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.
Borochoff is the founder and executive director of Educational Programs Inspiring Communities, a 15-year-old Houston-based nonprofit that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. An energetic community volunteer and exceptional social connector, Jane is a graduate of the American Leadership Forum, Leadership Houston and the Center for Houston's Future. She is also a past chair and past president of the Texas Lyceum. A native of Brenham — where, she says, she ate Blue Bell Ice Cream nearly every day in school — she's an alumna of the University of Texas at Austin.
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.
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.
Chao is an independent investor who most recently served as the chief operating officer of New York Public Radio. Previously, he was a partner in the strategy and corporate finance practice at McKinsey & Company, where he advised energy and commodity companies. A native of Houston, John has a degree in chemical engineering from Rice University and an M.B.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Garza, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009, is counsel in the Mexico City office of the White & Case law firm. He previously served as an elected member of and as the chairman of the state’s energy regulating body, the Texas Railroad Commission — the first Latino Republican to win statewide. Before that he was Texas Secretary of State, appointed by Gov. George W. Bush. He got his start in politics in the late 1980s as a Cameron County judge — the youngest person ever to hold that post, and the first Latino elected countywide since Reconstruction. A Brownsville native, he has an undergraduate degree from UT-Austin and a law degree from Southern Methodist University.
Irving is the President and CEO of the Irving Group, a consulting firm providing strategic advice and assistance to international telecommunications and information technology companies, foundations and nonprofit organizations. He previously served as vice president for global government affairs for the Hewlett-Packard Company. In the Clinton Administration, he spent almost seven years as assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and as administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. A native of Queens, NY, he has a undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and a law degree from Stanford University.
Tracy LaQuey Parker
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.
Ruelas is co-founder of LatinWorks Marketing, where he serves as chief marketing officer and managing partner. Before starting LatinWorks, he was head of multicultural marketing at Anheuser-Busch, where he worked for 14 years. Alejandro serves as a board member for multiple causes, including the Economic Policy Institute of Washington, D.C.; the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin and Ballet Austin. A graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, he earned his MBA from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.
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.
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.
Sosa is the co-founder and CEO of Verb, the international company that uses massive competitions to build entrepreneurial ecosystems focused on pressing social and environmental issues. Verb spun out of the University of Texas at Austin, where she led the social entrepreneurship program from 2010 to 2013. Suzi served as the Associate Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service under the LBJ School of Public Affairs where she oversaw the Dell Social Innovation Challenge. Ms. Sosa has been a co-founder of several nonprofits and was a contributing editor for Inc. magazine. She has a Master in Public Administration in International Development degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a B.A. degree from the Plan II Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin.
Spellings is president and CEO of Texas 2036, the Dallas-based nonprofit that is laser-focused on what it will take to ensure Texas remains a great place to live and do business through the state's bicentennial and beyond. She recently stepped down as the president of the University of North Carolina System. In George W. Bush's second term as president, she served as the U.S. Secretary of Education. In his first term, she was White House Domestic Policy Advisor. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she's a graduate of the University of Houston.
Thompson has been the editor-in-chief of the Center for Investigative Reporting since February. He previously served as the executive editor and deputy editor at The Atlantic, as the director of vertical initiatives for NPR, and as an editor and reporter at news organizations around the country, including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Fresno Bee. He's a former member of the board at the Center for Public Integrity. A native of Florida, Matt is a graduate of Harvard University.
John Thornton has two abiding passions: Venture capital investing and nonprofit journalism.
In 1991, John joined Austin Ventures, which became the largest regional capital firm in the US. He served for four years as the firm’s managing partner and led nearly 50 investments in young software companies that created more than $1 billion in value for AV investors. In 2017, he co-founded Elsewhere Partners, a boutique software investment firm focused on bootstrapped companies in non-coastal markets.
In 2008, John founded the Texas Tribune, one of the largest local news organizations established anywhere in the world during the 21st century. In 2018, John co-founded the American Journalism Project, a first-of-its-kind venture philanthropy firm dedicated to starting and growing local news organizations. AJP has received over $42 million in commitments from the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, Arnold Ventures, the Emerson Collective, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Christopher Buck, Facebook, and the Democracy Fund.
John serves on the boards of several private software companies as well as The Texas Tribune and The City, a nonprofit news startup in New York. He also serves as a senior advisor to CAVU Venture Partners, an investment firm focused on consumer-packaged goods. He is a graduate of both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Trinity University, where he graduated first in his class, was named Distinguished Alumnus of 2015, and is a former trustee. He lives in Austin with his wife Erin and their boys Wade and Wyatt.