New Board Members Announced

(Washington DC) – The Fund for Investigative Journalism announced today that three journalists recognized for excellence, innovation, and leadership in the journalism profession have been elected to its board of directors.

The new board members are:

  • Luis Botello, senior program director – special projects, International Center for Journalists (ICFJ)
  • Clarence Page, syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune
  • Cheryl W. Thompson, investigative reporter for The Washington Post and associate professor of journalism at George Washington University

Botello is responsible for developing strategies for expanding the work of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in key areas of media development. He conducts a variety of training programs and conferences on digital media, mobile technology, ethics, press freedom, investigative reporting and media development worldwide. Botello is a regular on-air guest commentator for Latin American news networks such as CNN En Español and NTN24. He worked for 10 years as ICFJ’s Latin American program director and launched ICFJ’s International Journalism Network (IJNet), an online media assistance news service. Botello previously served as morning newscast producer, host and television reporter for Televisora Nacional in Panama, where he covered assignments in Latin America, the United States and Europe. He is a member of the board of directors of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin and the Latin American Journalism Center (CELAP) in Panama City, Panama.

Page writes a column for the Chicago Tribune that is syndicated in more than 150 newspapers around the country. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1989. In 1972 he was a member of a Chicago Tribune task force that was awarded the Pulitzer for its investigation of vote fraud. Page frequently appears on broadcast shows such as “The McLaughlin Group” and “The Chris Matthews Show.” Page is the author of two books, “Showing My Color: Impolite Essays on Race and Identity,” and “Culture Worrier.” He is also a board member of The Herb Block Foundation and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Page had been on the Fund’s Advisory Board, and previously served for many years as a board member.

Thompson came to The Post in 1997, and has written extensively about law enforcement, political corruption, and guns. She wrote an investigative series on firearms that tracked guns used to kill more than 500 police officers in the U.S. In 2011, she won an Emmy award for a prison interview of a Chicago man sentenced to life for killing a police officer. She was part of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and received two Salute to Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, including one for an investigation into the killing of a 14-year-old boy by a D.C. police officer.

Her most recent investigation told the stories of nearly 40 witnesses to crime in the D.C. area who were killed for talking to authorities, or out of fear that they might talk. Prior to coming to The Post, Ms. Thompson was an investigative reporter for the Kansas City Star, where she broke stories on how the University of Kansas Medical Center performed no heart transplants for 10 months but continued to accept patients, place them on the waiting list and bill them. She has also been a reporter for the Champaign (IL) News-Gazette, the Gainesville (FL) Sun, the Daily News of Los Angeles and the Chicago Tribune. Thompson was recently elected to the board of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

For more than forty years the Fund has paid reporting expenses of reporters who have the ideas, sources, and know-how to produce groundbreaking investigative journalism but lack the resources to complete their projects.

The Fund receives support from foundations and from individuals – many of whom are referred by the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington. Its foundation supporters are The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, The Reva & David Logan Foundation, The Park Foundation, The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, The Gannett Foundation, The Herb Block Foundation, The Green Park Foundation, and The Nara Fund.

Pro bono legal services are provided by Dykema Gossett PLLC, a national commercial law firm with a broad portfolio of community service and pro bono clients.

Pro bono business advisory services are provided by Leigh Riddick, Associate Professor of Finance at The American University’s Kogod School of Business.