Rosental Alves is a professor and the Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He began his academic career in the United States in March 1996, after 27 years as a professional journalist, including seven years as a journalism professor, in Brazil. He moved to Austin from Rio de Janeiro, where he was the managing editor and member of the board of directors of Jornal do Brasil, one of the most important Brazilian newspapers. Alves has three basic areas of research: international reporting, journalism in Latin America and internet journalism. He created the first class on online journalism at UT in the 1997-98 academic year. A working journalist since he was 16, Alves received an undergraduate degree in journalism from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University. He was the first Brazilian awarded a Nieman Fellowship to spend an academic year (1987-88) at Harvard University.
Jann Baskett is a principal of the Austin creative agency FBA (Foxtrot Bravo Alpha), which specializes in brand, user experience and design. Previously, she was principal and director of brand strategy at Milkshake Media, also in Austin; senior vice president of marketing at Girl Games, a startup that created interactive products for teens; and marketing director at Texas Monthly magazine. She is also the co-owner of Yard Dog Art Gallery in Austin. A native of Columbia, Mo., Baskett has an undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University.
Glenn Brown runs Twitter's Promoted Content and Sponsorships team in New York. Previously, he spent six years at Google, where he served as product counsel at various Google products, ran YouTube’s music partnerships and worked as a business development executive. Before that, he was executive director of Creative Commons, where he oversaw the creation of the first Creative Commons licenses and the nonprofit organization’s expansion from Stanford University to more than 40 chapters worldwide. An Austin native, Brown has degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard Law School.
Trei Brundrett is the chief product officer for Vox Media, a native digital media company. Since 2008, he has led the team developing Vox’s publishing platform, Chorus, which is designed ground-up to deliver content and provide community for more than 70 million readers around the world. He was named to The AdWeek 50 in 2012. AdWeek noted that under Brundrett’s direction, “Vox Media has evolved into one of the most agile Web-based publishers." Brundrett has been instrumental in growing the company from 100 sports blogs to a ground-breaking media organization publishing seven premium brands including SB Nation (sports), The Verge (technology culture), Polygon (video games), Eater (restaurants), Curbed (real estate and home), Racked (fashion) and most recently Vox — a news site dedicated to helping its audience understand the news. With 15 years of experience, Brundrett has led large-scale internet strategy, advertising and development projects for Fortune 500 companies, political campaigns and media clients such as Microsoft XBOX, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Shell Oil, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, U.S. Sen. John Kerry and Texas Monthly. He studied astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Jeff Eller brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to clients in the areas of litigatio crisis management and crisis preparedness. He is the founder of The Jeff Eller Group, based in Austin. Before founding his own firm, he was a co-leader of the global crisis practice group at Hill + Knowlton Strategies, a leading public relations firm owned by WPP. Before that, he was the chairman of Public Strategies Inc., which he joined in 1994. During his time at Public Strategies, he led the company’s campaigns group, was promoted to president and CEO in 2006, and then became vice chairman in 2009. Eller coordinated the Public Strategies team that handled the communications and public affairs counseling for a private equity buyout of a major energy company. His other notable accomplishments have included orchestrating the media, lobbying and communications strategies for several leading corporations in high-profile crisis situations, including the Firestone tire recall. He also has led multiple successful referendum campaigns for U.S. professional sports teams. Featured in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes ASAP, Eller has used emerging technologies to successfully open new public-policy communications frontiers throughout his career. According to Forbes ASAP, “Eller may, in fact, be the most linked, multiplexed, plugged-in human being on the planet — or at least in politics.” Before Public Strategies, Eller served in the Clinton White House as deputy assistant to the president and director of media affairs. At the White House, he oversaw all regional and specialty media relations, as well as radio and television services. Daily, he and his staff staged presidential news conferences, administration interviews and other major media events, while constantly transmitting media briefings and documents via emerging digital networks. Eller began working for then-Gov. Bill Clinton in December 1991, first as Florida state campaign director, then as political communications director for the national campaign. He has been involved in numerous congressional and Senate campaigns, and he has worked for two members of Congress. He is a former award-winning television and radio reporter. He also serves on the boards of latakoo, Zignal Labs and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.
