Selection Advisory Committee | Columbia Journalism School

Selection Advisory Committee

Selection Advisory Committee 2021-22

S. Mitra Kalita is the co-founder of URL Media. Previously, Kalita led the national news desk and efforts to creatively share CNN's journalism and storytelling across an ever-exploding array of platforms. Her portfolio also included the Entertainment team, News & Alerting and Mobile & Off-Platform teams. She arrived at CNN in 2016. 

Prior to 2016, Kalita was managing editor for editorial strategy at the Los Angeles Times. During her time there, she helped traffic soar to nearly 60 million unique multiplatform visitors monthly, innovated new forms of storytelling and increased audience engagement, including hiring a correspondent to cover "Black Twitter.” She launched Education Matters, a vertical covering L.A. schools that connected the Times to new communities via events, new beats, translations and partnerships. She helped direct coverage of a mass shooting in San Bernardino (notably, a multimedia reconstruction of the police pursuit ending in the killers’ deaths) that led the Times to win a Pulitzer Prize in breaking news. 

She also served as the executive editor at large for Quartz, Atlantic Media's global economy site, and was its founding ideas editor, reimagining opinion and commentary for the internet. She also oversaw the launches of Quartz India and Quartz Africa, working closely with sales, product and marketing teams along the way. 

Kalita worked previously at the Wall Street Journal, where she directed coverage of the Great Recession, launched a local news section for New York City and reported on the housing crisis as a senior writer for Page 1. She was a founding editor and columnist of Mint, a business paper in New Delhi, and has previously worked for the Washington Post, Newsday and the Associated Press. She has won many awards for her journalism and her series on the Indian economy is included in the “Best Business Writing." 

Kalita is the author of two books related to migration and globalization, including the highly acclaimed "Suburban Sahibs,” about how immigrants transformed the American suburb, and “My Two Indias,” an economic memoir and study on globalization. She has studied seven languages (English, Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese) and can converse in at least five of them. 

A former journalism professor at St. John's, UMass-Amherst, and Columbia University, she also previously served as president of the South Asian Journalists Association. She speaks frequently on diversity in media, digital innovation and managing change.

She is a graduate of Rutgers College, where she majored in history and journalism, and received her master's degree from Columbia University's Journalism school. Kalita is married to an artist and is mother to two daughters.

Celeste LeCompte is the vice president of business development at ProPublica, focused on revenue, partnerships and other strategic initiatives. In her previous roles, she has worked on product development, content strategy and editorial management for numerous media companies, nonprofits and corporate clients.

LeCompte previously served on the launch team for Gigaom Research, a market research service specializing in emerging technologies. As director of product and special projects editor, she developed editorial strategy, oversaw consumer sales and managed partnerships with major media outlets.

LeCompte was also a co-founder and business manager of Climate Confidential, a crowdfunded environmental reporting project that emphasized collaboration with national and local media partners. She is also an award-winning journalist, primarily covering technology, innovation and environmental issues. Her work has taken her from rural farms in Illinois to factory floors in China, with stories appearing in a diverse range of consumer and business publications, including Bloomberg Businessweek, Outside, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Nieman Reports and more.

Dennis K. Berman
Managing Director
Lazard, Ltd.


Dennis K. Berman is a Managing Director in Financial Advisory of Lazard Ltd. Mr. Berman, a Pulitzer-Prize winning editor and writer, has served as the Financial Editor of The Wall Street Journal and as a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average Committee since July 2015. He has been a frequent contributor to business-news network CNBC. Previously, he served as The Wall Street Journal’s Business Editor, Global Deals Editor, and as an award-winning M&A reporter and columnist. He earned his BA at the University of Pennsylvania and was a Hoover Institution Media Fellow at Stanford University.

Charo Henríquez is a digital media executive based in New York City. She has extensive experience working in the intersection of journalism and technology as well as training and coaching journalists. She is an advocate for women, Hispanics, the intersection of the two and other underrepresented communities in media leadership.

She currently works at The New York Times as Senior Editor of Digital Strategy on the organization's Digital Transition team. She started at the Times in 2017, as a Sr. Editor of Digital Storytelling and Training in that team.

Charo is also a member of Online News Association's Board of Directors and of the Advisory Council Board to the Spanish-language Journalism Program at the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism.

Charo has been faculty for the ONA/Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media in 2016 and ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator in 2017 and 2018, where she coached and mentored some of the most accomplished women moving up the ladder in digital journalism and technology organizations in the United States and internationally.

Latoya Peterson is CXO at Glow Up Games. She lives at the intersection of emerging technology and culture. Named one of Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 rising stars in media, she is best known for the award winning blog - the intersection of race and pop culture. Currently, she is working on projects involving virtual/augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. In 2018, she is launching a collaborative art project that explores the future of artificial intelligence and predictive policing through a hip-hop lens. At ESPN/Disney, she pursued projects around leveraging machine learning for business and entertainment applications creating demos and case studies for internal use, specifically focusing on video production and machine learning in partnership with the ABC R & D lab and the ESPN Advanced Technology Group.

In 2016, she produced a critically acclaimed YouTube series on Girl Gamers. Previously, she was the Deputy Editor, Digital Innovation for ESPN's The Undefeated, an Editor-at-Large at Fusion, and the Senior Digital Producer for The Stream, a social media driven news show on Al Jazeera America. 


Known for bringing a hip-hop feminist and racial justice framework to technological and cultural analysis, Latoya’s perspectives have been widely published in outlets like Teen Vogue, NPR, ESPN the MagazineThe New York TimesThe Washington PostEssenceSpin, Vibe, Marie Claire, Kotaku, The Atlantic, The American Prospect, and The Guardian. She was a contributor to Her essay, "The Not Rape Epidemic" was published in the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape (Seal Press, 2008). She also contributed "The Feminist Existential Crisis (Dark Children Remix)" to the anthology Feminism for Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism (CCPA, 2011).

She is often asked to speak about technology, race, gender, and pop culture. Her past engagements include the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) R & D Lab, The European Journalism Centre, Media Party Africa, and The Conf in Sweden. She is a frequent panelist at conferences like the Global Editors Network, Confab, Online News Association, South by Southwest Interactive, and the American Anthropological Association. As a keynote speaker, she’s led workshops and addressed students at institutions like Princeton University, Texas A & M University, Swarthmore College, Kenyon College, Harvard’s Black Law Student’s Association and MIT’s Graduate Women Symposium. In 2018, she will speak at MAGFest 2018 on diversity in games and the Game Developers Conference on the emerging esports ecosystem.

As a digital media consultant, Latoya Peterson has worked with brands like the Lean In Foundation, NPR, the Wikimedia Foundation, and Weber-Shandwick to provide demographic analysis, ideas on improving user experience, and specialized outreach. As a media personality, she has provided expert commentary for outlets like CNN and C-SPAN. She was also a guest host for WEAA’s The Michael Eric Dyson Show and a contributor/substitute digital producer for Al-Jazeera International's version of The Stream.

She is currently on the advisory board of the Data & Society Institute and the board of visitors for The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships. She is a US-Japan Leadership Foundation Delegate for 2018 (Seattle) and 2019 (Tokyo). She was a John S. Knight Journalism 2012-2013 Fellow at Stanford University focusing on mobile technology and digital access. She served as a Harvard Berkman Center Affiliate, a Poynter Institute Sensemaking Fellow, and one of the inaugural Public Media Corps fellows. She is also part of the selection committee for the Museum of Play’s World Video Game Hall of Fame.


Gabriella Stern
Director of Communications
World Health Organization

Gabriella Stern is Director of Communications at the World Health Organization. Based at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Gabby is in charge of the organization’s global communications strategy, manages a team of communications professionals, and serves as spokesperson for the Director-General. Gabby joined WHO in March 2019 after more than three years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Based in Seattle, she was the Director of Media & External Relations. Before moving into communications in early 2016, Gabby was a journalist. She spent almost 25 years at The Wall Street Journal in various editing and reporting roles in the U.S., London (during which she and her family became naturalized UK citizens) and Asia. Prior to joining the Journal, she worked for the Omaha, (Neb.) World-Herald. Born in New Jersey, with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Yale University, Gabby is married, with two adult children (and a cat named Oscar.)