Advisory Boards

The Medill National Security Journalism Initiative is honored to draw on the expertise of leading practitioners of national security journalism as well as experienced journalism educators.

The advisory boards meet regularly with the Initiative’s staff to help direct activities from professional development to existing Medill undergraduate and graduate classes.


Bruce Carruthers
John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Director of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies
b-carruthers@northwestern.eduBruce works in the areas of comparative-historical sociology, economic sociology, and the sociology of law at Northwestern University. He has written five books, most recently Money and Credit: A Sociological Approach and Bankrupt: Global Lawmaking and Systemic Financial Crisis, as well as numerous articles. Through its many programs and working groups, the Buffett Institute brings together scholars from multiple fields to collaborate, and to examine global challenges, many of them related to global security. Its topics of focus and engagement include global health, human rights, law, migration, peace/conflict, religion, technology and U.S. foreign policy. Carruthers has been a visiting fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He received his PhD at the University of Chicago in 1991.

Jon Caverley
Assistant Professor

Jon previously served as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy and as an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at Northwestern University, where he taught undergraduate classes in Naval Engineering and in Leadership and Management. He has consulted for the RAND Corporation, where he helped develop scenarios for responding to a biological weapons attack in East Asia. He received his PhD and MPP from the University of Chicago, and he received his AB in History and Literature from Harvard College. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Jack Doppelt

j-doppelt@northwestern.eduJack is a professor at Medill School of Journalism and a faculty associate at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research. In addition, he is also the publisher of Immigration Here & There, an online storytelling network for immigrants, their families and communities in and around Chicago and On the Docket, a Web site on the U.S. Supreme Court. Before Medill, Jack attended Grinnell College and the University of Chicago Law School.
Douglas Foster
Associate Professor

dmfoster@northwestern.eduDouglas is a former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, television correspondent, and documentary producer who now teaches feature writing to graduates and undergraduates while overseeing the Program Residency in South Africa. He also writes for a range of magazines, including The Atlantic, Columbia Journalism Review, Smithsonian, and the New York Times Magazine, varied newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, and Web-based magazines such as In addition, he is also a regular book reviewer for the Washington Post. He received his BA in American Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Loren Ghiglione
Richard A. Schwarzlose Professor of Media Ethics

ghiglion@northwestern.eduLoren is the former owner and editor of the Southbridge (Mass.) Evening News and ran its parent company, Worcester County Newspapers, for 26 years. He has also served as a four-time Pulitzer Prize juror, guest curator of a 1990 Library of Congress exhibit on the American journalist and president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.As ASNE president in 1989-1990, he established journalism history and disabilities committees, pushed for greater diversity throughout the news industry and initiated a groundbreaking study of gays and lesbians in America’s newsrooms. He received his B.A. from Haverford College, his Ph.D. in American civilization from George Washington University and his Master of Urban Studies and J.D. from Yale.
Rich Gordon
Director of Digital Innovation and Professor

richgor@northwestern.eduRich has spent most of his career exploring the areas where journalism and technology intersect. He was an early adopter of desktop analytical tools (spreadsheets and databases) to analyze data for journalistic purposes. At Medill, he has developed innovative courses through which students have explored digital content and communities and developed new forms of storytelling. In addition to teaching and writing about digital journalism, he is director of new communities for the Northwestern Media Management Center. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
William Handy
Assistant Professor

w-handy@northwestern.eduIn addition to his teaching duties, Bill is also a coordinator of Medill’s Global Residency Program. For more than 30 years, he was an editor and publishing executive working in mainstream journalism (newspapers and the Associated Press) as well as niche-market periodicals, books and a stereotypical start-up/failure based in Dallas. In addition to teaching, he now consults on communications and publishing strategy. Bill graduated from the University of North Carolina in journalism, attended grad school at Duke University for sociology and completed advanced-management training at Harvard Business School.
Mei-Ling Hopgood
Associate Professor

mhopgood@northwestern.eduMei-Ling Hopgood is a freelance journalist and writer who has written for various publications, ranging from the National Geographic Traveler and Marie Claire to the Miami Herald and the Boston Globe. She has worked as a reporter with the Detroit Free Press, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and in the Cox Newspapers Washington bureau, and has been a recipient of the National Headliner Best in Show, ICIJ Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting and several other investigative and enterprise journalism awards. She is the author of Lucky Girl (April 2009) and How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm (Feb. 2012).
Brent E. Huffman
Assistant Professor