Higinio "H.O." Maycotte is CEO and founder of Umbel, the standard for digital audience management, based in Austin. As The Texas Tribune’s first chief technology officer, Maycotte led a highly energized group of developers in building the Tribune site from scratch, working closely with the creators of its custom content management system and the design firm that conceived the Tribune’s clean, classic look. Maycotte has co-founded several cutting-edge companies, including FineTooth (now Mumboe), FlightLock, Universal Computing and RateGenius. He was also a founding partner in the boutique venture capital firm Agile Ventures. A native of Mexico, Maycotte studied electrical and biomechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
Tracy LaQuey Parker is a consultant and community volunteer who sits on the Advisory Council for the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, where she serves on the executive committee as co-chairwoman of the UTeach Task Force. She is also on the board of directors for the Texas Lyceum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan leadership organization. Parker previously worked as director of the UTeach Institute at UT and in the chief technology office of Cisco Systems, where she founded the company’s Worldwide Education focus and its Advanced Internet Initiatives Team. Born in Newfoundland, Canada, Parker has an undergraduate degree from UT.
Steve Sachs is the CEO of OneSpot, an advertising technology company that marries content marketing with the power, data intelligence and infrastructure of online advertising. He previously served in key executive positions at Time Inc., most recently as executive vice president for consumer marketing and sales. He also served as president of the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group, which includes Real Simple, Cooking Light, Southern Living and MyRecipes, and as president of Real Simple. A Baltimore native, Sachs has an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in business from Stanford University.
Jim Schachter is vice president for news at public radio station WNYC, where he is responsible for an enterprise-focused radio and digital newsroom. Previously, he spent nearly 17 years at The New York Times, where he rose to the position of associate managing editor. He also served as deputy editor of The New York Times Magazine and of the newspaper’s culture and business reports. He has been a reporter or editor at the Los Angeles Times, the Kansas City Star and the Jacksonville (Fla.) Journal. A native of Glendale, Calif., Schachter has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University.
Michael Sherrod is the William M. Dickey Entrepreneur in Residence at Texas Christian University. Sherrod served as The Texas Tribune’s first publisher, in 2010-11. Sherrod has been in the online world since 1985, when he helped manage a video-text news service for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In addition to founding three companies, Sherrod served in senior management roles at AMR Information Services, AOL, Ancestry.com and as president and CEO of Examiner.com. Sherrod earned his master’s degree in journalism/publishing at the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Evan Smith is editor-in-chief, CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization based in Austin. The Tribune's deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy is found at its website, texastribune.org; in the pages of The New York Times; and in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state. In its first three years in operation, the Tribune won four Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, a Sigma Delta Chi award for excellence in journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists, a general excellence award from the Online News Association and a Knight-Batten award for innovations in journalism. Before co-founding the Tribune, Smith spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, including eight years as editor and a year as president and editor-in-chief. He currently hosts Overheard with Evan Smith, airing on PBS stations nationally. A New York native, Smith has a bachelor's degree in public policy from Hamilton College and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Veronica Vargas Stidvent is head of education and training at Austin-based Dimensional Fund Advisors. Stidvent was previously director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the University of Texas at Austin. She previously served as the assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Labor, as special assistant for policy in the White House and as a policy adviser in Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. A native of El Paso, Stidvent received her undergraduate degree in the Plan II Honors Program and American studies from UT, where she was honored as a Dean's Distinguished Graduate. After earning her law degree at Yale, she served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Sidney Fitzwater, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
John Thornton, founder of The Texas Tribune, has been a software and media investor at Austin Ventures since 1990, and was the managing partner of the firm from 2005 to 2008. Austin Ventures is the largest noncoastal venture capital firm in the U.S., with $4 billion under management. Prior to joining Austin Ventures, Thornton was with McKinsey & Co., where he served clients in the U.S. and Europe. An active community volunteer, Thornton co-founded the Austin Entrepreneur's Foundation; served as a trustee of Ballet Austin, where he co-chaired a successful capital campaign; served as a trustee of the Austin Museum of Art, where he chaired strategic planning; and was a trustee of Trinity University. A native of Kansas, Thornton graduated first in his class from Trinity University, and received a master’s in business administration from Stanford University.