Board of Directors

Phil Straus

Chair

Phil Straus joined Mother Jones’ board in 2006. He first served as co-chair, then became chair of the board in 2008. He served for ten years on the board of the Center for Defense Information and is still fighting to control the Pentagon’s budget. He holds degrees in psychology, engineering and mathematics. He has spent his retirement photographing, composing music, cooking, and babysitting his two grandchildren. He and his wife Margaret have lived in Philadelphia for over 30 years. Luckily, their two children and grandchildren live nearby.

Monika Bauerlein

President

Monika Bauerlein is CEO of Mother Jones. Previously, she served as co-editor with Clara Jeffery, who is now editor-in-chief. Together, they spearheaded an era of editorial growth and innovation, marked by two National Magazine Awards for general excellence, the addition of a 12-person Washington Bureau, and an overhaul of the organization’s digital strategy that grew MotherJones.com‘s traffic more than tenfold. She has also worked as Mother Jones‘ investigative editor, focusing on long-form projects marrying in-depth reportage, document sleuthing, and narrative appeal, and as an alternative-weekly editor, a correspondent for US and European publications in Washington, D.C. and at the United Nations, an AP stringer, corporate trainer, translator, sausage slinger and fishing-line packager. She lives in Oakland.

Clara Jeffery

Vice President

Clara Jeffery is Editor-in-Chief of Mother Jones where, together with Monika Bauerlein, she has spearheaded an era of editorial growth and innovation, marked by the addition of now 13-person Washington bureau, an overhaul of the organization’s digital strategy and a corresponding 15-fold growth in traffic, and the winning of two National Magazine Awards for general excellence. When Jeffery and Bauerlein received a PEN award for editing in 2012, the judges noted: "With its sharp, compelling blend of investigative long-form journalism, eye-catching infographics and unapologetically confident voice, Mother Jones under Jeffery and Bauerlein has been transformed from what was a respected—if under-the-radar—indie publication to an internationally recognized, powerhouse general-interest periodical influencing everything from the gun-control debate to presidential campaigns." In addition to their success on the print side, Jeffery and Bauerlein’s relentless attention to detail, boundless curiosity and embrace of complex subjects are also reflected on the magazine’s increasingly influential website, whose writers and reporters often put more well-known and deep-pocketed news divisions to shame. Before joining the staff of Mother Jones, Jeffery was a senior editor of Harper’s magazine. Fourteen pieces that she personally edited have been finalists for National Magazine Awards, in the categories of essay, profile, reporting, public interest, feature, and fiction. Works she edited have also been selected to appear in various editions of Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and Best American Science Writing. Clara cut her journalistic teeth at Washington City Paper, where she wrote and edited political, investigative, and narrative features, and was a columnist. Jeffery is a graduate of Carleton College and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She resides in the Mission District of San Francisco with her partner Chris Baum and their son, Milo. Their burrito joint of choice is El Metate.

Steven Katz

Vice President

As Mother Jones’ publisher, Steve Katz helped guide Mother Jones through a decade of transformation into an award-winning digital-first investigative reporting organization with 14 million readers each month in print and online. Having worn many different hats at MoJo since starting there in 2003, Steve is currently the lead staff for The Moment for Mother Jones, a $25 million special fundraising campaign to underwrite investments in the organization’s growth. Launched in early 2016, the campaign has nearly hit its goal. Steve is also a co-founder of The Media Consortium, a network of more than 70 progressive, independent media organizations. Steve has forty years’ experience working in the fields of journalism, environmental advocacy, the arts, social justice, and neighborhood-based housing development, and has served on a number of non-profit boards. Steve received his PhD in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and his B.A. from Oberlin College. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Rachelle.

Sara Frankel

Secretary

Sara Frankel has worked in media companies since starting her first job as a Mother Jones intern in 1986. She subsequently worked as an editor and feature writer for both weekly magazines and a daily newspaper. Since receiving her MBA in 1994, she has held a range of business positions in digital media and ecommerce companies. She has founded and run two Internet startups, one focused on consumer health and one that sold toys made exclusively from natural materials. She is currently working for a consumer products company in San Francisco.

Nathalie Baptiste

Staff Representative

Nathalie Baptiste is currently a staff reporter at Mother Jones where she reports on the criminal justice system, housing, and the environment. Prior to joining MoJo, Nathalie was a writing fellow at the American Prospect.

Harriet Barlow

Harriet Barlow is an activist and donor advisor. She and her husband David Morris live in Pt. Reyes Station, CA. Harriet has served on over 60 boards of directors of national, state and local non-profit organizations. She is currently a trustee of the Working Families Organization, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the Mesa Refuge, and, of course, Mother Jones.

