Board of Directors

Our volunteer Board of Directors provides oversight and strategic guidance.

Zack Baddorf

Filmmaker / Navy Vet

Zack Baddorf is a journalist and filmmaker with more than 15 years of experience producing award-winning stories from more than 30 countries, including Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the West Bank, and Kashmir, as well as rebel-held territory in Sri Lanka and Burma.

His work has been published by the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, Reuters, AP, The Guardian, CBS, ABC, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, VICE, RYOT, Al Jazeera English, and other publications in video, radio, photo, and print formats. His videos on social media alone have more than 30 million views.

While based in the Central African Republic, Baddorf broke the news of the American military ending its mission against the Lord’s Resistance Army. His in-depth reporting on the Syrian town of Moadamiyah contributed to humanitarian access being granted to besieged people there. Weeks before Russian troops invaded Crimea, his reporting from the peninsula highlighted its political importance in the conflict.

Baddorf works as director of video for the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, crafting anti-ISIS videos. For a year in Afghanistan, he worked on rural, remote bases for the U.S. Special Operations Command as a civilian videographer, alongside Green Berets, Navy SEALs and Afghan security forces.

He has also worked as an adjunct professor at New York University and New York Film Academy, teaching public relations and broadcast journalism. He has a master of fine arts degree in documentary studies, a master of arts degree in international relations, another master’s in public relations and a bachelor's in journalism.

Jennifer Brookland

WUNC / Air Force Vet

Jennifer Brookland is a temporary producer for The State of Things, a live radio news program in North Carolina.

She grew up in Baltimore and studied International Politics and African Studies at Georgetown University. She spent four years as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in North Carolina and Maryland, and deployed to Djibouti and the Comoros Islands.

After earning her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University she contributed to News21, a national reporting project on transportation safety in America. She also interned at PRI’s “The World” and in Nairobi with IRIN, the United Nations’ humanitarian news and analysis service. She received a master’s degree in human security and NGO management from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Jennifer spent three years producing content for international development organizations in D.C, highlighting aid work in countries including Tajikistan, Haiti, Honduras, India and Tanzania. She moved to Durham in 2015 and began freelance writing, editing and producing.

June Cross

Documentary Filmmaker / Columbia University

June Cross is a documentary television producer and professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she founded the Documentary Program.

She has won two Emmys and two duPont-Columbia Journalism awards for her work on such stories as the 1983 war in Grenada, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the peace-building mission in Haiti, and the Presidential Campaigns of 1980, 1984, and 1988.

June worked as a staff producer for PBS’ Frontline from 1992-1999, during which time she produced an acclaimed autobiographical film. She has also worked as a producer/correspondent for PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, and as a producer for CBS News.

She received her B.A. from Harvard, and was a fellow at Carnegie-Mellon University's School of Urban and Public Affairs and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Studies at Harvard.

Phoebe Gavin

Quartz / Army Vet

Phoebe is a 26-year-old combat veteran of the US Army. She served on active duty for four and a half years while stationed at Fort Lewis, WA, and was deployed for a 15-month tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Phoebe holds a Bachelors Degree in Management which she acquired using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. She is currently Growth Editor at Quartz, a global business news site.

Geoffrey Ingersoll

The Daily Caller / Marine Corps Vet

Geoffrey Ingersoll is the editor in chief of The Daily Caller.

Geoffrey graduated from Penn State with an English degree in 2004. He then quickly achieved becoming a Teach For America reject, and enlisted in the Marines instead. He served honorably from 2005 to 2009, and ended active service as an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. He attended New York University's graduate j-school, studying documentary film and long-form reporting.

Geoffrey has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Korean DMZ, and New Jersey.

