Julián Aguilar reports on politics and border affairs from the Texas-Mexico border. His focuses include immigration reform and enforcement, voter ID, international trade, border security, and the drug trade. His political coverage has included local, legislative and congressional races in Texas, as well as local and national elections in Mexico. Before joining The Texas Tribune, he was a freelance writer for the Fort Worth Weekly, a government and crime reporter for the Laredo Morning Times, and a political writer for the Rio Grande Guardian. A native of El Paso, he has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas and a master's degree in journalism from the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. Read Articles by Julián Aguilar
Jennifer Ajluni is the development officer at The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune in June 2018, she worked in politics at the statewide and national levels. She is a graduate of American University.
Emily Albracht is a designer at The Texas Tribune. She creates all materials for The Texas Tribune Events series and collaborates with the editorial staff and news apps team to visualize investigative stories in a meaningful way. Before joining the Tribune’s creative team in the spring of 2014, she worked as a freelance designer with the Austin music and festival scene.
Rebekah Allen is the news editor for The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune, she worked as a statehouse reporter for The Dallas Morning News. Previously, she was an investigative reporter and statehouse reporter for The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and an education reporter at the Pensacola News Journal in Florida. Read Articles by Rebekah Allen
Liam Andrew ensures that The Texas Tribune's systems for content management, distribution and analysis align with organizational priorities and user needs. He joined the Tribune in 2015 after completing a master's degree in MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, where he worked with a variety of research groups including the Nieman Journalism Lab, Center for Civic Media and HyperStudio. An Iowa native, Liam earned his bachelor's degree in literature and music at Yale University.
Naomi Andu is a senior at Northwestern. Naomi is the print managing editor at the student-run campus magazine North by Northwestern. She has also worked as an editorial intern at The Triibe, a digital media platform in Chicago, and was a mentor for the Medill Media Teens Program.
Val Asensio is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Florida. She was awarded patents for firmware inventions while at Kodak and developed embedded CAN controller software for automotive traction control systems for Motorola. Then, she took a detour and co-founded a motorcycle travel magazine, which went on to win eight Dallas and Houston Press Club awards, including one for Val for best magazine column. During that time, she authored columns in two national magazines. After Ride Texas was acquired by Emmis Communications, she turned her attention toward creating technology for good, which brought her to The Texas Tribune engineering team in 2018.
Carla Astudillo is a news app and data visuals developer with a focus on elections and political data. Previously, she was a data and interactive visuals journalist at NJ.com and The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, where she helped build a database of police use of force in the state as part of a 16-month investigative project. Carla was also deputy data visuals editor at the International Business Times. She got her master's degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and her bachelor's degree from the University of Florida. Carla grew up in Florida but is a native of Chile. Read Articles by Carla Astudillo
Bobby Blanchard runs The Texas Tribune’s social media efforts while strategizing with the newsroom to expand the organization’s reach and engagement across all platforms. He strives to ensure the Tribune is a leading voice every day in the conversation online around Texas policy and politics. A graduate of UT-Austin, Bobby spent his first year out of college at The Dallas Morning News as a reporting fellow, covering Texas politics and breaking news. He got his start in journalism in the poorly lit basement of The Daily Texan, followed by internships at the Houston Chronicle, KUT News and, yes, the Tribune. Born and raised in the Houston area, Bobby is a native Texan. He relies on a steady supply of Tex-Mex and Red Bull to survive. Read Articles by Bobby Blanchard
Ty Brockhoeft joined The Texas Tribune in 2017. He builds and maintains the Tribune's publishing systems and tends to the website’s performance and user experience. Ty has lived in Austin for over 20 years and has a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas.
Mandi Cai tells stories with code and graphics as part of the data visuals team. Previously, she created dashboards for scientists at BioBright, a Boston-based biotechnology company, and visualized defense data for Defense Footprint, a project contextualizing the United States' international military presence. She graduated from Brown University in 2017 with a concentration in neuroscience, focusing on the intersection of cognitive science and design. Mandi enjoys murals, freestyle embroidery and animated films. Read Articles by Mandi Cai
Julia Calagiovanni is the grants and awards manager at The Texas Tribune. Before coming to the Tribune, she worked at a disability rights nonprofit and as an editorial fellow at The Atlantic. She graduated from Yale University in 2015 as a Yale Journalism Scholar.
