Consulting Council

The Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology Consulting Council is comprised of leaders from journalism, technology, gaming and strategic communications who have advised the Consortium on industry trends and activity and provided feedback on programs and research.

Funds to enable the creation and support of the Consulting Council were provided through a gift from UF alumni Mitchell and Elissa Habib.

Consulting Council

Banks Baker, Coda Payments

Banks Baker is the Senior Vice President for Global Partnerships at Coda Payments. Formerly the Head of Global Partnerships and Search Verticals for Google, he led the North American team responsible for definition and execution of ecosystem-based partnership strategies that enable Google to address end-to-end user journeys and power and differentiate some of Google’s largest and most strategically important consumer products, including Google Search and Google Assistant. Core industries under management included Media (TV, Movies, Music, Video Games, Books), Sports, Autos, and Real Estate. He also served as Head of Global Partnerships/Product Go-To-Market Asia/Pacific and was Team Lead for News and Publishing Partnerships in the Americas.

Paul Cheung, Hacks/Hackers

Paul Cheung is a strategic advisor at Hacks/Hackers, focusing on enhancing product development capabilities for news organizations and exploring the potential of AI in journalism and the information ecosystem. He was formerly the CEO for the Center for Public Integrity, one of the country’s oldest non-profit news organizations. Prior to this role, he worked with the Knight Foundation as the Director of Journalism and Technology Innovation, where he managed a multi-million-dollar investment portfolio that scales AI, improves business sustainability, and mitigates misinformation. Cheung also has experience leading multi-disciplinary teams of journalists, technologists, data-scientists and interactive producers at NBC, The Associated Press, Wall Street Journal and Miami Herald. He currently serves on the board of the News Leaders Association and was president of the Asian American Journalists Association from 2013 to 2016, during which time he helped raise more than $2 million for training programs for journalists of color.

Sandra Clark, StoryCorps

Sandra Clark is the CEO of StoryCorps, which has a mission to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. StoryCorps has recorded more than 500,000 people since 2003, preserving those conversations at the Library of Congress. Prior to joining StoryCorps in February 2022, Clark was Vice President of News and Civic Dialogue of WHYY Public Media in Philadelphia, where she managed all newsgathering and led civic engagement efforts. Clark has previously worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer in a multitude of roles before becoming the Managing Editor. During her four years in the Peace Corps, she worked as a Language Consultant and Cross-Cultural Education Trainer. She is a nationally known advocate for diversity, inclusion, equity and closing the power and trust gap between journalists and communities of color. Clark is a contributing instructor, coach and mentor of emerging leaders for the Poynter Institute.

Ben Hovaness, Omnicom Media Group

Ben Hovaness is the Senior Vice President, Marketplace Intelligence, at Omnicom Media Group, the media services division of Omnicom Group, a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Hovaness is experienced at working across multiple verticals with major advertisers such as P&G, Chrysler, Warner Brothers, HBO and JCPenney. He’s overseen more than $600 million in media spend and driven workflow improvements on both the client- and agency-side. He was the driver of Omnicom’s Council on Accountability in Social Advertising, an initiative that got more than 70 brands to endorse a set of advertiser rights and facilitated agreements from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok and Reddit to make their platforms more ad-friendly.

Courtney Lewis, Institute for Nonprofit News

Courtney Lewis is the Chief of Growth Programs for the Institute for Nonprofit News, which strengthens and supports more than 350 independent news organizations in a new kind of news network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. Hurtt leads INN’s nationwide initiatives to accelerate the growth of nonprofit news organizations, developing new business models that strengthen the financial sustainability of news and expand American’s access to high quality reporting. She joined INN in 2020 to manage NewsMatch, a collaborative matching gift campaign that strengthens the fundraising capabilities of nonprofit newsrooms and promotes giving to journalism in the U.S. Prior to joining INN, Hurtt led collaborative initiatives to diversify audience and revenue for WDET, Detroit’s public radio station. She created “Framed by WDET,” an award-winning series of audio-visual exhibitions that have appeared in more than 20 local community venues.

Kelly McBride, The Poynter Institute

Kelly McBride is the Senior Vice President and Chair of Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at the Poynter Institute. McBride is one of the country’s leading voices when it comes to media ethics. Prior to joining Poynter in 2002, she was a daily newspaper reporter in the Northwest for 15 years. She also served as ESPN’s ombudsman in 2012 and 2013. McBride was appointed as NPR’s Public Editor in April 2020 as the result of a new partnership between NPR and Poynter.


Chris Peña

Chris Peña was most recently the Senior Vice President, Local Media, at Univision. Peña led Univision News’ efforts to enhance collaboration between network news and local news operations. He was responsible for implementing news editorial guidelines and mentoring Univision’s owned-and-operated local television news directors. He worked with general managers, news teams and senior management to ensure Univision delivered the best in local news to its multicultural audience. Prior to Univision, he worked at MSNBC, where as Senior Executive Producer he oversaw weekend live news programming, standby breaking news operations and led news-gathering resources with NBC News Group as well as the editorial efforts of multiple programs.

Latoya Peterson, Glow Up Games

Latoya Peterson is the Co-founder, CXO, and Director for Culture of Glow Up Games, a creative R & D studio telling beautifully crafted stories using mobile, AR/VR, AI, and other emerging technologies. Named one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 rising stars in media in 2013, she is best known for the award- winning blog – the intersection of race and pop culture. In 2018, she soft launched AI in the Trap, a collaborative art project that explores the future of artificial intelligence and predictive policing through a hip-hop lens. Previously, she was the Deputy Editor, Digital Innovation for ESPN’s The Undefeated, an Editor-at-Large at Fusion, and the Senior Digital Producer for Al Jazeera America’s The Stream. Ms. Peterson is currently on the advisory board of the Data & Society Institute and the board of visitors for The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships.

Aimee Rinehart, The Associated Press

Aimee Rinehart is the Senior Project Manager for AI Strategy for The Associated Press. Before joining AP, she was the Deputy Director of First Draft’s New York Bureau. Prior to that role, she managed Comprova, a project to monitor and analyze misinformation and disinformation around the 2018 Brazilian elections. Rinehart started working online in 1996 and was a digital originator at The New York Times. She was an editor at the Wall Street Journal Europe in Brussels and upon her return to New York, worked in the communications departments at the American Civil Liberties Union, the Overseas Press Club of America and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Brad Thatcher, Thatcher + Company

Brad Thatcher is the founder and CEO of Thatcher+Co, a boutique PR firm. Before creating Thatcher+Co., he was President of Coltrin & Associates, where he led teams behind three Olympic Games, the launch of the PSP for Sony, the spinout of Palm from 3Com and the early buzz surrounding online family history giant Thatcher has unique expertise in guiding emerging growth tech companies through major technology transitions, such as telecommunications’ transition from TDM to IP and broadcasting’s migration from baseband to IP. He’s managed strategic messaging, media training and media relations surrounding multiple acquisitions, carve outs and IPOs throughout his career.