b-huffman@northwestern.eduBrent E. Huffman is an award-winning director, writer, and cinematographer of documentaries and television programs. His work ranges from documentaries aired on The Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel, NBC, PBS and Al Jazeera, to Sundance Film Festival premieres, to films made for the China Exploration and Research Society. Huffman has been making social issue documentaries and environmental films for more than a decade in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These films have gone on to win numerous awards including a Primetime Emmy, Best Conservation Film-Jackson Hole, Best Documentary-Fresno, three Cine Golden Eagle Awards, a College Emmy, a Student Academy Award, and a Grand Jury Award at AFI’s SILVERDOCS. Huffman is also a writer whose work has been featured in Bust Magazine, The Wilson Quarterly, Frontline/World’s website, and The China Digital Times. He recently completed a book about his experiences in China called Life in the Heart of China: Diary from a Forbidden World. Most recently, Huffman completed the award-winning documentary The Colony for Al Jazeera and Link TV about China in Africa. He is currently working on two new documentaries in Afghanistan and China.
Craig LaMay
Associate Professor

clamay@northwestern.eduIn addition to his teaching duties, Craig is also a faculty associate at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research; former editorial director of the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center and editor of Media Studies Journal; and a former newspaper reporter. His work has appeared in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Federal Communications Law Journal, Health Policy, and Communications and the Law. His research and writing interests concern journalism in democratizing and post-conflict societies; commercial and public broadcast regulation; and competition between non-profit and for-profit firms. He received his BA from Brown and an MA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
David Nelson
Associate Professor

d-nelson@northwestern.eduDavid teaches graduate courses in media management and ethics, media marketing and news at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He has served as chairman of the Newspaper Department and also as Associate Dean of the school. Prior to that, David was a news executive at Time Inc. and at Knight-Ridder Newspapers. Active in the industry as a consultant today, Prof. Nelson served or serves on advisory boards of Morris Communications, Chesapeake Communications, the Newsletter Publishers Association, the Specialized Information Publishers Association, the Associated Press, the New York Times College Advisory Board and the Inland Press Association.
Richard Roth
Senior Associate Dean for Journalism
Northwestern University in Qatar Associate Professor

profroth@northwestern.eduRichard began his career in 1971 at the Buffalo (N.Y.) Courier-Express. It was near there, in the remote village of Attica, N.Y. in his rookie year as a reporter, where Roth became involved in the bloodiest prison riot in American history and there to which he has returned many times for research about that prison and that village. After serving as an editor-in-chief for a newspaper in Terre Haute, he was named an associate professor at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. He left DePauw after seven years and with tenure to work at the then-new Wall Street Journal interactive edition,before accepting the associate dean’s position at Northwestern. He grew up in Indiana and earned degrees from Indiana University and Indiana State University.
David Scheffer
Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law
Director, Center for International Human Rights

d-scheffer@law.northwestern.eduDavid holds an endowed professorship and serves as the Director of the Center for International Human Rights. He teaches International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, and Corporate Human Rights Responsibility. Scheffer was previously the U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the U.S. delegation in U.N. talks establishing the International Criminal Court. During his ambassadorship, he negotiated and coordinated U.S. support for the establishment and operation of international and hybrid criminal tribunals and U.S. responses to atrocities anywhere in the world. Scheffer also headed the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group.
Peter Slevin
Associate Professor

slevinp@washpost.comPeter is an associate professor and a veteran national and international journalist, including positions with The Washington Post.
Hendrik Spruyt

h-spruyt@northwestern.eduHendrik is Norman Dwight Harris Professor of International Relations and author of The Sovereign State and Its Competitors, which won the J. David Greenstone Prize for best book in History and Politics 1994-96. His most recent book is Ending Empire: Contested Sovereignty and Territorial Partition. He has published in a.o., European Journal of Public Policy, Acta Politica, The Pacific Review, The Review of International Studies (UK), International Studies Review (US), and The Journal of Peace Research. His research intersects comparative politics with international relations and includes particularly the formation of polities and their disintegration; and the rise and demise of sovereignty. He is currently working on a book length manuscript applying incomplete contracting theory to diverse issues as decolonization, overseas basing, and regional integration. He received a Doctorandus from the Law Faculty at the University of Leiden (The Netherlands) in 1983, and his PhD from the University of California, San Diego in 1991. 