Darla Cameron is the data visuals editor at The Texas Tribune in Austin, where she leads a team of developers at the intersection of graphics and news applications. She loves to use data to hold public officials accountable and create more transparency in the murky world of state politics. Her team's visualizations help readers understand Texas better. Previously, she was a graphics editor at The Washington Post. She began her career in Florida at the Tampa Bay Times after completing a fellowship at the Poynter Institute. Darla is a Colorado native with a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Read Articles by Darla Cameron
Reese Castro is a senior at the University of Texas. Reese is an executive producer for the Texas Student TV show “Austin Underground,” for which she photographs concerts, and has worked as a film publicity intern for South by Southwest. She’s also the vice president of special events for the university’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Read Articles by Reese Castro
Natalie Choate has a long history in Texas politics, media and communications. In a previous life, she worked two legislative sessions in the Texas Capitol, served as government relations coordinator for Trinity Industries, completed Annie's List Campaign School, and was both a political fundraiser and campaign consultant. Natalie started with The Texas Tribune in January 2011 and has held multiple positions, including assistant director of development, director of media relations and partnerships, and most recently director of marketing and communications. She is a University of Texas alumna and a Leadership Austin Essentials graduate, and she once rode a bike from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska, for the charitable organization Texas 4000 for Cancer.
Kiah Collier is a reporter and associate editor for The Texas Tribune with a focus on energy and environment. Since graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in philosophy and multimedia journalism, Kiah has reported for publications across the state, including the San Angelo Standard-Times, Reuters, the Austin-American Statesman and the Houston Chronicle. Her beats have included local and state government and politics, shipping and airlines, and public education. She has covered several natural disasters from the ground, including Hurricane Harvey, and investigated everything from maritime pilots to lax environmental enforcement to the federal government’s abuse of eminent domain in building the first sections of wall along the Texas-Mexico border. Kiah’s reporting has garnered a variety of local, state and national awards, including a Peabody in 2017 for her work on a project that examined the Houston area's extreme vulnerability to hurricanes. Read Articles by Kiah Collier
Daniel Craigmile previously worked at Mutual Mobile, the University of Texas at Austin, Electronic Data Systems and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He grew up in San Antonio and holds a degree in computer science from Texas A&M University.
Justin Dehn is a multimedia producer at The Texas Tribune whose focus is video and television production. He's been shooting and producing TV news for more than a decade, most recently as a staff photojournalist at Austin's KVUE-TV from 2006 to 2010. At the Tribune, Dehn has been behind the camera for Tribune special projects God and Governing, Hurting for Work and Paid to Prosecute, as well the stories we produce each week for our dozen TV partners around the state and segments for social media. Read Articles by Justin Dehn
Michael Rey de Leon
Michael Rey de Leon serves as technical director and audiovisual engineer for Studio 919, as well as providing on-location support for The Texas Tribune’s remote event series. Michael Rey joined the Tribune in 2018 after spending years in the field working for organizations including MTV, SXSW, CBS and the University of Texas at Austin. A sixth-generation Texan with familial roots in the Rio Grande Valley, Michael Rey is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who has worked with a myriad of recording artists. When he’s not wrapping cables, Michael Rey dedicates his time to his family, cooking and curating an extensive collection of musical instruments. Read Articles by Michael Rey de Leon
Chris Essig builds data visualizations and news apps at the Texas Tribune. Before joining the team in February 2017, Chris spent almost six years in Iowa, including two and a half years as a developer at The Gazette in Cedar Rapids and three years as an online editor at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. He is originally from Illinois and will never complain about the winter weather here in Texas. Read Articles by Chris Essig
Stacy Fernández is The Texas Tribune’s breaking news reporter. When she isn’t breaking stories, Stacy covers the gun beat and leads the Tribune’s reader-driven explainer series, Texplainer. First introduced to the Lone Star State as an intern at The Dallas Morning News, she was also a News21 fellow, reporter for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project and Buffalo News intern. Stacy graduated from Syracuse University with dual degrees in magazine journalism and Latino-Latin American studies. The Afro-Dominicana thrifts frequently, is a solid bachata dancer and is a firm believer that listening to audiobooks is just as good as reading. Read Articles by Stacy Fernández
Brandon Formby studied journalism at Texas Tech University. After graduation, he worked at The Dallas Morning News, where he covered local politics, suburban government and regional transportation. He joined The Texas Tribune (but remained in Dallas) as its first urban affairs reporter in 2016. He became the Trib’s night news editor (and moved to Austin) in 2019. He doesn't understand Texas cities' taco wars or the inclination to stay loyal to one restaurant; he believes it's OK to love all tacos. Read Articles by Brandon Formby
