Trustees & Advisers


News-Decoder is part of the French not-for-profit Nouvelles-Découvertes, which is governed by a five-person board of trustees. The academic institutions that are enrolled in News-Decoder’s program are members of Nouvelles-Découvertes and eligible to participate in its annual general meeting.

Here are profiles of the trustees.


Nelson Graves is the founder of News-Decoder and an experienced educator and administrator who has taught and worked on three continents. He was a correspondent, bureau chief and regional managing editor at Reuters, holding posts in Washington, Paris, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Milan and Tokyo. He later served as admissions director at Johns Hopkins University’s graduate program in international relations in Europe, and has worked with schools around the world.


Robert Holloway is a British-born French citizen who had a long career at Agence France-Presse as a journalist and editor before becoming director of the AFP Foundation, the international media training arm of the global news agency. He joined AFP in 1988 and served as Sydney bureau chief, foreign editor, head of the English desk in Paris, United Nations correspondent in New York, deputy managing editor and acting editor in chief.


Aralynn A. McMane is a journalism educator who has worked around the world in the interests of young readers and media literacy. With the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, she directed activities concerning the young and introduced publisher-educator partnerships in more than 20 countries. She helped improve the news publishing infrastructure for the non-government press in emerging democracies in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. She has served as an adviser for several UNESCO sectors.


Nancy Merritt Asthalter is a former professor of American History at the University of Paris. A U.S. citizen and long-time resident of France, Nancy served for two years in the U.S. Peace Corps in Togo. She is co-founder of the Mission Interuniversitaire des Échanges entre la France et l’Amérique (MICEFA), a consortium of universities in Paris, and currently is director of MICEFA Medical Exchanges. She is on the board of the International Communications Center, affiliated with the American University of Paris.


Jo Weir directs media development projects and training globally for DMA Media, Europe’s largest independent media training company. During a 25-year career in media development, Jo, who is Canadian, has managed training programs in more than 85 countries and worked with local journalists to set up news platforms in Egypt, Iraq and Zimbabwe. Between 1989 and 2014 she worked with the Reuters Foundation and its successor, the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


News-Decoder is advised by a committee of experts in media, education, finance and not-for-profit strategy. Here are our advisers.


 tagnew_originalTim Agnew has more than 30 years of experience in commercial finance and economic development. He is a principal of Masthead Venture Partners, a Cambridge, Massachusetts venture capital firm, and serves on the boards of the Maine Venture Fund and CEI Community Ventures. Before joining Masthead, he was chief executive officer of the Finance Authority of Maine.




Jui Chakravorty is founder and managing editor of, a digital video startup that offers glimpses of cultures from around the world by training and working with aspiring journalists on the ground. An award-winning journalist with nine years experience at Reuters and two in television news, she has covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict out of the Gaza Strip, the U.S. auto industry and Arab America out of Detroit, and mergers and acquisitions out of New York.



Catherine Cheney is the West Coast correspondent for Devex, focusing on technology and innovation. She has worked for POLITICO and World Politics Review, and helped launch NationSwell. She has reported from Venezuela, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Tanzania, Qatar and Sri Lanka, freelanced for outlets including the Atlantic and the Washington Post, and worked as a reporting fellow in Berlin. She works with the Newseum and the Solutions Journalism Network.


bgoldfarb_originalBen Goldfarb is a correspondent for High Country News, an award-winning magazine that covers natural resources in the western United States. His writing has also appeared in Scientific American, The Guardian, OnEarth Magazine and Earth Island Journal, and his work has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources and the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. His stories frequently involve wildlife management, sustainable fisheries and public land politics.


tosenton_originalTom Osenton is a best-selling author and leading growth strategist for nonprofits. Tom spent more than 25 years in senior management positions at CapCities/ABC and Billboard, and served as president, CEO and publisher of The Sporting News Publishing Co. He has worked on three Olympic Games and written three best-selling business books, including “The Death of Demand,” which introduced a groundbreaking economic theory based on analysis of more than 50 years of data from S&P 500 companies.


Charlotte Parker works at Acumen, a non-profit venture fund working to change how the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. Before moving to San Francisco, she served as a fourth-grade teacher through Teach for America in South Texas and helped launch the NationSwell Council, a membership network and events series for service-minded leaders, in New York City. She has worked as a freelance reporter in South America.


Betty Wong was global managing editor of Reuters from 2008-2011, with 29 years of experience at the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. She covered white collar crime on Wall Street from Ivan Boesky to Michael Milken in the 1980s, led U.S. corporate news coverage from the dot com bubble to rubble and was global equities editor for Reuters.