Jahna Berry

Jahna Berry is Mother Jones’ chief operating officer and is based in San Francisco. Before joining Mother Jones, Jahna was head of content operations at WIRED, where she played a key role developing strategies that increased digital subscriptions and opened WIRED’s first permanent retail store. Earlier in her career, Jahna was Mother Jones’ director of product and managed the publication’s award-winning 2016 digital redesign. The project helped Mother Jones win the Magazine of the Year award from the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2017. Jahna has been a writer and editor at several publications, including the San Francisco Business Times, The Arizona Republic, the Contra Costa Times (now called the East Bay Times), and the San Francisco Recorder.

Bridget Botelho

Staff Representative

Bridget is Mother Jones’ director of communications strategy and is based in San Francisco. Before joining MoJo, Bridget was a communications manager at Youth Radio, and she has an extensive background in communications work across media and issues of public interest.

Madeleine Buckingham

Madeleine Buckingham is Mother Jones’ chief financial officer. Previously, she was president and CEO, and she served as chief operating officer prior to that. She has spent more than 20 years in senior finance and management positions in the publishing and tech industries, working for a range of publishing companies and internet startups, including Sony Corp.’s internet incubator and International Data Group.

Jane Butcher

Jane has been a Mother Jones Board Member since 1992. She is currently on the founding boards of 10.10.10 and XGenesis. She sits on the BioFrontiers Advisory Board and the Local Theater Company. She is a past Chair of the Conference on World Affairs and the Woman of the West Museum.

Bích Ngọc Cao

Bích Ngọc Cao is an experienced digital media and marketing executive whose career spans startups, media, entertainment, government, and nonprofits. She currently serves as senior advisor of communications for the Office of the Superintendent at the Los Angeles Unified School District. Previously, she was chief operating officer at Define American, the nation’s leading nonprofit media and culture change organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling.

Prior to Define American, Bích Ngọc led special projects at the Los Angeles Times, where she worked with Pulitzer-winning journalists Jonathan Gold and Jose Antonio Vargas on building new digital initiatives. She began her career at MySpace, launching the original MySpace Music and leading editorial, as a core member of the team that built a fledgling social network into a global entertainment destination. After MySpace, Bích Ngọc joined Bobby Shriver and Bono to co-found and launch (RED), a unique product partnership amongst global brands such as Apple, Gap, Converse, and American Express. As of December 2018, (RED) has generated $600 million to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. She served as digital marketing director at Capitol Music Group’s Harvest Records and Warner Bros. Records, where she created campaigns for artists such as TV On the Radio, Banks, the New Basement Tapes (featuring Elvis Costello and Marcus Mumford), and the Veronicas.

A native Angeleno and USC alumna, Bích Ngọc is committed to public service and serves as president of the Board of Library Commissioners for the city of Los Angeles. During her tenure leading the Los Angeles Public Library, the 73-library system received the nation’s highest library honor, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

André Carothers

André Carothers has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, philanthropy, program development, and organizational and leadership development. He is currently an independent consultant. He was a cofounder and executive director of the Rockwood Leadership Institute, a national nonprofit training and consulting organization, where he now works as a senior fellow. He serves as chair of the board of the Rainforest Action Network and is a board member of International Rivers. He is also a senior adviser to the Weinmann Charitable Trust and the executive director of the Furthur Foundation and the New Place Fund. From 1984 to 1997, he worked at Greenpeace USA as an editor of their national newsmagazine, a campaign manager, and a member of the board of directors. He was a regular columnist for E magazine and has written extensively on environment and civic issues for many publications. He has authored numerous reports, articles, and conference presentations on topics ranging from the economics of timber extraction in Papua New Guinea to the integration of spiritual practice into social activism. He received an MA in environmental science from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California-Berkeley.

Diane Filippi

Since 2001, Diane Filippi has been the director of the SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association) Urban Design Center. She guided SPUR’s effort to build a new Urban Center facility in the heart of downtown San Francisco (including a successful $14 million capital campaign), expanding the organization’s reach into the community, the region, the state, and the country.

Prior to joining SPUR, Diane was a founding partner and managing partner of SMWM, the largest women-owned and -operated architectural and urban planning firm in San Francisco. She was responsible for strategic marketing, business planning, and all aspects of running a design practice in San Francisco and New York. Among the firm’s notable projects were the renovations of the San Francisco Ferry Building and the new Main Library in San Francisco.

Diane has served on several nonprofit boards; she was chair of the San Francisco Friends of the Library, the board of directors of the State of California Friends of the Library in Sacramento, and the New York-based Libraries for the Future. She also chaired the campaign to Keep Libraries Alive, which won in an election by a large majority and raised more than $300,000,000 for San Francisco libraries, kept libraries open six days a week, and tripled the book budget. She is also chair of the board of directors of Rail-volution, a national transportation and livable-community organization founded by Congressman Earl Blumenaur.

Linda W. Gruber

Linda W. Gruber is the president of the Gruber Family Foundation, established in 1987. The foundation funds in the areas of women’s issues, human rights, the arts, progressive journalism, and education. She currently serves on the board of the Global Fund for Women and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and is a member of Women Moving Millions; she formerly served on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Beginning with a stint in the Lyndon Johnson White House, Linda worked as a consultant, taught at San Francisco State University, and worked for the U.S. Department of Labor. A graduate of Wellesley College, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Jon D. Gruber; they have two grown children and six grandchildren.

Stephen Hendrickson

Steve enthusiastically joined the Mother Jones board in the fall of 2017. He is the retired founder of Christian Book Distributors, the leading mail order and internet company serving the Christian market (carrying over 100,000 products and employing 450 when he sold the business in 2004), and Hendrickson Publishers, a small publisher of classic reference and academic titles for the religious market. Steve has been active with numerous non-profit organizations, including serving for many years on the Vestry and as Treasurer of Trinity Church (Episcopal), Boston, and the board of trustees of North Park University, Chicago. He currently serves as Investment Committee chair for both Trinity Church and Sherrill House (a 180 bed skilled nursing facility with historic ties to Trinity Church), and has worked with numerous Boston area organizations, from business education partnerships to local YMCAs. He has been active and involved in projects in Croatia and East Africa, from education, women’s microenterprise, and building wells, to LGBT friendly organizations in oppressed areas of Africa.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sacred Music from Central Bible College, is an avid pilot with instrument, multi engine and jet ratings, and no less an avid follower of American politics and supporter of liberal and progressive candidates for political office, missing few appearances of David Corn on MSNBC. He can cure most cases of insomnia with a discussion of airplane engines, plays a mean piano, and aspires to return to the golden years of mediocrity in his golf game. After a twenty seven year courtship, Steve married his long time partner, David McCord (also the son of a Pentecostal minister), in 2014. They live with their three dogs according to the season in Boston, Vermont and Florida.

Adam Hochschild

Adam is a writer and was one of the cofounders of Mother Jones. He is the author of nine books: Half the Way Home: a Memoir of Father and Son; The Mirror at Midnight: a South African Journey; The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin; Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits, Travels; King Leopold’s Ghost: a Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa; Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves; To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918; Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939; and Lessons from a Dark Time and Other Essays. In 1997 and 1998, he spent five months as a Fulbright lecturer in India, and he teaches a writing class at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California-Berkeley.

Richard Melcher

Rick is a founding principal of Melcher & Tucker Consultants, a Chicago-based strategic marketing and communications firm advising small and midsize companies and not-for-profit organizations. Since he co-founded the business in 2000, Rick has helped clients with strategic planning, media and capital campaigns, and in building alliances. Prior to his current endeavors, Rick worked at two leading public policy web sites, and spent two decades at Business Week magazine, managing bureaus in Chicago and London, and where he received the Citation for Excellence from the Overseas Press Club for reporting on Europe and the Center for Education Reform’s award for Excellence in Journalism.

Rick is a board member of the Foundation for National Progress, and serves on the national board of trustees and the Chicago advisory board of Facing History and Ourselves. He is also on the executive committee of the board of directors of Chicago Commons and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. A graduate of Duke University, Rick and his wife, Barbara, are the parents of three children.

Carolyn Mugar

Carolyn Mugar is and has been for twenty years the Executive Director of Farm Aid. Previous to that, she was an organizer with the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union and the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers International Union. Both unions have since merged several times. She also founded the Armenia Tree Project based in Watertown Massachusetts and Yerevan, Armenia and is very active on Armenian issues, going back and forth to Armenia several times a year. She likes to bike a lot. She walked the whole Camino in Spain over four years ago. She went to college and received a higher education.

Ken Pelletier

Ken is a technologist, designer, musician and amateur chef. Working at the intersection of design and technology, Ken has led several software and design projects over a 30-year career, most recently as CTO at Groupon.com He is currently an investor and advisor to several early stage start-ups, including DesktimeApp.com, TheNounProject.com and Kitchensurfing.com

Ken serves on the board of The Old Town School of Folk Music and The Awesome Foundation of Chicago, and is partner and board member at City Winery Chicago.

Ken has had a lifelong interest in cooking and the politics of food. He recently completed the ‘La Technique’ program at The French Culinary Institute, NYC and is a founding member of The Kitchen Community Chicago, a non-profit based in Boulder, CO that is building ‘learning gardens’ in Chicago schools.

Ken is a 20-year transplant from the Boston area to Chicago where he lives with his wife, Amanda Lao and their 2 year old rooftop garden.

Vincent Robinson

As the founder of the 360 Group, Vincent participates in all aspects of the firm’s work—from client engagements to intellectual and human capital development, and ensuring the firm’s overall health and effectiveness. He founded the firm in 2004 to realize his commitment to leadership in social sector organizations. During his tenure, he has worked with a diverse group of foundations and nonprofits to help grow their aspirations and impact through thoughtful, strategic tools with a keen eye on execution and implementation. He has developed innovative ways to connect organizations with solutions, including outstanding strategies and operational plans that organizations can leverage to the highest order.

Before founding the firm, he served as executive director of Social Venture Partners Bay Area (SVP). There he led all aspects of a membership organization, including strategic planning, grantmaking (in education and economic development), financial management, and member recruitment and retention. He previously worked in the investment management division of Goldman Sachs.

Vincent is widely regarded as an expert on issues facing the nonprofit sector, having been interviewed on public radio and quoted in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He is a regular speaker at various conferences and gatherings, including at the Council on Foundations, Grantmakers in the Arts, and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written articles for the Council on Foundations and the National Center for Responsive Philanthropy, among other publications.

Vincent currently serves as a board member for the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. He has also served as a board member of Net Impact, a global network of leaders, and Planned Parenthood/Golden Gate Community Health, a comprehensive community health center that serves more than 60,000 low-income clients each year. He has served as co-chair of Common Sense California, now part of the Davenport Institute on Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, and on the Leadership Council of the Public Policy Institute of California. Vincent currently sits on the advisory boards of REDF and the MBA-Nonprofit Connection. He was a New York City Urban Fellow and holds an AB in political science and American studies (with honors) from Stanford University, and an MBA and certificate in nonprofit management from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Vincent is increasingly conversant in Spanish. He lives in San Francisco.

Rinku Sen

Rinku Sen is a writer and a political strategist. She is formerly the Executive Director of Race Forward and was Publisher of their award-winning news site Colorlines. Under Sen’s leadership, Race Forward generated some of the most impactful racial justice successes of recent years, including Drop the I-Word, a campaign for media outlets to stop referring to immigrants as “illegal,” resulting in the Associated Press, USA Today, LA Times, and many more outlets changing their practice. She was also the architect of the Shattered Families report, which identified the number of kids in foster care whose parents had been deported. Her books Stir it Up and The Accidental American theorize a model of community organizing that integrates a political analysis of race, gender, class, poverty, sexuality, and other systems. She writes and curates the news at rinkusen.com.

Edgar Villanueva

Edgar Villanueva is a globally recognized author, activist, and expert on social justice philanthropy. He is the founder of the Decolonizing Wealth Project and of Liberated Capital. Edgar serves as chair of the board of directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy and NDN Collective and is a board member of the Andrus Family Fund, a national foundation that works to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth, and serves as senior vice president at the Schott Foundation for Public Education. Edgar is the award-winning author of Decolonizing Wealth, a bestselling book offering hopeful and compelling alternatives to the dynamics of colonization in the philanthropic and social finance sectors. In addition to working in philanthropy for many years, he has consulted with numerous nonprofits and national and global philanthropies on advancing racial equity inside their institutions and through their investment strategies. Edgar holds two degrees from the Gillings Global School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Judy Wise

Judy Wise is a long-time friend of Mother Jones and served on the FNP board of directors for several years in the 1990s. She was a Senior Director of Facing History and Ourselves, an international professional development organization for educators who reach more than 5 million students every year. She was the founder of the organization’s first regional office in Chicago and also founded the UK office. She is now a member of Facing History’s International Board of Directors and a board member of the Chicago Media Project and Restore Justice (a criminal justice reform organization).

Judy served on President Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships and was recognized by Business and Professional People as one of 40 Who Made a Difference in celebration of the organization’s 40th Anniversary. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Committee on Illinois Government and worked in the news department at both NBC TV and CBS TV in Chicago. Ms. Wise received her B.A. from Washington University and M.A. in psychiatric social work from the University of Chicago. Judy has two grown children and 3 grandchildren.

Ekow Yankah

Ekow Yankah is a professor of law at Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. His work focuses on criminal theory and punishment and political theory, and particularly questions of political obligation and its interaction with justifications of punishment. He has written op-eds and essays for publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, HuffPost, and others, and he has appeared as a commentator on MSNBC, BBC, PBS, NPR, and elsewhere. (Here’s a NYT op-ed he wrote.) He serves on the New York State Legislature’s Public Campaign Finance Board and the Board of the Innocence Project, and has been a distinguished visitor at the MacArthur Foundation and the co-chair of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, the voting rights arm of the Democratic Party. He hails from Michigan and lives in New York.