Juan Pablo Garnham
Juan Pablo Garnham reports on urban affairs for The Texas Tribune, focusing on the main challenges of the state’s largest metro areas — Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso and Dallas-Fort Worth, where he is based. He previously worked as senior producer for the podcast In The Thick, editor of CityLab Latino and city hall reporter for El Diario in New York. He has also taught at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. He is from Santiago, Chile, and the Texas flag constantly reminds him of his home country. Read Articles by Juan Pablo Garnham
Eddie Gaspar Eddie Gaspar is a senior at the University of Texas. He has worked as a photo editor at The Daily Texan, a multimedia intern at KUT and a contributor at Do512. He has also worked for Texas Student Television’s “Austin Underground” and UT’s Cactus Yearbook. Eddie is fluent in Spanish. Read Articles by Eddie Gaspar
Rodney Gibbs leads the Texas Tribune’s Revenue Lab. Launched in 2020, RevLab helps newsrooms around the world adapt the Tribune’s playbook for financial sustainability, and it experiments with new revenue ideas, which it tests locally and then shares freely. A TV writer turned entrepreneur, Rodney founded and sold two digital media companies before joining the Tribune in 2012 as its chief innovation officer. In 2015, he became the Tribune’s chief product officer. Rodney is a board member of the Online News Association, an organizer of Hacks/Hackers Austin, and a past board member of KLRU/Austin PBS, KUT/Austin NPR and the Austin Film Society. Outside of work, he’s passionate about film, non-commercial radio, record collecting and coaching his son’s baseball team. Rodney has a bachelor's degree from Rice University and a master's degree from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.
Andrew Gibson joined The Texas Tribune in 2016. Before that, he worked for more than two years at the Orlando Sentinel, building data visualizations, news apps and interactive projects. He also contributed to the Sentinel's coverage of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Andrew is originally from Denver (go Broncos) and graduated from the University of Missouri in 2014. At the Tribune, he helps make the website move fast and look pretty.
Sarah Glen manages The Texas Tribune’s membership program and paid newsletters. She joined the Tribune team in 2018 after spending four years as a product manager at Chalkbeat, a nonprofit education news network focused on equity issues. Originally from North Carolina, she's happy to be back in a warmer climate and excited to help loyal readers get more deeply involved in the Tribune's reporting. Sarah first fell in love with journalism while working at The Daily Tar Heel and earning her bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Emily Goldstein has been a copy editor at The Texas Tribune since the beginning of 2019. She's also a doctoral student at the University of Texas, where she researches media coverage of mental health. Emily previously worked at The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Observer. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri and her master's degree from the University of North Texas. Read Articles by Emily Goldstein
Malú González is a senior at the University of Texas. As the first events director for The Daily Texan, Malú planned panel discussions and themed conversations. She has also worked as a business news reporter for the McCombs Center for Global Business and is a co-founder of Save the Drop, an organization that promotes water conservation. Malú is fluent in Spanish. Read Articles by Malú González
Catherine Grooms manages advertising operations at The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune in the fall of 2017, she worked as a clothing designer in New York, where she also attended Parsons School of Design. As a native Austinite, she is glad to be back in her hometown.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. is The Texas Tribune's photographer and photo editor. He oversees our photography operation, thinking strategically about how to tell visually rich stories about Texas government and politics with the help of our network of talented freelance photographers across the state. Gutierrez, an Illinois native who is fluent in Spanish, came to us from New York, where he was working as a multimedia producer for the state attorney general’s office. But he knows Texas well. He received two master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin — in journalism and Latin American studies — and worked as a multimedia producer at KUT. Gutierrez has a bachelor’s degree in Latin American and Latino studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has also worked in film production in Los Angeles. Read Articles by Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
Dave Harmon joined the Tribune in January 2017 as the editor for the investigative and projects team. After graduating from the University of Texas with a journalism degree, he started his reporting career in the Rio Grande Valley at The (McAllen) Monitor, covering health care and the environment. After a short stint at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he returned to Austin and spent 18 years at the Austin American-Statesman as a reporter, assistant metro editor and finally a member of the investigative team. Read Articles by Dave Harmon
Ben Hasson previously worked at RMM Online Advertising and interned at the media company Super!Alright! He has also worked as a freelance designer for print and the web, mostly for the Austin independent music and film scene. He grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in design.
Ashley Hebler is on the engineering team at The Texas Tribune and enjoys implementing engaging and meaningful experiences for users on the web. She received a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics at Texas A&M University and a master's degree in mass communication with a focus on digital media from Texas State University. Ashley is a native Texan from Galveston and enjoys navigating the beautiful rivers of the Texas Hill Country.
April Hinkle is The Texas Tribune's chief revenue officer. She holds an advertising degree from the University of Texas and is responsible for the Tribune’s corporate revenue programs, speakers’ bureau and licensing of content. Previously April spent over 20 years at Texas Monthly, as retail advertising director, advertising and marketing director, associate publisher and publisher.
John Jordan does a little bit of everything at The Texas Tribune. From working with our great photographers to editing our directory of elected officials to making fresh guac y queso every Friday, John manages the day-to-day operations at the Tribune and makes sure we have good coffee to drink. Before coming to work at the Tribune, John spent several decades as a touring and recording musician. In 2005, he left the road (well, sort of) to join a statewide political campaign. After that, John joined the Austin bureau of The Dallas Morning News, where he worked for four years before joining the staff at The Texas Tribune. Read Articles by John Jordan
Anuraga Justin is a junior at the University of Texas. Raga was a fall reporting intern in the Houston Chronicle’s Austin bureau, and she has worked as a news desk editor and city and state reporter for The Daily Texan. She’s also a journalism coach for the Moody College of Communication’s writing program and the board chair of media and public relations for the Indian Students Association. Read Articles by Anuraga Justin
Evan Lambert joined the Tribune in October 2019 as chief financial officer. He brings a diverse background and experience in nonprofit financial management, international development, microfinance and public accounting. His previous experience includes working as the CFO of United Way for Greater Austin and as CFO of Pro Mujer International, a New York-based international development org serving more than 250,000 women in Latin America. A native of New York, Evan has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the McCombs School of Business at UT-Austin. He’s a father of two, a Peace Corps alum, an avid cyclist and outdoorsman, and fluent in Spanish.
