Senior Fellow, KFF
Irving Washington, FASAE, CAE, is a Senior Fellow for Health Misinformation and Trust at KFF, a nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues serving as a source of facts, analysis, and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health policy community, and the public.
Irving has spent nearly 20 years at the intersections of journalism, technology, and diversity equity and inclusion, protecting and supporting the public’s access to information and ensuring individuals from diverse backgrounds have leadership opportunities within media.
Before joining KFF, he was the CEO of the Online News Association (ONA), one of the world’s largest membership organizations for digital journalists. At ONA, he led efforts to build a foundation for journalism’s future by leveraging the power of new media technologies to raise up the next generation of diverse media leaders, which doubled the organization in size, scope, and reach. His leadership also advanced the mandate for protecting the integrity of online news, a segment of journalism that is still finding its legs.
He began his career as a project assistant with the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, where he was instrumental in improving internal systems and soon discovered that correcting disparities in equality caught his attention much more poignantly than chasing down fleeting headlines. Later, his time advocating for Black journalists at the National Association of Black Journalists further shaped his thinking about diversity and inclusion in media.
A passionate advocate of accountability within diversity, equity and inclusion, he sits on numerous nonprofit boards. He is an advisor for a wide breadth of people and organizations, including the American Journalism Project, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, Internews, and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He’s also active within ASAE as a Fellow, a designation reserved for the nation’s top one percent of association leaders, and a Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) Scholar.
He was invited to take part in the esteemed Punch Sulzberger Media Executive Leadership Program in 2016 through Columbia University and served as an executive fellow as part of the New Executive Fund and Fellowship through Open Society Foundations.
Irving’s contributions to journalism and nonprofits have also been recognized with numerous awards, including multiple “40 under 40” lists, from the Washington Business Journal to The Association Forum/USAE and a special citation award from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2022.
In 2020, he co-founded Texts to Table, an online community of nonprofit professionals dedicated to uplifting stories about race and leadership from the Black experience.
Irving is a frequent speaker on authentic leadership and industry topics. He is also a devoted volunteer for organizations and events that inspire young professionals to continue advancing as more inclusive, community-minded leaders.
Irving holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ball State University. He is also a Certified Association Executive (CAE).