Skip to Content

Staff

Meet the team leading the field of nonprofit news! The staff of the Institute for Nonprofit News works to support the field in business education, audience development, leadership training and more.

Open positions will be posted on our job board.

Leadership Team

Executive Director and CEO

Sue Cross

Sue Cross leads the Institute for Nonprofit News, a network of more than 300 independent, nonprofit news media organizations in North America. She joined INN in 2015 to build its emerging media network and advance social enterprise models for investigative and other public service journalism. Sue is a former senior vice president for the Associated Press global news agency, where she created digital news services, expanded Spanish language and Latin American operations, introduced video to more than a thousand online news sites and managed a national news cooperative. | sue@inn.org

Chief Network Officer

Jonathan Kealing

Jonathan Kealing strengthens collaboration among INN’s network of nonprofit newsrooms and develops partnerships and services that help them meet their missions and increase the reach and impact of their journalism. Jonathan oversees the Amplify News Project among Midwest newsrooms piloting news sharing and distribution models. He is especially interested in ways local and regional news organizations can work together and with national organizations to extend the impact of their journalism. | jonathan@inn.org

Management & Staff

Communications Director

Sharene Azimi

Sharene Azimi promotes the work of the INN network to funders, partners and other external audiences while bringing INN members news and resources from the field of public service journalism. She edits the weekly INNovation newsletter and oversees all of INN’s communications channels. Prior to joining INN in 2020, Sharene spent a decade as founder and principal of Mission Communications, providing organizational strategy, branding, communications planning, and marketing services to non-profits, universities, and foundations. | sharene@inn.org

Lawrence Horne

Lawrence Horne works with senior leadership and the Board of Directors to expand major gifts and foundation support for INN and its members. Larry brings more than 30 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management to the position, including senior positions at the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), The Public Theater, the Trust for Public Land, AIDS Service Center NYC, and the Hedrick-Martin Institute. | lawrence@inn.org

Grants Officer

Roz Hunter

Roz Hunter is a development and communications consultant who does grant writing and reporting for INN. Most recently she served as Deputy Director of Type Media Center (formerly The Nation Institute) and has previously held positions at The Nation magazine and International House Philadelphia. Roz received an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A. in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in New York City.

NewsMatch Program Manager

Courtney Hurtt

Courtney Hurtt leads a collaborative year-end fundraising campaign to increase the operating revenue of INN members. Through NewsMatch, she works closely with newsrooms and funders to advance the business model for nonprofit news. Previously, she led collaborative initiatives to diversify audience and revenue for WDET, Detroit’s public radio station. As associate director of product strategy and operations, Courtney created “Framed by WDET,” an award-winning series of community exhibitions that have appeared in more than 25 locations. | courtney@inn.org

Member Network Director

Michelle Morgante

Michelle Morgante leads INN’s work to grow the network of nonprofit newsrooms and support members by connecting them both to resources within INN and with one another. She joined INN in 2020 to facilitate connections among members and support new and established members in growth and development. A veteran of newsrooms across the United States and Latin America, Michelle has nearly 30 years of experience in print, digital and broadcast journalism as a reporter, editor and manager. | michelle@inn.org

Membership & Development Coordinator

Mara Jezior

Mara Jezior manages and helps to build INN’s growing member community. Prior to joining INN in July 2017, Mara held marketing and development internships at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and MinnPost, two of INN’s earliest members. As the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s first public engagement and marketing intern, she tracked the reach and impact of individual stories, producing reports for funders and created the Center’s first stakeholders report. During her time at MinnPost, she honed her skills using databases and donor prospecting. | mara@inn.org

Marketing & Communications Assistant

Thomas Khadoo

Thomas Khadoo supports communication efforts through digital media channels and email newsletters, in order to ensure the INN network is engaged with valuable information and resources regarding the field. He is a senior at NYU Stern studying Finance and Entrepreneurship with a minor in Sociology. Born and raised in New York City, he is currently developing a senior thesis on The Underlying Social and Economic Implications of the Coronavirus in New York City. | thomas@inn.org