Elvia Limón is The Texas Tribune's engagement producer. She forges deeper connections with our readers through our daily newsletter, The Brief; our Facebook community, This Is Your Texas; and our crowd-powered explainer series, Texplainer. Before joining the Tribune, she was an engagement reporter and a community reporter for The Dallas Morning News. Limón is a native Dallasite, and she has a master's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas' Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism and a bachelor's degree from the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism. Read Articles by Elvia Limón
Abby Livingston joined The Texas Tribune in 2014 as the publication's first Washington bureau chief. In this role, she covers members in the Texas congressional delegation and campaigns back in the home state. A seventh-generation Texan, Abby grew up in Fort Worth and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to the Tribune, Abby worked for NBC, CNN, National Journal and Roll Call. At the Tribune, she won the 2017 National Press Club Award for Washington regional reporting and the Society of Professional Journalists' 2018 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Washington correspondence. Abby is a contributing writer to the Almanac of American Politics and frequently appears on MSNBC, CNN and Sirius XM radio. She also had a role on an episode of "The Bold and The Beautiful." In keeping with the Trib’s great history of hiring softball stars, Abby is a three-time MVP (the most in game history) for The Bad News Babes, the women’s press softball team that takes on female members of Congress in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball breast cancer charity game. Read Articles by Abby Livingston
Regina Mack is the social media producer at The Texas Tribune, where she runs the daily social operation and aims to ensure that the Tribune is leading the conversation online around Texas policy and politics. An Indianapolis native, she moved to Austin to work as an engagement fellow at the Tribune after graduating from Indiana University, and she later served as the social media editor at Texas Monthly. Read Articles by Regina Mack
Corrie MacLaggan is The Texas Tribune's managing editor. Previously, the Austin native worked as a national correspondent for Reuters, writing and editing stories about Texas and nearby states and overseeing a network of freelance writers. Before joining Reuters, she covered Texas government and politics for the Austin American-Statesman, writing about everything from gubernatorial races to food stamp application backlogs. She spent her first year at the Statesman writing for the newspaper's weekly Spanish-language publication. She has also worked in Mexico City, where she wrote for publications including the Miami Herald's Mexico edition, Latin Trade magazine and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Her first reporting job was at the El Paso Times. Corrie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Read Articles by Corrie MacLaggan
Sam Manas is a master’s student at the University of Missouri. Sam has worked as an associate producer for Missouri Business Alert, a newsletter fellow for The Conversation, a public health and safety reporter for the Columbia Missourian, and a communications and design intern for the Jesuit Refugee Service. He has bachelor’s degrees in English and sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Read Articles by Sam Manas
Jolie McCullough reports on criminal justice issues and policy for The Texas Tribune. She came to the Tribune in early 2015 from the Albuquerque Journal, where she worked for four years on breaking news and data-driven projects. She is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; while there, she interned as a reporter and online producer at the Arizona Republic and served as the web editor of the student-run newspaper, the State Press. Read Articles by Jolie McCullough
Megan Menchaca is a junior at the University of Texas. She was the news editor at The Daily Texan, where she also launched Curious Campus and Curious Capitol while working as the engagement editor and a senior reporter. She has also worked as a digital intern at the Austin American-Statesman and a news intern at the Austin Chronicle. Read Articles by Megan Menchaca
Ayan Mittra joined the Tribune after working more than 10 years at The Dallas Morning News. He spent his first seven years there as a copy editor. In 2008, he moved to the political desk, supervising the daily presentations and working with reporters in the field. He then worked as a night city editor, supervising the coverage of late-breaking news. He was also on the editing team for the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions. A native of Beaumont, Ayan graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Read Articles by Ayan Mittra
Shannon Najmabadi is the higher education reporter at The Texas Tribune, where she started as a fellow in 2017. She's reported on secrecy that's lingered after a sexual assault scandal, a costly way one university responded to a controversial speaker, and a state law that bars teachers, nurses and other license-holders from working if they fall behind on their student loans. Off the higher education beat, Shannon has written about the narrow way Texas defines a "pickle," the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy, and how Immigration and Customs Enforcement uses basements, hotels and office buildings as short-term way stations for people in their custody. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University. Read Articles by Shannon Najmabadi
Grayson Norwood oversees human resources at The Texas Tribune. She joined the organization in January 2020, after more than 13 years at The Contemporary Austin. A native Austinite, Grayson graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in history.
Anna Novak is a 2019 graduate of Middlebury College. Anna, who majored in geography and minored in computer science, has worked as a fellow at Azavea, a GIS lab teaching and research assistant at Middlebury, and a GIS intern at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She’s also CPR and wilderness first responder certified. Read Articles by Anna Novak
Allyson Ortegon is a senior at the University of Texas. Allyson has worked as an editorial intern for the Alcalde magazine, a legislative fellow for Texas’ NPR stations and a news intern for KUT. She’s also worked for various campus media outlets and is proficient in Spanish. Read Articles by Allyson Ortegon
David Pasztor has more than 30 years of experience as a reporter and editor, working at various publications in Texas, Arizona and California.
Emma Platoff covers the law and its intersections with politics for The Texas Tribune, where she started as a fellow in 2017. A graduate of Yale University, Emma is the former managing editor of the Yale Daily News. Read Articles by Emma Platoff
Cassandra Pollock is The Texas Tribune’s state politics reporter. She joined the Tribune full-time in June 2017 after a fellowship during the 85th Texas Legislature. Pollock spent her first two years at the Trib as an engagement reporter, which meant her name likely landed in your inbox every weekday morning with “The Brief,” a newsletter on all things Texas politics and public policy. Pollock is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism. Read Articles by Cassandra Pollock
Felicia Quichocho is a senior at Texas State University and the Tribune’s first engineering fellow. She is majoring in digital media innovation and minoring in business administration. Felicia has developed games and websites, including one about the diversity of Silicon Valley companies.
Terry Quinn is a fifth-generation Texan and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked as a volunteer and professional for over 20 years to raise funds to support many nonprofit organizations in Austin and around Texas, most recently The Nature Conservancy of Texas and The Contemporary Austin. Terry coordinates the activities and outreach to the Circle Level members of The Texas Tribune and the individuals whose philanthropy make the mission of the Tribune possible.
Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, the only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. He writes regular columns on politics, government and public policy. Before joining the Tribune, he was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly. He did a 28-month stint in government with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before that, he reported for the Houston Chronicle, the Dallas Times Herald, as a Dallas-based freelancer for regional and national magazines and newspapers, and for radio stations in Denton and Dallas. Read Articles by Ross Ramsey
Alana Rocha joined The Texas Tribune staff as the multimedia reporter after working eight years in television and radio news. She's covered politics for stations in Florida, Kansas and most recently Austin as YNN's lead political reporter. Her work at the cable news outlet took her around the country reporting from the presidential campaign trail. A native of Tampa, Florida, Alana received bachelor's degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of Florida. Read Articles by Alana Rocha
Jay Root is an award-winning journalist who has covered politics, immigration, natural disasters and live music — not necessarily in that order. For a dozen years, Root was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where he chronicled the rise of then-Gov. George W. Bush, wrote about cartel violence in Mexico and covered Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. During a three-year stint at the Associated Press, Root was twice named AP Staff Reporter of the Year for his watchdog reporting, including a story that sparked felony charges against a sitting state representative. Since 2011, Root has been a senior political and investigative reporter at The Texas Tribune, where he covered the dramatic collapse of Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign and went on to write an ebook about it called “Oops! A Diary from the 2012 Campaign Trail.” Root also broke the story that put the Texas attorney general on the path toward criminal indictment, co-wrote an exposé that brought an end to privately funded prosecutions in Travis County, and authored a series of watchdog articles that prompted a wave of firings and resignations at two major state agencies. In 2017, Root co-directed Beyond The Wall, a film exploring border politics in the age of Trump, which won a national Edward R. Murrow award for best news documentary. Root’s latest film, Border Hustle, was released in early 2019 and reveals how desperate migrants have become cash cows on both sides of the border. Read Articles by Jay Root
Alex Samuels is a political reporter for The Texas Tribune, where she helps with national campaign coverage, writes stories about the intersection of race and politics in Texas, and covers the hottest political news bubbling out of local communities. She is also one of the primary authors of The Blast, the Tribune’s subscription-only daily newsletter for political insiders. Alex was previously the Tribune’s community reporter, but she began her stint with the organization as a fellow in 2016. She graduated in 2017 from the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism. She originally is from Massachusetts and is the best pingpong player at the Tribune. Read Articles by Alex Samuels
Evan Smith is the CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a pioneering nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization whose deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website, texastribune.org, and in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state. Since its launch in 2009, the Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, 21 national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and three general excellence awards from the Online News Association. Evan is also the host of “Overheard with Evan Smith,” a weekly half-hour interview program that airs on PBS stations around the country. Read Articles by Evan Smith
