Governing Board

Kathleen Carroll

A veteran journalism leader and free press advocate, she was the executive editor of The Associated Press, the world’s largest independent news organization, from 2002-2016. She was elected chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2017 after 10 years on the board and was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board from 2003-2012, the last year as co-chair. Carroll previously led KnightRidder’s Washington Bureau and worked for the AP in Los Angeles, Newark and Dallas. An editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris and the Mercury News in San Jose, Calif., she began her career at the Dallas Morning News in her hometown while attending the University of Texas at Arlington. She has lived in Montclair since 2002.

Heeten Choxi

The founder of Montclair Local. Choxi is a software engineering manager at Google, leading a team maximizing revenue from online advertising. From 2009-2019, he was Senior Vice President of Two Sigma Investments LP, and from 2004-2009, was a research scientist at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Labs. He is treasurer of Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is in Montclair. A native of Dover, Del., he holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from Drexel University, and has lived in Montclair since 2014.

Jennifer Dorr-Moon

A writer who also creates communications strategies to help nonprofit organizations and others capture attention and cultivate donors through Jennifer Dorr Communications Strategy. She has been published in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Baristanet, Adirondack Life, Yoga Journal and elsewhere. She previously worked in book publicity for Simon & Schuster and DK Publishing, and headed publicity for the 92nd Street Y’s signature lecture and reading series. She is a board member of the Montclair Public Library Foundation, where she co-founded its Open Book/Open Mind authors series. She holds a B.A. in psychology and English from Tufts University and is a Montclair native.

Stephen Engelberg

Editor-in-chief, ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit investigative news organization since 2013. Engelberg became ProPublica’s founding managing editor in 2008 after serving as managing editor of The Oregonian in Portland. During 18 years with The New York Times, he founded its investigative unit and reported from Washington and Warsaw. He has shared two George Polk Awards and two Pulitzer Prizes and co-authored “Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War.” He grew up in Lexington, Mass., earned a B.A. in history from Princeton University and has lived in Montclair since 2008.

Matthew Frankel

CEO and Founder of MDF Strategies, a communication and engagement firm based in New Jersey. Frankel has served as head of corporate communications for AMC Networks, Senior Vice President for communications for AOL and chief communications officer and Senior Vice President of corporate affairs for The Weinstein Company. Earlier he was a press aide for House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow, the Democratic Leadership Council and other political campaigns. He has served on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League NJ Region, LINK Community Charter High School, was a founding board member of the Montclair Film Festival, and serves as Facilitator and Supervisor of Bloomfield College’s Emerging and Advanced Leadership Series. A native of Longmeadow, Mass., he holds a B.A. in history from the College of Wooster, and has been a Montclair resident since 2004.

Ollie Hartsfield

A communications professional for 35 years, she retired as the managing director of The SPI Group LLC, a corporate communications agency. Before joining SPI in 2006, she spent more than 10 years in communications with Lucent Technologies, 3 years at AT&T, 5 years at the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and began her career in 1983 at the Field Museum of Natural History in her native Chicago. She holds a B.A. in communications from Loyola University Chicago and an M.A. in marketing communications from Roosevelt University. She has lived in Montclair since 1986.

Justin Jamail

Assistant secretary and general counsel, New York Botanical Garden. From 2015-2018, he was Deputy General Counsel of the Metropolitan Opera and from 2009-2015, practiced law in Tokyo, specializing in the technology, telecommunications and media sectors. Jamail is a board member of the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses and a Trustee of the Kenneth Koch Literary Estate. A native of Houston, he has a B.A. in American studies from Columbia University and a J.D. from Fordham University. He has been a Montclair resident since 2016.

David Jones

He spent 40 years as a journalist for two New York-based newspapers, 6 of those as a Wall Street Journal reporter in New York and Pittsburgh, and 6 as a New York Times reporter in Detroit and Washington. Jones was an editor at The New York Times for 28 years, 15 as National Editor, 10 as Editor of National Editions, during which he also spent 8 years as an Assistant Managing Editor. From 1997-2012, he was a trustee of Pennsylvania State University and holds a B.A. in journalism from that university and an M.A. in American history from New York University. A native of Connellsville in southwestern Pennsylvania, he has lived in Montclair since 1972.