Clark Bell
Journalism Program Director

CBell@McCormickFoundation.orgClark Bell is the McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program Director. Clark, who joined the foundation in October 2005, oversees journalism grant-making initiatives and shapes the program’s focus on critical issues facing the news media.Clark is a veteran reporter, editor, publisher and communications consultant. Prior to joining the McCormick Foundation, he was managing director for American Healthcare Solutions, where he developed communications strategies for hospitals, medical foundations and technology firms.His extensive journalistic background includes serving as publisher of Modern Physician magazine, editor and associate publisher of Modern Healthcare magazine, executive business editor of the Dallas Times Herald and business columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Earlier, he served as a consumer affairs reporter for the Chicago Daily News and sports writer for the Des Moines Register.Clark earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Drake University and a master’s degree in urban studies from Loyola University of Chicago. He was among the first group of journalists awarded a Sloan Fellowship to study economics at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Bell serves on the board of the Chicago Journalists Association.
Tom Bowman
NPR Pentagon Correspondent

tbowman@npr.orgTom is NPR’s Pentagon correspondent and has made numerous reporting trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. Before joining NPR in 2006, Tom covered the military for The Baltimore Sun. He is a co-winner of a National Headliner’s Award for stories on the lack of military tourniquets. Tom has won an Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news radio reporting for a story from Afghanistan. A native of the Boston area, Tom graduated from St. Michael’s College in Vermont and earned a master’s degree in American Studies from Boston College.
Elisabeth Bumiller
New York Times National Affairs Correspondent

ebumiller@nytimes.comElisabeth Bumiller is a Pentagon correspondent in the Washington bureau of The New York Times. In 2008 she covered the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain. Previously, from Sept. 10, 2001 to 2006, Ms. Bumiller was a Times White House correspondent who also wrote a weekly column, White House Letter, about the people and behind-the-scenes events of the presidency.Before moving to Washington, from 1999 to 2001, Ms. Bumiller was the Times City Hall Bureau chief responsible for covering Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton. From 1979 to 1985, Ms. Bumiller worked for The Washington Post in Washington, New Delhi, Tokyo and New York. Her first job in journalism was in the Naples bureau of The Miami Herald. Ms.Bumiller is also the author of three books: Condoleezza Rice: An American Life; May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India and The Secrets of Mariko: A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family.

Maj. Gen. Andrew B. Davis
Executive Director, Reserve Officers Association

adavis@roa.orgAndrew Davis is executive director of the Reserve Officers Assocation. He previously spent eight years as President and Executive Director of the American Press Institute. A major general in the Marine Corps Reserve, Davis served between July 2001 and July 2003 as director of Marine Corps Public Affairs at the Pentagon and took a leadership role in conceiving the embedding program for frontline journalists in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. From 2005 to 2007 he commanded U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa. He retired from the Marines in October 2008.Prior to joining the Media Management Center, Davis was president of Chicago Sun-Times Features, Inc., a division of The Sun-Times Company, and of Performance Media, a custom publishing division he conceived and developed into a multi-million-dollar venture. He also was vice-president of the Sun-Times Company.
Mike Francis
The Oregonian Associate Editor

mikefrancis@news.oregonian.comMike is a member of the editorial board at The Oregonian, and a reporter focusing primarily on military and veterans issues. He has three times been an embedded journalist in Iraq and is the paper’s former business columnist. He is also on the board of directors for Military Reporters and Editors.Previously, Mike worked as a contractor for the Regional Maritime Security Coalition-Columbia River under a grant from the Homeland Security Department. He also was a founding member of a homeland security software company called Swan Island Networks. He was also editor of The Business Journal of Portland.
Anne Gearan
Diplomatic Correspondent, The Washington Post

anne.gearan@washpost.comAnne Gearan is the diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post. She covers foreign affairs, national security and U.S. security policy and travels extensively with the U.S. secretary of state. She has visited more than 80 countries on six continents while covering the State Department, Pentagon and White House. Gearan writes frequently about U.S. policy and engagement overseas, with particular emphasis on Syria, Iran, Libya, Russia, North Korea and China. Gearan has also focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and on Iraq. Gearan joined the Post in 2012 after more than 20 years with The Associated Press, including 10 covering national security issues from Washington. Gearan was the chief diplomatic correspondent for the wire service from 2004 to 2009, and the chief Pentagon correspondent from 2009 to 2011. Gearan was the senior foreign affairs specialist on the White House team for AP prior to joining the Post. She served three times as national security editor in the Washington bureau. Gearan grew up in Rochester, N.Y. as the daughter of a newspaper editor and a former reporter. Her first job was delivering the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. She lives in Washington with her husband and daughter.
Roy Gutman
McClatchy Baghdad Bureau Chief

