Who We are

Meet the board and directors

Jeanne Straus, board president

Jeanne began her career 30 years ago reading local newspapers. As an editorial assistant at the White House News Summary, she read community newspapers from around the country and summarized local news for a daily digest distributed to the President and 250 other administration officials. Her passion for community news reporting has not waned since.

Today Jeanne is the President of Straus News, a group of nine local news operations that publish in contiguous communities in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Straus News also publishes the innovative sustainable living magazine Dirt.

Jeanne worked for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, as a stringer for the Associated Press, and as program director and director of news and operations at WMCA Radio in New York City. Jeanne's business acumen and deep journalism experience have made her the go-to person for guidance in the community news industry.

Jeanne serves on the Board of the New York Press Association and was its President from 2008 to 2009. She is a founder of New York Cares, New York's leading volunteer agency, and serves on its Board, and Executive and Finance Committees. She is President of the Board of the Community Reporting Alliance and is the leading force behind its vision to promote and preserve local news. Most recently, she led CRA's business model project, funded by a New York City-based donor interested in boosting sustainability among small, independent urban news organizations.

Mireya Navarro, executive director

Mia knows the importance of community journalism. She started her career at the San Francisco Examiner, covering the courts, county government and Bay Area politics. She also reported from Nicaragua and Mexico on special assignment. Most recently, she covered housing and issues of income inequality for The New York Times, where she worked as a staff writer for 27 years. Mia worked for the Metropolitan News section, covering the 1990 census, AIDS, and serving as a national correspondent in Miami and Los Angeles. She was a member of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for the series “How Race is Lived in America,” and the team that wrote “Portraits of Grief,” a series of profiles documenting the lives of those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Mia has taught journalism as an adjunct professor at Columbia University, the City University of New York and the New School. She has authored two nonfiction books, "Stepdog" and "Green Wedding."

Laura Handman, board of directors

Laura is one of the nation's leading First Amendment lawyers.

Her clients have included The New York Observer, The New York Daily News, Amazon.com, NPR, The Economist, U.S. News & World Report and Talking Points Memo.

She is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and a member of its Executive Committee.

A former Assistant U.S. District Attorney and law clerk to a federal district judge, Laura now also serves on the Executive Committee of the Council for Court Excellence and was Co-Chair for the Journalists' Handbook to the Courts of the District of Columbia (September 2009). Laura is Founder/former Chair of the Media Law Committee of the D.C. Bar's Arts, Entertainment and Sports Law Section.

She is past President of the Defense Counsel Section of the Media Law Resource Center and the former Chair of the Communications and Media Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Laura was awarded the 2007 International PEN First Amendment Award from PEN USA, the West Coast center for the worldwide writers' organization.

Laura has served as an expert on American libel law on behalf of U.S. media in connection with libel actions brought in London, Belfast and Melbourne. She established the first precedents in the U.S. and state courts refusing to enforce British libel judgments that were in conflict with American public policy.

Garry Pierre-Pierre, board of directors

Garry is a former Executive Director of the Community Reporting Alliance and the founder, publisher and editor of The Haitian Times, an English-language online newspaper considered one of the most important news sources for the Haitian diaspora. Garry led the City University Graduate School of Journalism‘s Center for Community and Ethnic Media. He is currently the co-host of the show Independent Sources on CUNY TV.

He is past president of the New York Press Association, and has served as well on the Board of the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Committee on Open Government.

Garry has trained numerous journalists in the United States and Haiti and has lectured at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and Rutgers. He has also an adjunct professor at CUNY.

Garry began his career working for the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa. He worked as a reporter for the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger, and then for The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Garry spent six years as a staff reporter at the New York Times where he covered the New York Metropolitan area with special assignments in Africa and the Caribbean. He was a member of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for spot news for the New York Times coverage of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.

A native of Haiti, Pierre-Pierre is the author of "30 Seconds… The Quake that destroyed Haiti", a book of photography that illustrates the wreckage of the January 2010 earthquake across Haiti.