We are excited to announce the names of the 11 distinguished journalists chosen to launch ProPublica’s new investigative editor training program.
The ProPublica Investigative Editor Training Program was established to expand the ranks of editors with investigative experience in newsrooms across the country, with a focus on journalists from underrepresented backgrounds.
This program is funded by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, which supports journalism, film and arts organizations whose work is dedicated to social justice and strengthening democracy.
Participants will undergo a five-day intensive editing boot camp in New York, with courses and panel discussions led by ProPublica’s senior editors. After the boot camp, participants will gather virtually every two months for continuing development seminars and be assigned a ProPublica senior editor as a mentor for advice on their work and careers.
We’re encouraged by the response we’ve received for this effort. All told, 159 people applied for 10 advertised slots for this year’s training. The applicants represented a broad array of news organizations across the country. And due to their impressive credentials, we added one more slot than we’d initially planned.
“This is an exciting moment for both ProPublica and the field of investigative journalism,’’ said Stephen Engelberg, editor-in-chief of ProPublica. “The breadth of our applicant pool demonstrates the deep interest in publications at every level in developing the skills that will give readers the in-depth reporting our democracy so desperately needs.’’
We’re thrilled to introduce the inaugural cohort of the ProPublica Investigative Editor Training Program:
Maha Ahmed is managing editor at Type Investigations, where she runs its fact-checking operation, develops newsroom processes and edits climate, labor,and other stories. Previously, she was Type’s head of research. Ahmed also spent several years as a fact-checker, researcher, reporter or editor at a range of other newsrooms, including The Intercept, Mother Jones, In These Times, South Side Weekly and the Invisible Institute. She’s spoken at IRE and NICAR, in journalism school classes and to other newsrooms about fact-checking and research methods. She is based in Brooklyn and was born in Houston.
Melissa Barragán Taboada is the editor of The Boston Globe’s Great Divide education team. She previously worked as a reporter and editor at the Austin American-Statesman, where she spearheaded the paper’s education coverage. Taboada also taught a "Reporting on Education" course at the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, her alma mater.
Meghann D. Garcia is managing editor of the Uvalde Leader-News, which has won South Texas Press Association Sweepstakes honors six times over the last eight years. She joined the newspaper staff in 2008 as a production assistant and worked as a staff writer and assistant editor before taking on her present role in 2013. Garcia has won multiple regional and state press association awards for news and feature writing and page design. A lifelong resident of Uvalde County, she earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and an Associate of Arts from Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde in 2005.
Maia Hibbett is the managing editor at New York Focus, a statewide nonprofit investigative newsroom. She has written for The Nation and The Baffler, as well as for The Intercept, where she was previously an editor. She is interested in the way politics affect people across the world, particularly in the realm of contemporary imperialism and the military-industrial complex. Hibbett is from central Massachusetts and lives in Brooklyn.
Lori Higgins is the bureau chief for Chalkbeat Detroit. She is an award-winning longtime education reporter, having worked for nearly two decades as a K-12 reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Prior to that, she covered education for the Green Bay Press Gazette and the Manhattan (Kansas) Mercury. At Chalkbeat, she supervises coverage of the Detroit Public Schools Community District, one of the most troubled in the nation, as well as state education policy issues and statewide trends in K-12 schools.
Tracy Jan is a deputy health and science editor at The Washington Post, where she collaborates with reporters who cover the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical misinformation, abortion, long COVID and other health accountability stories. She joined The Post in December 2016 to launch a beat on the intersection of race and the economy, producing work that delved deeply into reparations for slavery, systemic racism in America and the economic and health impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Black, Asian, Latino and immigrant communities. She was previously a reporter at The Boston Globe. She was a 2015 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, as well as a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan. Her work has been recognized by the George Polk Awards, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Headliner Awards, the Online News Association and the Asian American Journalists Association.
Brendan Klinkenberg is an executive editor at Gimlet Media. He’s edited stories about Harlem rappers, Russian hackers, art thieves, domestic terror cells and tech utopias gone awry. Prior to Gimlet, Brendan was an editor at Rolling Stone and Complex, and a reporter for BuzzFeed News (RIP) and Wired. He lives in Brooklyn.
Hayat Norimine is the accountability editor for the Idaho Statesman in Boise and oversees reporters who cover politics, education, the outdoors, criminal justice and investigations. She’s the local editor on a 2023 ProPublica Local Reporting Network project examining Idaho’s dilapidated school facilities. Before she became an editor, she covered state politics in Idaho and city halls in Dallas, Seattle and Southwest Washington. Hayat immigrated to the U.S. with her family at age 4 and grew up in Eastern Washington. She holds an English degree from the University of Washington and a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University.
Lillian M. Ortiz is the managing editor at Shelterforce, a national nonprofit publication that aims to inform and hold accountable those working toward more just and equitable communities. Before joining Shelterforce, Lillian was editor of the Verona-Cedar Grove Times, an award-winning publication in New Jersey. Throughout her career, Lillian has earned dozens of honors for her reporting, layout and design and photography.
Dalila-Johari Paul is the national editor at Capital B, where she manages a growing team of reporters from across the country, covering politics, criminal justice, health and other beats. She previously worked at CNN Digital, where she led the race and equality team and, before that, was the overnight supervisor overseeing late night and early morning news coverage. She’s also held multiple editorial positions at the Guardian US, the Star-Ledger in New Jersey and the Hartford Courant in Connecticut.
Elaine Teng is a senior editor in ESPN’s investigative and enterprise unit, where she works on breaking news, longform features and cross-platform projects. She was previously a writer and editor at ESPN The Magazine, where she covered soccer, Olympic sports, esports, tennis and action sports, and the managing editor of The New Republic. Her work has been recognized by the National Magazine Awards and anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing. A California native, she now fully embraces the New England seasons. In her free time, she sings in a choir, plays intense games of Settlers of Catan and tries to make the perfect mapo tofu.