anna joins AJP from Hearken, a groundbreaking woman-owned company that facilitated a unique public-powered model for journalism and has more than 100 newsroom partners around the world. As Director of Business Development, she was responsible for the company’s revenue growth and enterprise client management. Anna was previously a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, focusing on Strategy & Operations for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses.



Gonzalo del Peon


Gonzalo is a graduate of NYU’s Studio 20 master’s program on digital journalism and innovation, where he focused on mission and revenue alignment in news. Since 2017, he has been a researcher for the Membership Puzzle Project and was the American Press Institute’s 2018 summer fellow, where he studied audience-focused revenue diversification and user research practices within news organizations. Gonzalo graduated from The New School with a BBA in Strategic Design and Management and a minor in Journalism + Design.

Bess Langbein

Due East Partners

Bess is a Partner at Due East Partners, a women-owned consulting firm that has worked arm-in-arm to help the American Journalism Project begin operations. She bring strategic planning, fundraising, and organizational development experience that will support the staff as the organization begins to grow and make investments. Prior to building Due East Partners, Bess led the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County as Executive Director, transforming the organization by leading efforts to design and build organizational capacity and raise more than $17 million in new assets.

Meet the Board of Directors

Rosental Alves

A pioneer of online journalism in his native Brazil, where he had a 27-year career as a journalist and educator before moving to the United States in 1996 as the first holder of the Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also founding director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, an outreach program that helps thousands of journalists around the world with online training.

Karen Pittman

President and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, and a respected sociologist and leader in youth development. Prior to co-founding the Forum in 1998, she launched adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives at the Children’s Defense Fund, started the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research, and served as senior vice president at the International Youth Foundation. She was also involved in the founding of America’s Promise and directed the President’s Crime Prevention Council during the Clinton administration.

Irving Washington

Executive director for the Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists. Before joining ONA, he worked for the National Association of Black Journalists and the Radio-Television Digital News Association. In 2014, he earned the designation of Certified Association Executive by the American Society of Association Executives. He is also a member of ASAE’s Diversity Executive Leadership Program.

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