Ray Rivera, founder of Searchlight New Mexico, is the executive editor of The Oklahoman and Gannett’s Sunbelt Region, which includes 42 daily and weekly newspapers in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado. He previously was the managing editor of The Seattle Times, where he helped lead the team that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for exposing systemic problems with the Boeing 737 MAX. Rivera, who grew up in Northern New Mexico, is also the former executive editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican. He has worked as a staff writer at The New York Times, Washington Post, Seattle Times and Salt Lake Tribune. His investigative stories have included a nine-part series debunking the federal government’s investigation into Capt. James Yee, an Army Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay falsely accused of espionage; the extensive use of death squads by Al Qaeda and Haqqani Network insurgents along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; and the illegal funneling of taxpayer money to bogus nonprofits associated with New York City and state lawmakers. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and three children.

Sandra Blakeslee, board vice chair, has been writing about science and medicine for The New York Times for over 45 years. Now semi-retired, she still contributes to Science Times as hard-to-resist stories come along. The author of nine books, she is currently finishing the tenth, about the role of the human microbiome in aging. She’s a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a journalism fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, a Templeton Fellowship awardee, and co-founder of the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop. She lives in Santa Fe.

Susan Boe is the former executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. She is a retired attorney and was formerly a partner at Faegre & Benson (now Faegre, Baker & Daniels), an international law firm in several locations that includes specialists in media law. She also was general counsel for Iowa Realty, a Berkshire-Hathaway Company. Prior to becoming an attorney, Susan worked for daily newspapers in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Texas, and was a public information officer for the University of Texas at San Antonio and The Ohio State University. She received a B.S. degree in journalism from Iowa State University and her law degree with highest distinction from the University of Iowa.

Philip S. Cook, board treasurer, is a journalist and editor who from 1987 to 1990 was director of the Media Studies Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He was a reporter for the Hartford Courant and the New York Herald Tribune and later served as a Newsweek correspondent in Washington and Rome. He was a founding editor of the Wilson Quarterly and managing editor of Issues in Science and Technology, a journal published by the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to his career as a journalist, Cook served on the staff of the Peace Corps, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Office of Technology Assessment.

Martin (Marty) Kaiser is a nationally recognized journalism consultant specializing in leadership, digital innovation, ethics, investigative reporting and editing. In the 18 years he led the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the newsroom won three Pulitzer Prizes, was honored as a finalist six other times, and won awards in almost every major U.S. journalism contest. Editor & Publisher magazine named him Editor of the Year in 2009, recognizing his ability to increase investigative and enterprise reporting while developing one of the most respected newsroom cultures in the nation. Columbia Journalism Review wrote that the Journal Sentinel had “one of the most acclaimed watchdog teams in the country, period.“ In 2010, Kaiser completed his term as president of the American Society of News Editors. During a tumultuous time, he was instrumental in refocusing the almost century-old organization on a digital future, revitalizing its finances and reinstating the editors‘ annual convention. From 2016 through 2018, he was a Senior Fellow and Consultant at the Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Most recently, Kaiser helped launch the new Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Fred Mann recently retired as vice president of communications at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, N.J. where he oversaw all external and internal communications strategy and implementation for the Foundation. He spent 23 years with The Philadelphia Inquirer as features editor, Sunday magazine editor, and assistant managing editor. He created and ran the newspaper’s website,, one of the first U.S. newspaper online operations. And he served the newspaper’s parent company, Knight Ridder, as vice president for national programming for the chain’s 28 websites. Prior to working in Philadelphia, Fred was national editor and later op-ed editor of the Hartford Courant, and a politics and education reporter for The Day newspaper of New London, Conn. He also created a syndicated West Coast news service that provided coverage to a dozen major papers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Boston Globe, Newsday, the Miami Herald, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), the Detroit Free Press, and others. He has reported for TIME magazine and other national journals. And he served as press secretary in the U.S. Senate to Sen. Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. (R-CT) for three years. Fred has lectured and written on new media ethics for the Poynter Institute and at numerous online journalism conferences around the country. He was a founding board member of the Online News Association and served on the board of directors of the Communications Network, the Internet Business Alliance, and the Newspaper Association of America’s New Media Federation.