Sami Sparber is a junior at the University of Texas. Sami has worked as an intern covering politics at NBC News in Washington and as a state bureau intern for the Houston Chronicle. She is the projects editor at The Daily Texan and is proficient in Spanish. Read Articles by Sami Sparber
Patrick Svitek is the primary political correspondent for The Texas Tribune. Patrick logged countless miles on the 2016 campaign trail, covering the many Texas angles of the momentous presidential race. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Read Articles by Patrick Svitek
Aliyya Swaby is the public education reporter for The Texas Tribune. She joined the Tribune in October 2016 from the hyperlocal nonprofit New Haven Independent, where she covered education, zoning and transit for two years. After graduating from Yale University in 2013, she spent a year freelance reporting in Panama on social issues affecting black Panamanian communities. She was an Education Writers Association finalist in 2017 for beat reporting and a Livingston Awards finalist in 2019 for a series on school desegregation. Read Articles by Aliyya Swaby
Carrington Tatum , a senior at Texas State University, is a reporting fellow. He was the editor-in-chief last year for The University Star, where he previously worked as a columnist, photographer and opinions editor. Carrington won a regional Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and has worked as a digital marketing strategist for the Loud Speakers Network. Read Articles by Carrington Tatum
Alexa Ura is an associate editor and reporter at The Texas Tribune. As the Tribune’s demographics reporter, she covers the intersection between politics and race with an emphasis on the state’s surging Hispanic population. She also covers voting rights issues for the Tribune, where she started as a reporting fellow in 2013. She’s a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Read Articles by Alexa Ura
Agnes Varnum joined The Texas Tribune events team after five years in membership and marketing at the Austin Film Society. Before moving to Texas, Agnes held positions with Icarus Films, the Center for Social Media at American University, and as a freelance writer for Indiewire.com and Documentary magazine. She has worked on the AFI Fest in Los Angeles and Independent Film Week in New York City, and she has served on programming committees for Silverdocs, Newport International Film Festival, AOL True Stories (now Snag Films) and SXSW.
Jacob Villanueva manages a team of designers to develop and maintain The Texas Tribune’s visual and brand strategy across products, platforms and marketing channels. He integrates his expertise of more than 20 years in design, interactive, video, photography and digital media production. Read Articles by Jacob Villanueva
Edgar Walters is the health and human services reporter and an associate editor for The Texas Tribune, where he started as an intern in 2013. Before that, he had a political reporting fellowship with the Berliner Zeitung, a daily newspaper in Berlin. He is a graduate of the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin, where he worked as an editor for The Daily Texan. When not in the newsroom or at the Capitol, he can be found on the volleyball court, standing 6 feet, 7 inches tall. Read Articles by Edgar Walters
Matthew Watkins is the managing editor of news and politics for The Texas Tribune. Before becoming an editor, he worked as a reporter at the Tribune, The Dallas Morning News and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. He earned his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University. Read Articles by Matthew Watkins
Jessica Weaver is The Texas Tribune's director of events and programming. She oversees the organization’s year-round events portfolio and creates original event programs at the intersection of the Tribune's newsroom and engagement efforts, including for the annual Texas Tribune Festival. Before joining the Tribune in 2015, she worked in the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and for South by Southwest. A Houston native, Jessica holds a history degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is human to her cat, Stevie.
Todd Wiseman previously worked at the Austin School of Film and Synthetic Pictures and interned for director Richard Linklater. At The Texas Tribune, Todd helped develop the Stump Interrupted series, which won a national Edward R. Murrow award. He also co-produced the award-winning documentary "Beyond The Wall." A Fort Worth native, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a dual degree in film and English. Read Articles by Todd Wiseman
Peyton Young is a senior at the University of Texas. He spent the fall as a social publishing intern for CNN and a multiplatform initiatives intern at New York Public Media. Peyton also has created short documentaries and has worked as a video editor for The Daily Texan. He is creative director for Exposure, a classical music video series.
Emily Yount Swelgin
Emily Yount Swelgin designs and develops features to help readers engage with The Texas Tribune's journalism, including a tool for identifying newsletters that fit your interests and preferences. Before joining the Tribune, she worked at The Washington Post and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and Spanish from UNC-Chapel Hill. Read Articles by Emily Yount Swelgin