rgutman@mcclatchydc.comRoy has been a foreign affairs journalist in Washington and abroad for four decades. Currently Baghdad Bureau Chief for McClatchy newspapers, he spent more than twenty years at Newsday, 12 at Reuters, and briefer stints at Newsweek and UPI.While Newsday’s Europe correspondent, his reports on ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the first documented accounts of Serb-run concentration camps, won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (1993), the George Polk Award for foreign reporting, the Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting, the Hal Boyle award of the Overseas Press Club, the Heywood Broun Award of the Newspaper Guild, a special Human Rights in Media award of the International League for Human Rights, and other honors.In 2002, Roy was a co-winner of the Edgar A. Poe award of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and in 2003, the National Headliners First Prize for Magazines and the Society of Publishers in Asia awards for excellence in magazines and reporting.
Nathan Hodge
National security correspondent, Wall Street Journal

Nathan.Hodge@wsj.comNathan Hodge covers national security for the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of Armed Humanitarians: The Rise of the Nation Builders (Bloomsbury, 2011) and co-author of A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry (Bloomsbury, 2008).Based in Washington, he has written for Wired’s Danger Room blog, the Financial Times, Jane’s Defence Weekly and Slate. He has reported from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and many other countries around the world.
Kelly Kennedy
Health Policy Reporter, USA Today
kskennedy@usatoday.comKelly Kennedy covers health policy for USA Today. She previous covered medical and science issues for the Military Times newspapers, which she joined the papers in October 2005. She has embedded with troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.In 2010, she received an Honorary Mention John B. Oakes award, as well as Disabled American Veterans’ Bugle Award for her reporting on burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Also in 2010, she received a media award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness for her reporting on post-traumatic stress disorder.In 2008, she was named a finalist for the Michael Kelly Award for a series about a unit she embedded with in Iraq. She is also a 2008 Ochberg Fellow, sponsored by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma; and a 2008 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Foundation Fellow. Her book, They Fought for Each Other, based on the “Blood Brothers” series she wrote for Military Times, came out March 2, 2010. She serves as president of Military Reporters & Editors.She served in the United States Army from 1987 to 1993, including tours in the Middle East during Desert Storm, and in Mogadishu, Somalia. After earning her journalism degree at Colorado State University in 1997, she began her writing career as an education reporter for the Ogden Standard-Examiner in Utah, a criminal justice reporter at The Salt Lake Tribune, and a family and education reporter with the Oregonian in Portland. While earning a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Colorado, Kennedy taught journalism classes at both her alma mater and the University of Northern Colorado. After completing her master’s degree, she worked an internship at The Chicago Tribune. In her spare time, she dances ballet and completely loses her military bearing.
Steve Komarow
Defense and Foreign Policy Editor
Bloomberg News
Before joining Blooomberg, Steve Komarow was a news correspondent with extensive background in Washington, Europe, and the Middle East. He has covered major U.S. military operations of the past two decades, including Panama, Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan.Komarow, 53, began his career as a local news reporter in Washington on the  AP’s Metro Desk in 1979. He covered then-Mayor Marion Barry and local government issues before moving to Capitol Hill in 1985. He covered the presidential campaigns in 1988 and in 1992.In 1993, Komarow moved to USA Today as a full-time defense correspondent, covering three secretaries of defense and troops in the field. He was the first reporter to cover a cruise missile launch from inside a B-52 bomber. He accompanied the first ground troops into Bosnia, Kosovo, and Haiti.In 2000, Komarow opened USA Today’s bureau in Berlin, Germany, and wrote news and feature stories from Central and Eastern Europe. After Sept. 11, 2001, he covered the U.S.-led military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.He was embedded with the Army during the invasion of Iraq and went on to cover the capture and trial of Saddam Hussein, reconstruction efforts and the insurgency. He also has reported from across Europe and in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Yemen, Djibouti, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf states.Komarow returned to USA Today’s Washington bureau in 2003, splitting his time between national security coverage in Washington and reporting from Iraq.In 2006, he returned to the AP as deputy international editor, based at AP headquarters in New York.In April, 2008, he was named deputy bureau chief in Washington, helping manage a team of more than 100 news gatherers and support staff.Komarow lives in McLean, Virginia and holds a B.A. in political science from George Washington University.
Ellen Nakashima
National Security Reporter, The Washington Post
Ellen focuses on issues relating to intelligence, technology and civil liberties. She previously served as a Southeast Asia correspondent for the paper. She wrote about the presidential candidacy of Al Gore and co-authored a biography of Gore, and has also covered federal agencies, Virginia state politics and local affairs. She joined the Post in 1995.
Alex Neill
Army Times Publishing Senior Managing Editor
As senior managing editor/news for Army Times Publishing Co., Alex helps oversee nine publications serving the U.S. military and defense industry. He previously served for more than five years as managing editor of Army Times; prior to that he served four years as managing editor of Navy Times.Alex worked at USA Today for three years as a wire editor and copy editor in the Money section. From 1986 to 1994 he worked as a reporter and City Desk editor at the Marin Independent Journal, in Marin County, Calif. He also worked two years as a reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. A Navy veteran, he is a graduate of San Francisco State University, which he attended on the GI Bill and majored in journalism.
Al Pessin
Voice of America Pentagon Correspondent

