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ProPublica Staff

Officers

Stephen Engelberg, Editor-in-Chief

Stephen Engelberg was the founding managing editor of ProPublica from 2008–2012, and became editor-in-chief on January 1, 2013. He came to ProPublica from The Oregonian in Portland, where he had been a managing editor since 2002. Before joining The Oregonian, Mr. Engelberg worked for The New York Times for 18 years, including stints in Washington, D.C., and Warsaw, Poland, as well as in New York. He is a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board and of the Board of Directors of the American Society of News Editors.

Mr. Engelberg’s work since 1996 has focused largely on the editing of investigative projects. He started the Times’s investigative unit in 2000. Projects he supervised at the Times on Mexican corruption (published in 1997) and the rise of Al Qaeda (published beginning in January 2001) were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. During his years at The Oregonian, the paper won the Pulitzer for breaking news and was a finalist for its investigative work on methamphetamines and charities intended to help the disabled. He is the co-author of “Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War” (2001). Read full bio.

Richard Tofel, President

Richard Tofel was the founding general manager of ProPublica from 2007–2012, and became president on January 1, 2013. He has responsibility for all of ProPublica’s non-journalism operations, including communications, legal, development, finance and budgeting, and human resources. He was formerly the assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal and, earlier, an assistant managing editor of the paper, vice president, corporate communications for Dow Jones & Company, and an assistant general counsel of Dow Jones.

More recently, he served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Rockefeller Foundation, and earlier as president and chief operating officer of the International Freedom Center, a museum and cultural center that was planned for the World Trade Center site. He is the author of numerous works on topics including journalism, presidential history and the New York Yankees. Read full bio.

Robin Fields, Managing Editor

Robin Fields became managing editor of ProPublica on January 1, 2013. She has overseen projects on political dark money, injection wells, the military’s handling of traumatic brain injuries, police violence in post-Katrina New Orleans, cell tower deaths, and the nation’s troubled system of death investigations. Work she has edited has twice been honored with George Polk Awards, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and IRE. As a reporter, Fields was a finalist for a National Magazine Award for her work on dialysis, which was also honored by IRE and the Society of Professional Journalists and received the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism.

Before joining ProPublica, Fields spent nine years as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, where she worked on investigations into political fundraiser Norman Hsu, California’s adult guardianship system and abuses at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Her work on guardianship received the National Journalism Award for investigative reporting, a Sigma Delta Chi Public Service Award and an Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service Award. Read full bio.

Ragan Rhyne, Vice President, Development

With more than 15 years of nonprofit executive experience, Ragan Rhyne has effectively developed programs and built relationships for global, national and regional institutions. Rhyne has held senior development positions at the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Center of Photography, among others.

Holding a doctorate in media studies from New York University, Rhyne’s research and publications focus on the political economy of nonprofit media organizations. She has taught media and cultural studies at New York University, Hunter College and Queens College. Read full bio.

Celeste LeCompte, Vice President of Business Development

Celeste LeCompte is a media entrepreneur and journalist with a special focus on innovation, sustainable business and open technologies. She has advised on product development and content strategy for numerous media companies, nonprofits and corporate clients.

LeCompte previously served on the launch team for Gigaom Research, a market research service specializing in emerging technologies, and was a co-founder of Climate Confidential, a crowdfunded reporting project that examined the intersection of environment and technology. She was also a 2015 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Read full bio.

Scott Klein, Deputy Managing Editor

Scott Klein directs a team of journalist/programmers building large interactive software projects that tell journalistic stories, and that make complex national statistics relevant to readers and their communities. Scott is also co-founder of DocumentCloud, a two-time recipient of the Knight News Challenge. Read full bio.

Eric Umansky, Deputy Managing Editor

Eric Umansky is a deputy managing editor of ProPublica, where he has overseen two Pulitzer Prize-winning projects. Most recently, a series he edited on “nuisance abatement” laws won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Umansky also oversees ProPublica’s engagement team, and is also a co-founder of DocumentCloud. Read full bio.

Louise Kiernan, Editor-in-Chief, ProPublica Illinois

Louise Kiernan is editor-in-chief of ProPublica Illinois, the first regional operation of ProPublica. She comes to ProPublica from Northwestern University, where she was an associate professor of journalism, focusing on investigative and narrative reporting, and the leader of the program’s social justice and investigative journalism specialization. Prior to that, she worked for the Chicago Tribune for 18 years, serving as the newspaper’s enterprise editor, writing coach, urban affairs team editor and a special projects team editor and reporter, among other roles.

Kiernan was the lead writer on a project that won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting and has also been a Pulitzer finalist. She was a 2005 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, has served on the Nieman fellowship selection committee and chaired two Pulitzer Prize juries, for investigative and explanatory reporting. Read full bio.

Stephanie Little, Vice President Finance and Administration

Stephanie Little joined ProPublica as director of finance and human resources in March 2016. She oversees all financial activities for the organization, including financial planning, management and analysis. She also directs human resources policy and benefits administration and brings experience in nonprofit management to the role. Most recently, she held the position of director of business operations with Vision Education and Media, and she has worked with such organizations as The Metropolitan Opera and The New York Times. Stephanie holds an MBA in Finance and Media from Fordham University.

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