Russell Midori

CBS News / Marine Corps Vet

Russell Midori has worked in multimedia production for ten years, both as a freelancer and on newsroom staffs. He has held a staff position as a journalist and cinematographer for CBS News network since 2017, traveling overseas and around North America to produce breaking news, character-driven features and the occasional long-form broadcast. He relies on his documentary background to influence storytelling on CBS This Morning, Evening News with Jeff Glor, 48 Hours, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Russell is an Overseas Press Club Foundation board member, a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities, and he volunteers as an alumni mentor for students in the Brooklyn College Radio and Television department.

He used the post-9/11 GI Bill to earn a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College and a dual master’s degree in investigative journalism and documentary production from Columbia University. He has done field work in Iraq, Kurdistan, Korea, India, Mexico, Haiti and Standing Rock. He produced several segments for an Emmy-winning broadcast, and received an OPC award and a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

He served on active-duty in the Marine Corps from 2008 - 2012, and was twice named an honor graduate of courses at the Defense Information School. During his enlistment he held the rank of sergeant and served as the NCOIC of the Parris Island Public Affairs Office. In 2014 he did a six-month tour at Marine Forces Europe and Africa as a reservist, working as the director of photography and editor for Marine Corps video content shot across both continents.

Alex Quade

War Reporter & Filmmaker

War Reporter ALEX QUADE covers U.S. Special Operations Forces on combat missions. She’s the only reporter ever embedded long-term with these elite units downrange, with no crew or support. She’s received two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, group Emmy and Peabody Awards, and the Medal Of Honor Society’s Excellence in Journalism Award. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society recognized Ms.Quade, ``for her courageous reporting and honest news coverage``. Alex Quade started her career at the White House; she’s worked for CNN, FOX, The New York Times, & The Washington Times. Among her documentaries: “Horse Soldiers of 9/11”, narrated by actor Gary Sinise, and “Chinook Down”, investigating the fatal shoot-down of a helicopter in Afghanistan. Alex was supposed to be on that helicopter. She serves on the Boards of Military Reporters & Editors, and Military Veterans in Journalism. Hollywood released a film about Alex and her coverage of Special Forces, called ``DANGER CLOSE``. Hachette Books is publishing her first book on Commanders In-Extremis Force (CIF) operations she was embedded on.

Former commander of U.S. Army Special Forces, Maj.Gen. (ret.) Michael Repass describes Alex this way: ``War correspondent Alex Quade is this generation's Joe Galloway, who tells an intensely personal story. Alex nails the essence of sacrifice found in America's Special Forces operators and their families. Alex Quade is the real deal. She's spent more time with Special Forces operators in combat zones and back home after deployments than any other reporter. Alex knows them and their families, and is uniquely qualified to tell their intensely-lived, extraordinary stories.``

Sara Samora

New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung / Marine Corps Vet

Sara Samora is a full-time staff reporter at the Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas, covering the police and education beats. She also writes about the community and military and veteran stories.

Sara was born and raised in Baytown, Texas, a small town just outside of Houston, and she served an active duty enlistment in the Marine Corps from 2009 to 2013. She went on to earn a dual Bachelor of Arts in English literature and print journalism from the University of Houston and a Master of Science degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

She worked as a staff writer, news editor, and special features editor for The Daily Cougar at the University of Houston, where she won a first-place award for feature news writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association.

Sara interned at Houstonia magazine and worked as a staff writer and communications manager for El Gato Media Network, a student communications non-profit that publishes students' works and guides their media careers.

She co-founded the Student Veterans of America UH chapter in 2014 and worked as the communications chair for the organization until May 2015. In January 2016, the organization won Chapter of the Year at the Student Veterans of America National Conference.
Sara also worked as a peer advisor in the school’s Veteran Service Office.

Barbara Starr

CNN

Barbara Starr is CNN's Pentagon correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. Starr provides viewers with the latest national security news each day from the Pentagon, working her sources to report on the military campaigns against ISIS, investigations in terror attacks and military and intelligence operations. Starr appears regularly on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, New Day and other shows across the network regularly breaking big news and delivering exclusive coverage on the U.S. military and political situation on a global scale.

In 2014, The Panetta Institute for Public Policy honored Starr with a Jefferson-Lincoln Award for her work in journalism. Since 2003, Starr has made repeated trips to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, where she has been embedded with U.S. troops. She traveled to Beirut, Lebanon in 2006 with U.S. Marines tasked with evacuating Americans during Israel's war with Hezbollah. Starr has also reported directly from the Persian Gulf, Russia, Central America and the Chinese-North Korean border. In 2016, Starr was the only broadcast journalist to travel to Iraq and Syria with commanding general of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, the highest-ranking U.S. military official to travel into Syria during the war, to report on the global fight and special operations training of local forces to combat ISIS.

Throughout her career, Starr has profiled numerous wounded troops, the plight of homeless veterans and reported on the fallen regularly from Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Starr joined CNN in 2001 from ABC News where she had worked since 1998 as a producer for the network's news originating from the Pentagon, providing on- and off-air reporting on military and national security affairs. She also reported for Nightline, World News This Morning, World News Now, ABC Radio and ABCNews.com. Previously, Starr was the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for Jane's Defence Weekly, a London-based weekly newsmagazine, where for nine years she covered all aspects of national security, the intelligence community, defense and military policy. During this time, she conducted numerous one-on-one interviews with current secretaries of defense and directors of central intelligence. She also traveled to the Balkans, the Persian Gulf and NATO headquarters in Brussels. Before Jane's, Starr worked as a correspondent for Business Week from 1979-1988. Based in the magazine's Washington, D.C., bureau, she served as energy correspondent, covering OPEC and other environmental and economic matters.

While at ABC News, she won an Emmy Award as a location producer at NORAD/Cheyenne Mountain, covering the transition to the new millennium at Moscow rollover time.

Starr graduated from California State at Northridge with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.

Paul Szoldra

Duffel Blog / Task & Purpose / Marine Corps Vet

My name is Paul Szoldra (pronounced ZOAL-druh). I am a reporter and editor based in southern California, mainly focused on national security issues. My byline can be found at Task & Purpose, Business Insider, and We Are The Mighty.

Me or my work have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, MSNBC, CBS News, USA Today, ABC News, Huffington Post, and the Columbia Journalism Review. It has also been cited by the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Cyber Institute, House Armed Services Committee, House Judiciary Committee, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and in various books.

Prior to becoming a journalist, I served as a U.S. Marine infantryman for eight years. I deployed to the Asia-Pacific region and Afghanistan and served as a combat instructor at the Corps' School of Infantry.

Kenton Young

CBS / Air Force Reserves

Kenton Young has worked as a news videographer for more than 20 years, receiving an Edward R. Murrow Award, nine Emmy Awards, and two New York State Broadcast Association Awards. He works for CBS News network where he covers major events in the United States and internationally.

His body of work includes coverage of climate change in Antarctica, the death of Fidel Castro, and recent caravans of Central American migrants crossing Mexico. He also films major political events for the network, including President Obama’s 2016 visit to Argentina, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and President Trump’s first overseas trip in 2017 when he traveled to Saudi Arabia, Italy, Belgium, Israel and Iceland.

Young is based in New York City where he began his career at NY1 News in 1997. He built his reputation as a field producer, shooter, and editor in the nation’s largest news media market. He began work at PIX11 news in 2001, covering the Papal conclave in Rome, the Boston Marathon bombings, and Hurricane Sandy. He filmed the unrest in Ferguson Missouri following the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. He returned to Missouri in November 2014 to cover the district attorney’s decision to not indict Wilson and he remained to film the ensuing riots.

Young enlisted in the Air Force Reserves as a medic in 1999. He presently holds the rank of Master Sergeant and continues to serve as the NCOIC of the 514th Aeromedical Staging Squadron Pharmacy Craftsman and the Unit Deployment Manager. The two decades he has spent balancing his military service with a prolific career in broadcasting has prepared him well to mentor service members on alternative options to transitioning.