Vate Powell

The owner of Johanna Howard Home, a Montclair-based home décor business specializing in luxury textiles since 2014. Powell spent 10 years at MTV Networks/Viacom, where he was vice president and senior counsel in the intellectual property and litigation group, working on productions for all channels, including news. Prior to that, he was an attorney with Pennie & Edmonds and with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He also served as a clerk for U.S. District Judge Judge John W. Bissell in New Jersey. A native of Cincinnati, Powell earned a B.A. in zoology and political science at Miami University, where he is a member of the alumni board, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia. He has lived in Montclair since 2005.

Sidney Simon

A longtime Realtor in Montclair, she is currently a sales associate with West of Hudson Real Estate Group. Prior to that, she spent 9 years with the Keller Williams NJ Metro Group. Simon has been an active supporter of education, serving as president of the Montclair PTA Council from 2012-2014 and president of the Hillside School PTA from 2014-2016. She was an advisory board member of the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence and is currently a member of the advisory board for the IMANI programs, which are dedicated to narrowing the achievement gaps between minority and white students. A native of the Bronx who later lived in Atlanta, Simon holds a B.A. in communications from Clark Atlanta University. She has been a resident of Montclair since 2007.

Jake Silverstein

Jake Silverstein

Editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine since 2014. He was editor of Texas Monthly from 2009 to 2014 and a senior editor at Texas Monthly from 2006 to 2009. Silverstein was a contributing writer for Harper’s Magazine from 2002 to 2006 and reporter for The Big Bend Sentinel in Marfa, Texas. A native of Oakland, Calif., he has a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University, an M.A. in English from Hollins University, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Texas. He has lived in Montclair since 2014.

Jason White

Facebook’s Director for News Partnerships in North America, leading product and news relationships with broadcasters and publishers. He joined Facebook in 2013 after a dozen years in the news industry. White was a senior editor at NBC News, a producer at CNN and a national affairs reporter with PBS NewsHour. He holds a B.S. in social policy from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Religion and Ethics from Yale University. A native of Millbury, Mass., he has lived in Montclair since 2009.

Advisory Board

Jonathan Alter — MSNBC analyst, Daily Beast columnist, author

Harvey Araton — Contributor to The New York Times, freelance journalist, author, former NYT columnist/reporter

Nelli Black — Senior producer, Investigations, CNN

Rukmini Callimachi — Foreign correspondent, The New York Times

Brian Carovillano — Vice president and managing editor, The Associated Press

Henri Cauvin — Senior editor, ProPublica

David Chen — Investigative reporter, The New York Times

Rachel Fishman Fedderson — CEO and publisher, The Forward

Ian Frazier — Staff writer, The New Yorker

David Halbfinger — Jerusalem bureau chief, The New York Times

Tom Johnson — Executive Producer, The Circus, Showtime

Charisse Jones — National business correspondent, USA Today

John Mooney — Founder and CEO, NJ Spotlight

Stefanie Murray — Director, Center for Cooperative Media, Montclair State University

Winnie O’Kelley — Dean of academic affairs, Columbia Journalism School

Mark Porter — Former editor, Montclair Times

Andy Rosenthal — Retired editorial page editor, The New York Times

Jodi Rudoren — Editor-in-Chief, The Forward

Dale Russakoff — Author, former journalist at The Washington Post

Eric Roston — Sustainability Editor, Bloomberg News

Rachel Swarns — Associate professor journalism, New York University

Jennifer Saba — Columnist, Reuters

Karen Yourish — Graphics editor, The New York Times

Kate Zernike — National Political Reporter, The New York Times, Author

Montclair is blessed to have the Montclair Local on the case in our town. It is exactly what a local publication should be, full of accurate and aggressive reporting that covers the heart of the community.
— Jonathan Alter, Journalist, MSNBC analyst

Journalism is the most important anchor to ensure our country, state, and community has a needed system of checks and balances. Creating and supporting a viable news platform in the Montclair Local is an incredibly important opportunity to ensure Montclair’s voice is strong, that the great events, people, and traditions of our community are celebrated and showcased, and that factual information is shared.
— Matthew Frankel, Trustee, CEO of MDF Strategies

I joined because I want to contribute in any way I can to Heeten and Thalla’s incredible initiative in forming the Montclair Local. Reliable local newspapers have never been more important even as they become increasingly difficult to preserve.
— Justin Jamail, Trustee, Assistant Secretary & General Council of New York