apessin@voanews.comAl is the VOA London Correspondent and for five years taught Covering Conflicts, Terrorism and National Security with Ellen Shearer at Medill/Washington. The course, which Ellen originated five years ago with Roy Gutman, is now part of the National Security Journalism Initiative. In more than 30 years with VOA, Al has been posted to New York, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Beijing, Jerusalem, London, the Pentagon and at the White House. His management assignments have included Chief Editor for Europe, Africa and the Middle East (at the start of the Iraq War) and Director of English Programs (during the 2000 elections and the 9-11 attacks). Al was expelled from China under martial law regulations after the Tiananmen massacre in 1989 for ‘illegal news gathering’ and ‘fomenting counter-revolutionary rebellion.’ But he doesn’t plan to use those skills while on the Advisory Board.
Noah Shachtman
Executive Editor of News at Foreign Policy Magazine

noah.shachtman@gmail.comNoah Shachtman is Foreign Policy’s executive editor of news, directing the magazine’s coverage of breaking events in international security, intelligence, and global affairs. A Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, he’s reported from Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq, and Russia. He’s written about technology and defense for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, and The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, among others. Previously, Shachtman was a contributing editor at Wired magazine, where he co-founded and edited its national security blog, Danger Room.
Eileen Sullivan
Counterterrorism writer for the Associated Press

esullivan@ap.orgEileen Sullivan covers counterterrorism for The Associated Press. She previously covered the Department of Homeland Security for the AP and for Congressional Quarterly and Federal Times. In 2012, Sullivan and three other AP reporters won the Pulitzer, Goldsmith and Polk awards for a series of stories that revealed the New York Police Department’s secret programs to spy on Muslims throughout the Northeast since Sept. 11, 2001. Sullivan began her career with the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J. She graduated from Villanova University in 1999 with a degree in English.
David Tretler
National Defense University Professor
David is a Professor of Strategy at the National War College in Washington, where he teaches graduate courses in the fundamentals of strategy, military theory, military strategy, and civil-military relations to senior professional military officers and government officials. He retired from the Air Force as a colonel in 1998 after thirty years active service. He flew 250 combat missions in the F-4D Phantom during the Vietnam War, was an instructor pilot in the T-38 jet trainer, served in the plans directorates at both the USAF Air Training Command and USAF headquarters, and was Deputy Chief of Air Force History before joining the faculty at National War College.
John Walcott
Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg

jwalcott9@bloomberg.netBefore recently joining Bloomberg, John was the top editor at SmartBrief, a Washington-based online business news company that produces more than 150 e-mail newsletters and special reports for more than 4 million executives in 25 industries. He previously was Washington bureau chief for McClatchy and Knight Ridder; national and foreign editor of U.S. News & World Report; national security correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and chief diplomatic correspondent at Newsweek.John is on the faculty of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and is a faculty associate at Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. In 2008, Walcott was the inaugural recipient of the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University for Knight Ridder’s critical questioning of the Bush administration’s allegations about Saddam Hussein’s ties to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. In 2005,he led a Knight Ridder team that won a National Headliner Award for “How the Bush Administration Went to War in Iraq.” His work also has won the Edwin Weintal Prize from Georgetown University, the Edward M. Hood Award and the Freedom of the Press Award from the National Press Club.
David Wood
Chief Military Correspondent, Huffington Post

david.wood@huffingtonpost.comDavid is chief military correspondent at Huffington Post. He was the national security correspondent for, a news site of America Online. He has been a journalist since 1970, a staff correspondent successively for Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Newhouse News Service and The Baltimore Sun. A birthright Quaker and former conscientious objector, he covers military issues, foreign affairs and combat operations, and has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting.