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 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 of 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.
Alexis Allston , a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Media and Journalism, is the Tribune's engagement fellow this summer. Alexis spent the past year as a founding member and product manager for Our Chatham, a digital local news startup for Chatham County, North Carolina. Her writing has been published in the Charlotte Agenda and the Daily Tar Heel, and she also self-publishes travel and lifestyle articles on her website. Alexis spent a month in summer 2018 backpacking alone in Asia as a recipient of the Robin Clark Experience Award and chronicled her experiences on her blog. She also studied international media markets while in China in the summer of 2017. Read Articles by Alexis Allston
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 bachelors studying literature and music at Yale University.
Val Asensio is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Florida. She's been 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 Column in a Magazine." During that time, she authored columns in two national magazines. After Ride Texas was acquired by Emmis Communications, she turned her attention towards 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 built 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 bachelor's degree from the University of Florida. Carla grew up in Florida but is a native of Chile.
Bobby Blanchard runs the Tribune’s social media efforts. He also spearheads "This Is Your Texas: Campus Correspondents," an online community for college students who want to discuss higher education policy and news. 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 Texas Tribune's publishing systems, tends to the website’s performance and user experience. Ty has lived in Austin, TX 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 U.S.’s 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
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
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 since 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, a Leadership Austin Essentials graduate and once rode a bike from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska for the charitable organization, Texas 4000 for Cancer.
Natalie Choate has a long history in Texas politics and media. 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 today is the director of media relations and partnerships for the largest statehouse newsroom in the country. She is a University of Texas alumna, a Leadership Austin graduate and an unapologetic news junkie.
Troy Closson is a reporting fellow at The Texas Tribune. He is a rising senior at Northwestern University, where he studies journalism and African American Studies. The Baltimore native previously worked for the Chicago Sun-Times, Block Club Chicago and the Medill Justice Project, and in the fall, will serve as editor in chief of The Daily Northwestern. If he's not in the newsroom, then he's looking for new breakfast restaurants or going on runs in Austin. Read Articles by Troy Closson
Kiah Collier is a reporter and associate editor for the 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 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 & A/V engineer for Studio 919, as well as providing on-location support for Tribune’s remote event series. Michael Rey joined the Texas Tribune in 2018 after spending years in the field working for organizations including MTV, SXSW, CBS & 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
Erin Feeney is a rising senior at The University of Pennsylvania, where she studies Communications and Consumer Psychology. She has worked as a coordinator in the university’s Office of New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives and is the current marketing director of Spoon University UPenn, an online food publication. She is also the co-founder of Preppy Prosthetics, a brand she created with her sister. An avid runner, Erin spent her first two years at Penn running varsity cross country and track and field. Most recently, she spent her spring 2019 semester studying abroad at Trinity College Dublin.
Brandon Formby was born on the South Plains, but grew up in Plano as it grew up. His passion for writing ignited in kindergarten, the instant he learned how to read. Stints on the high school yearbook and newspaper staffs eventually followed. Formby returned to Lubbock to study journalism at Texas Tech University. After graduation, he joined The Dallas Morning News, where he worked in several roles during a 13-year stint. His stories exposed a suburban mayor’s use of public funds on personal expenses before she killed her teenage daughter and then herself; shined a light on how the people of West, Texas used grit and grace to withstand the grief of a deadly fertilizer plant explosion; and unraveled the shaky logic and disingenuous reasoning underpinning Dallas’ now-abandoned plans to build a traffic-inducing toll road through a floodplain. He joined The Texas Tribune as its first Dallas-based urban affairs reporter in 2016. His stories highlighted the mounting housing affordability woes that the state’s economic growth belies; chronicled how tension between Texas’ rural roots and unbridled urban growth is coming to a head with plans for a Dallas-Houston bullet train; and detailed how state and federal officials’ attempts to reinvent disaster recovery delayed Texans’ abilities to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. He became the Trib’s night news editor in 2019. Read Articles by Brandon Formby
Juan Pablo Garnham
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, which include Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso and Dallas-Fort Worth, where he is based. Before this position, he 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
Rodney Gibbs is chief product officer of The Texas Tribune. Leading collaborations between editorial, engineering and revenue, he oversees a portfolio of products that bolster the Tribune’s position as a leader in journalism, user engagement and multi-platform delivery. A TV writer turned entrepreneur, Rodney founded and sold two digital media companies before joining the Tribune. He's a board member of the Online News Association, organizer of Hacks/Hackers Austin and a past board member of KLRU, KUT and The Austin Film Society. Outside of work, he’s passionate about film, record collecting and swimming holes. Rodney has a BA from Rice University and a MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin. Read Articles by Rodney Gibbs
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 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 bachelors degrees in journalism and political science at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Emily Goldstein is the copy editing fellow at The Texas Tribune. She is a doctoral student at The University of Texas at Austin, where she researches media coverage of mental health. Emily previously worked as a copy editor at The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Observer. She has bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri and a master's degree from the University of North Texas, both in journalism. Read Articles by Emily Goldstein
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 Parson's School of Design. As a native Austinite she is glad to be back in her hometown.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. is the Tribune's photographer/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 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 and graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in design. Read Articles by Ben Hasson
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 attended Texas State University to receive a master's degree in Mass Communication with a focus on digital media. Ashley is a native Texan from Galveston and enjoys navigating the beautiful rivers of the Texas Hill Country.
April Hinkle is the Tribune's chief revenue officer. She holds an advertising degree from the University of Texas and is responsible for The Texas 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.
Connie Hanzhang Jin
Connie Hanzhang Jin is the data visuals fellow. They are a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where they studied Multimedia Journalism and Studio Art. In the past, Connie worked as a design assistant at Carolina Union Communications and Creative Services and was an intern for Clarkston Consulting and Chapel Hill/Durham Magazine. They enjoy drawing short comics and cooking an absurd amount of pasta. Read Articles by Connie Hanzhang Jin
John Jordan does a little bit of everything at the 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
Lara Korte is a reporting fellow at The Texas Tribune. A Kansas native, she graduated from the University of Kansas in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science. Lara has reported on politics and local news for The Wichita Eagle, The Kansas City Star, The Wall Street Journal and The Cincinnati Enquirer, where she worked on the Pulitzer Prize-winning piece “Seven Days of Heroin.” In 2017, she traveled to Rabat, Morocco where she wrote about the country’s shrinking press freedoms. Lara is passionate about the First Amendment, open records, and her cat, Duckie. Read Articles by Lara Korte
Abby Livingston joined the Tribune in 2014 as the publication's first Washington Bureau Chief. In this role, she won the 2017 National Press Club Award for Washington Regional Reporting. Previously, she covered political campaigns, House leadership and Congress for Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper. A seventh-generation Texan, Abby graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She grew up in Fort Worth and has appeared in an episode of "The Bold and The Beautiful." Abby pitched and produced political segments for CNN and worked as an editor for The Hotline, National Journal’s campaign tipsheet. Abby began her journalism career as a desk assistant at NBC News in Washington, working her way up to the political unit, where she researched stories for Nightly News, the Today Show and Meet the Press. In keeping with the Trib’s great history of hiring softball stars, Abby is a three-time MVP (the most in game history —Ed.) 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
Corrie MacLaggan is the 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
Jolie McCullough reports on Texas criminal justice issues and policy for the Texas Tribune. She came to the Tribune in early 2015 from the Albuquerque Journal, where she worked 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
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 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 on 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
Emma Platoff covers the law and its intersections with politics for the 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 an engagement reporter for The Texas Tribune, which she joined in June 2017 after a stint as a fellow during the 85th Texas Legislature. She graduated in 2017 from The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism. Cassi has previously reported for The Daily Texan, the university’s official student newspaper, and The Washington Examiner in Washington, D.C. Read Articles by Cassandra Pollock
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 non-profit 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, where he writes regular columns on politics, government and public policy. Before joining the Tribune, Ross was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly. He did a 28-month stint in government as associate deputy comptroller for policy and director of communications with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before that, he reported for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as its Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ross got his start in journalism in broadcasting, covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas. Read Articles by Ross Ramsey
Emily Ramshaw is the editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan digital news organization that produces politics and policy news, data and events statewide, and operates the largest statehouse reporting bureau in the nation. Under her leadership, the Tribune — billed “one of the nonprofit news sector’s runaway success stories” — has won a Peabody Award, several national Murrow Awards and top honors from the Online News Association. By way of its free syndication model, the Tribune has filled the pages of Texas newspapers, broadcast on TV and video airwaves statewide, and provided Texas-specific reporting for both The Washington Post and The New York Times. Before joining the Tribune in 2010 as one of its founding reporters, Ramshaw spent six years at The Dallas Morning News, where she broke national stories about sexual abuse inside Texas’ youth lock-ups, reported from inside a West Texas polygamist compound and uncovered “fight clubs” inside state institutions for the disabled. The Texas APME named Ramshaw its 2008 star reporter of the year. In 2016, she was named to the board of the Pulitzer Prize. A native of Washington, D.C., and the product of two journalist parents, Ramshaw graduated from Northwestern University in 2003 with dual degrees in journalism and American history. She lives in Austin with her husband David Hartstein — an Emmy Award-winning film producer — and a daughter, Sophie. Read Articles by Emily Ramshaw
Charley Rejsek joined the #ttevents team to manage Studio 919 at The Texas Tribune. She previously worked for Barnes & Noble Booksellers for 19 years and was Volunteer + Logistics Coordinator for the 22nd Annual Texas Book Festival. A native Texan, she is from the hometown of Nolan Ryan. Go ‘Stros!