Amplify Collaborations Leader

Sharon McGowan

Sharon McGowan works to enhance the impact of public affairs reporting by creating and managing editorial collaborations among INN members and other selected news organizations. McGowan was the founding editor of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, an award-winning nonprofit news organization that has covered low-income, minority communities in Milwaukee’s central city since 2011. She started her career as a reporter and then managing editor at The Chicago Reporter, which covers race and poverty. | sharon@inn.org

Director, Finance & Operations

Chip Potts

Chip Potts supports the growth and financial success of the INN membership network by overseeing INN’s fiscal sponsorship program, expanding the portfolio of business services as well as supports INN’s staff to help their work to the benefit of INN members. Chip has over 35 years of accounting, tax and nonprofit management experience. He was previously the associate director and CFO of the Santa Monica College Foundation and ran his own accounting and tax practice for 12 years in Arlington, Virginia before moving to California and joining the college foundation. | chip@inn.org

Staff Accountant

Saman Noor

Saman Noor performs key accounting functions including maintaining the general ledger, reconciling bank accounts and processing month-end closings for INN and the nonprofit news organizations it fiscally sponsors. Saman has over 10 years of experience as an accountant and has provided accounting services in various industries including healthcare, banking, telecommunication and the nonprofit sector. Saman received an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of South Florida and she is currently pursuing a masters degree in Finance from Johns Hopkins University.

Office Administrator & Executive Assistant

Cynthia Ruiz

With more than 15 years of nonprofit administration experience, Cynthia is equal parts admin and equal parts jack of all trades — depending on project and office priority. Before joining INN, Cynthia worked closely with keratoconus patients for the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at the University of California Irvine. Cynthia is actively pursuing a B.A. in Sociology and Masters in Social Work, with a concentration on strengthening, empowering and rebuilding under-resourced communities. | cynthia@inn.org

Research Director & Editor

Emily Roseman

Emily Roseman leads the INN Index, an annual study of INN members and the most comprehensive source of data about the emerging nonprofit news field. Emily also oversees the production of a rich set of case studies with the goal of speeding field development and amplifying the resources available through INN. Emily has researched and written for the Membership Puzzle Project, the Public Media Mergers Project, the Solutions Journalism Network and Harvard’s Belfer Center. | emily.r@inn.org

Network Philanthropy Prospect Researcher

Emily Spranger

Emily Spranger provides direct services to INN members by conducting research on potential philanthropic prospects and reporting research results to members. Additionally, she works with members to help them access the philanthropic shared services that INN offers, including wealth screening and software subscriptions. Previously, she’s coordinated fundraising efforts for arts organizations and libraries across Michigan. As a development professional, she specializes in database management, prospect research, and grant writing. | emily.s@inn.org

Director of Leadership & Talent Development

Sara Shahriari

Sara Shahriari helps nonprofit newsrooms develop effective and forward-thinking leaders who advance the industry in both journalism and financial sustainability. That means supporting emerging leaders through training that strengthens their organizations while also building pathways into the nonprofit news world for diverse groups of talented students and industry professionals in journalism, public administration and business. | sara.s@inn.org

Member Collaborations Editor

Bridget Thoreson

Bridget Thoreson works with Amplify Collaborations Editor Sharon McGowan and Chief Network Officer Jonathan Kealing to expand the scope and depth of member-led collaborative projects. | bridget@inn.org

Engagement Specialist

Sarah Vassello

Sarah Vasello connects INN members and the nonprofit news field at large to external audiences through our social media accounts and newsletters, INNovation and member-only INN Notebook. She focuses on sharing industry-wide resources with members, promoting outstanding member work, connecting for-profit and legacy media stakeholders with the nonprofit news world and magnifying trends from the field. | sarah@inn.org

Network Philanthropy Director

Jeffrey Woolverton

Jeffrey Woolverton leads INN’s Major Gifts initiative to transform fundraising capacity and increase major gifts across the INN network of more than 300 nonprofit news organizations. He creates shared resources, built on industry best practices, for INN member newsrooms to increase their skills for major gift fundraising, including identifying and developing relationships with individual donors. Jeffrey brings nearly 20 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management to INN. | jeffrey@inn.org

Back to top