Carmella Padilla, board secretary, is a journalist, author, and editor who has published extensively, including in the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Latina, and American Craft. A native Santa Fean, much of her work has focused on New Mexico Hispano art, history and culture, including such books as El Rancho de las Golondrinas: Living History in New Mexico’s La Ciénega Valley; Low ‘n Slow: Lowriding in New Mexico; and The Chile Chronicles: Tales of a New Mexico Harvest. She recently co-edited A Red Like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World, winner of the 2017 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for distinguished scholarship in art history, and Borderless: The Art of Luis Tapia, exploring the art and life of a noted New Mexican Chicano sculptor. She has volunteered with several northern New Mexico nonprofit arts and community organizations and is a recipient of the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Santa Fe Mayor’s Arts Award and the New Mexico Community Foundation’s Luminaria Award.

Rick Rodriguez is a professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Rodriguez joined the Cronkite School in 2008 after a long career with The Sacramento Bee, including the last nine years as executive editor and senior vice president. During his tenure as editor of The Bee, his staff won many of the country’s most prestigious journalism awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for photography, the George Polk Award for local investigative reporting and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for coverage of the disadvantaged. A Stanford University graduate, he previously worked at his hometown newspaper, the Salinas Californian, and the Fresno Bee. At ASU, Rodriguez teaches a seminar on borderlands issues and classes in ethics and depth reporting. As part of the depth reporting course, his students have produced in-depth digital and video projects from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Canada, Nicaragua, Mexico, Hungary, Peru and Panama. He was the first Latino to be elected president of the American Society of News Editors.

Daniel Yohalem has been an attorney for over 42 years, the last 29 of which have been in New Mexico. He received his B.A. in 1970 from Yale University and J.D. with honors in 1973 from Columbia University Law School. He is currently in private practice, focusing on First Amendment, civil rights, open government, employment, and class action cases for plaintiffs, particularly in the areas of equal pay for women, whistleblowers, discrimination, and retaliation claims. Among other honors, he has been awarded the William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award (2006) as Lawyer of the Year by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, of which he is a past president and longtime board member; and the Cooperating Attorney of the Year (2002) by the ACLU of New Mexico. He is a founding board member of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Law Center and New Mexico Ethics Watch and serves on the Board of the Santa Fe Community Homeless Shelter.


William deBuys has written nine books, including The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures (listed by the Christian Science Monitor as one of the ten best nonfiction books of 2015); A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American West (2011); The Walk (2008); Salt Dreams (1999, which inspired the 2017 movie, The Colorado); and River of Traps (a 1991 Pulitzer finalist). In 2015 his first book, Enchantment and Exploitation (1985), was reissued in a revised and expanded 30th-anniversary edition. He was a 2008-2009 Guggenheim Fellow. His conservation work has included land acquisition, river protection, and grass banking. From 2001 to 2005, he chaired the Valles Caldera Trust, which then administered the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. He serves on the advisory board of the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation and lives and writes on a small farm in northern New Mexico that he has tended since the 1970s.

Scott Armstrong is an investigative journalist and executive director of the Information Trust, a former staff writer for The Washington Post and co-author with Bob Woodward of The Brethren, a narrative account of the Supreme Court. As a senior investigator for the Senate Watergate Committee, his interview of Alexander Butterfield revealed the Nixon taping system. Armstrong’s reporting on the Iran/contra affair with Bill Moyers on PBS Frontline’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” won an Emmy and a DuPont Silver Baton. Armstrong founded the National Security Archive, a nonprofit institute providing comprehensive government documentation to the public. A Yale graduate, he lives in Santa Fe with his wife, Barbara Guss, and has 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

Arturo Sandoval is founder and executive director of the 25-year-old Center of Southwest Culture, Inc. The Center is a nonprofit organization that helps develop healthy Indigenous and Latino communities through economic development initiatives and educational and cultural work. CSC works primarily in the Southwestern U.S. and northern México and has raised more than $18 million for communities to use in building capacity and long-term sustainability. Sandoval has been active for five decades in community-based economic development, cultural, environmental and civil rights efforts in New Mexico and across the U.S. He has helped start more than 100 civil rights, health, culture, education and economic development organizations.