Alana Rocha joined the 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 in 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
Riane Roldan is a reporting fellow at the Texas Tribune. She is a senior at Emerson College, where she studies journalism and Latin American/Latinx studies. Before that, she received her associates degree in Mass Communication from Miami Dade College. Riane has worked as an investigative reporter for Northwestern's Medill Justice Project, where she wrote about a Miami man who spent 12 years in prison for a murder he claimed he didn't commit. She speaks Spanish and was an intern for NPR affiliate WLRN in South Florida, where she covered the safety commissions created in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting. Read Articles by Riane Roldan
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 Hurricanes Katrina and 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 the community reporter for The Texas Tribune. While at the Tribune, Alex helped revamp the "Texplainer" series and also spearheaded our first-ever Facebook group, "This Is Your Texas," an online community for folks who want to engage in a constructive dialogue about policy challenges facing our state. She graduated in 2017 from the University of Texas at Austin's School of Journalism. She joined the Tribune in August 2016 as a newsletters fellow and later transitioned into a reporting fellow just in time for the 85th legislative session. Prior to coming to the Tribune, Alex worked for USA Today College as both a collegiate correspondent and their first-ever breaking news correspondent. She has also worked for the Daily Dot where she covered politics, race, and social issues. Read Articles by Alex Samuels
Debbie Seeger is The Texas Tribune’s Chief Financial Officer. A CPA for over 20 years, she’s spent of that time in non-profit leadership and management. Debbie began as an accountant for a large non-profit agency in Houston. In Corpus Christi, she worked in grants and federal relations for the local university before becoming the CEO of the Workforce Development Board. Debbie provided consulting services for eight years and then joined Corpus Christi ISD, first as a director in HR and later as the Director for Strategic Initiatives. Debbie is the daughter of a government and history teacher and spent hours on long drives responding to endless questions on Texas and US history and government. With her lifelong interest in government and politics, she became a Texas Tribune member long before joining the staff and has listened to virtually every TribCast.
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, sixteen 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
Patrick Svitek is the primary political correspondent for The Texas Tribune, and editor of The Blast, the Tribune's subscription-only daily newsletter for political insiders. 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 originally is from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Read Articles by Patrick Svitek
Aliyya Swaby started as the public education reporter in October 2016. She came to the Tribune 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. A native New Yorker, Aliyya misses public transportation but is thrilled by the lack of snow. Read Articles by Aliyya Swaby
Alexa Ura is the Tribune's demographics reporter, covering 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 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 LA, Independent Film Week in NYC, and she has served on programming committees for Silverdocs, Newport International Film Festival, AOL True Stories (now Snag Films) and SXSW.
Christopher Vazquez , who will be a junior at Northwestern University, is this summer's multimedia fellow. As video editor at The Daily Northwestern, he produced, wrote, filmed and edited the paper's first investigative documentary. Christopher, now The Daily's digital managing editor, is proficient in Spanish and strives in his journalism to include a diverse range of voices and to represent marginalized communities. Read Articles by Christopher Vazquez
Jacob Villanueva manages a creative team of designers and multimedia producers for the editorial and business departments of the organization. He brings his knowledge of over 15 years in design, photography and digital media production. Read Articles by Jacob Villanueva
Edgar Walters is an investigative reporter for The Texas Tribune, where he started as an intern in 2013. He previously covered health and human services for the Tribune. 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 6'7" tall. Read Articles by Edgar Walters
Matthew Watkins is the politics news editor for the 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 manages the Tribune's year-round events program — including all things Texas Tribune Festival — and oversees the intersection of the Tribune's editorial work, events and live engagement efforts. 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, for South by Southwest and as a freelance copywriter. A Houston native, Jessica holds a history degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Adam Willis is the Washington reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. For the last two years he has worked as a research assistant to Politico's Peter Canellos while freelancing stories for publications like the Boston Globe, Slate, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and Politico Magazine. In the fall of 2018 he reported from the Philippines on the response of the Catholic Church to the country's war on drugs, a project supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He is a 2017 graduate of the University of Virginia, where he studied English Literature and edited an online pop-culture publication. Read Articles by Adam Willis
Todd Wiseman previously worked at the Austin School of Film and Synthetic Pictures and interned for director Richard Linklater. At the Tribune, Todd has 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
Emily Yount 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
Amanda Zamora leads the Tribune’s audience growth and engagement efforts. A native Texan, Amanda joined the Tribune in 2016 after spending 13 years on the East Coast working for news organizations including The Huffington Post Investigative Fund, The Washington Post and ProPublica. Amanda got her start as a cub reporter at the Austin American-Statesman after graduating from the University of Texas. She strives to leverage her storytelling, digital and audience skills to create journalism that actively engages people in the issues that matter most to them. When she’s not poring over spreadsheets, she’s (hopefully) dancing, cooking or traveling the world. Read Articles by Amanda Zamora