Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is operated by professional journalists and overseen by a Board of Directors whose backgrounds include journalism, law, government and business.
Trevor Aaronson is the executive director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and an ex officio member of the Board of Directors. Aaronson co-founded FCIR in 2010. He is a contributing writer at The Intercept and a TED Fellow. Previously, Aaronson produced a one-hour documentary for Al Jazeera Media Network and was a 2010-2011 fellow at the University of California-Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program. Aaronson also was an investigative reporter and editor for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., and a staff writer for Village Voice Media‘s newspapers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. A two-time finalist for the Livingston Awards, Aaronson has won more than two dozen national and regional awards for his work, including the Molly National Journalism Prize, the international Data Journalism Award and the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award. He is the author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sharon Rosenhause (Board President), retired managing editor of the Sun Sentinel, has served on many journalism boards, including the American Society of News Editors, Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and currently the Institute for Justice and Journalism. A 2009 visiting professor of ethics and diversity at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School, Rosenhause edited ASU’s 2011 News21 food safety investigation and the 2012 voting rights project.
Willie Fernandez, former managing editor of the Sun Sentinel, has spent 35 years in journalism, primarily in South Florida. Fernandez was the senior editor in charge of the Sun Sentinel’s reporting on off-duty police officers who recklessly speed and endanger citizens, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. His other notable accolades include two regional Emmy nominations.
Barbara A. Petersen, president of the Tallahassee-based Florida First Amendment Foundation since 1995, is also on the boards of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, which she has served as president and treasurer, and the Florida Society of News Editors. A graduate of the University of Missouri and the Florida State University College of Law, Petersen served as chair of former Gov. Charlie Crist’s Commission on Open Government Reform and is currently Florida Senate President Don Gaetz’s appointee to the User Experience Task Force, which is charged with enhancing transparency in Florida’s government.
Charles M. Tatelbaum is a Fort Lauderdale lawyer who chairs the creditors’ rights and bankruptcy practice at Tripp Scott. He is also a board member of Hispanic Unity of Florida, where he serves as chair of the development committee. He served for two years as chair of the board of directors for Friends of WLRN, the NPR and PBS affiliates for South Florida, while serving on its board for eight years and as its treasurer for one year.
Gregg D. Thomas is the managing partner of Thomas & LoCicero. He has defended newspapers and television stations in more than 100 defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and intellectual property matters.
Mercedes Vigón is the associate director of the International Media Center in Miami. She also worked as a TV news director for Net Financial News, as executive producer and international writer for CBS Telenoticias, and as a journalist with United Press International.