The Diversity Pledge Institute at the Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication (DPI) has formally announced its board of directors: Chairperson Erica Henry, vice president of news at CNN; Alena Allen, interim dean of law at the University of Arkansas; Katherine Graham, chief technology officer at Priority Power Management; Katy Locker, chief operating officer at The Center for Michigan; and Tim Wong, director of product design, growth at Roblox.
“These thoughtful leaders bring to the table such diverse experiences and skill sets that will enrich The Diversity Pledge Institute in countless ways as we work toward the goal of increasing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in newsrooms across the nation,” said DPI founder and director Larry Graham. “I am filled with gratitude that these five individuals recognized the urgency of our mission and have agreed to lend their talents to the continued success of DPI.”
Erica Henry oversees the management of the Newsgathering Southeast regional team covering and breaking news for CNN. She previously served as Southeast Region newsgathering director, where she oversaw the day-to-day operations for CNN’s Atlanta and Miami bureaus, and as an assignment editor, assignment manager and managing editor for CNN across the Atlanta and Los Angeles bureaus. Before joining CNN, she worked at NBC and MSNBC, having started at the network as an NBC Page. She is currently part of the executive committee for Black Professionals at Turner and is a member of the United Way of Greater Atlanta African-American Partnership Cabinet. Henry graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in history.
Alena Allen teaches family law, health law, public health law, professional responsibility and torts. She is a full professor at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville School of Law. She also currently serves as deputy director of the Association of American Law Schools. Allen previously taught at the Cecil C. Humphreys University of Memphis School of Law where she won Professor of Year in 2013, the Farris Bobango Faculty Scholarship Award in 2019 and the MLK 50 Faculty Service Award in 2021. Allen’s work has appeared in the North Carolina Law Review, the Fordham Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal and the Cardozo Law Review. Allen’s research focuses on the intersection of health policy and feminist theory. Allen currently serves on the University Research Council, the Executive Committee for the AALS Section on Scholarship, the Peer Review Committee for the Food & Drug Law Institute, and as a reviewer for the Association for Prevention and Teaching Research’s Prevention and Population Health Education Grant Program. Allen received her B.A. in psychology from Loyola New Orleans in 1999 and graduated from the Yale Law School in 2003.
Katherine Graham has more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry supporting technology for businesses in the wholesale, retail and environmental/sustainability arenas. She was previously executive vice president of technology at Shell Energy where she created a highly scalable, automated and digital retail business. Graham also spent 15 years in Silicon Valley at APX where she developed software for wholesale scheduling, settlements and environmental REC and carbon offset registries. She graduated from Rockhurst University, magna cum laude, with a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in economics.
Katy Locker works to facilitate growth while continuing to provide a quality, inspiring and inclusive workplace at the Center for Michigan. She was previously an executive in residence at EarlyWorks, LLC, where she assisted executives at the Center for Michigan and the New Economy Initiative in navigating 2020 and planning and communicating growth and change. Prior to that, Locker led philanthropic efforts in Detroit on behalf of both the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Hudson-Webber Foundation. She was named one of Michigan’s 100 most influential women in 2016 by Crain Detroit Business. She holds degrees from Cornell University and the University Michigan Law School.
Tim Wong is a product and design leader, now helping to build the metaverse at Roblox. Previously, he built teams, scaled businesses and defined organizational, cultural best practices on his tour through some of Silicon Valley’s giants at Netflix and Facebook (now Meta). Before jumping into big tech, Wong cut his teeth as a creative director and editor for American City Business Journals and The Baltimore Sun, eventually championing product innovation, business development and design investment as a D-level executive at Gannett and The Washington Post. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in journalism and government/politics.
About The Diversity Pledge Institute:
The Diversity Pledge Institute at the Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is a nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) dedicated to research, analysis and education related to diversity in journalism. Our goal is to solve the diversity pipeline problem; improve retention rates associated with diversity, equity and inclusion; and support journalists’ career growth. We prioritize peer-to-peer training and career learning for journalists while offering ongoing organizational support for diversity and inclusion efforts in media.
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