Senior Leadership

Kelly McBride

Vice President, The Poynter Institute

Contact Information

Phone: 727-553-4340

Kelly McBride is a writer, teacher and one of the country’s leading voices when it comes to media ethics. She has been on the faculty of The Poynter Institute since 2002 and is now its Vice President.

The world’s largest newsrooms, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR and the BBC, frequently seek her advice for internal decisions and quote her expertise in their stories. Until recently, McBride was the Institute’s Vice President of Academic Programs. Previously, she ran the Ethics Department and the Reporting, Writing and Editing Department at Poynter.

Jessi Navarro

Managing Director of Business & Finance

Contact Information

United States
Phone: 727-553-4338

Jessica “Jessi” Navarro is the Poynter Institute’s Director of Business and Finance. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day work of Poynter’s business and operations departments, specifically Special Projects, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Customer Service and Facilities.

Jessi has deep experience in both finance and the Tampa Bay media industry. She worked for the Tampa Tribune and, first as a business/financial analyst at the Tribune and then as Controller of TBO, focusing on innovation and process improvement.

Ben Mullin

Managing Editor,

Contact Information

United States
Phone: 727-821-9494

Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of at The Poynter Institute. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics. He’s also reported for USA TODAY College and The Sacramento Bee, and he was editor in chief of The Orion, Chico State’s student-run newspaper. An Air Force brat who grew up around Northern California, he’s still adjusting to the Florida sunshine. I love to talk media and journalism!

Tina Dyakon

Director of Advertising and Marketing

Contact Information

United States
Phone: 727-553-4343

Tina Dyakon leads the effort to bring relevant and meaningful advertising content to Poynter’s digital audience. Her previous work highlights an extensive digital sales and product development background. Tina’s previous experience includes managing local branch operations for an Omnicom Group ad agency and leading sales and marketing efforts for the employment and education categories at Florida’s largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times and

Tina earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Elisa Jackson

Executive Director of The Poynter Foundation

Contact Information

United States
Phone: 727-553-4676

Elisa Jackson is the Executive Director of the Poynter Foundation. Elisa accepted this role in December of 2014 and brings more than 15 years of fundraising, alumni relations and development experience to the Foundation. In her new position, she will build the Foundation’s infrastructure, focus on major gifts, promote Poynter’s programs and build an alumni and community network. Elisa joined Poynter in 2013 as the Director of Development.

Vidisha Priyanka

Interactive Learning Manager

Contact Information


Vidisha Priyanka is currently working with Poynter NewsU as the Interactive Learning Manager. She teaches multimedia, video and interactive storytelling, analytics and user engagement to professional journalists, onsite and online.

Before joining the NewsU team, Priyanka worked as Planning Editor for digital video at, media partner of The Tampa Tribune and WFLA-TV, News Channel 8. She also worked as an Audience Editor and News and Special Projects producer for almost 10 years and helped focus resources on serving news audience.

Butch Ward

Senior Faculty

Contact Information

Phone: 727-553-4218

Butch Ward is senior faculty and former managing director at The Poynter Institute, where he teaches leadership, editing, reporting and writing.

He worked for 27 years in newspapers, at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore News American, and was managing editor in both newsrooms. Before joining Poynter in 2005, he spent three years being covered by journalists as vice president for corporate and public affairs at Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia.

Wendy Wallace

Director of Advancement

Contact Information

Phone: 727-553-4311

Wendy Wallace leads Poynter’s development and marketing work. She is the institute’s primary contact with foundations that support Poynter with grants, and the staff who lead Poynter’s fund-raising and marketing communications efforts are on her team.

Wendy first worked for Poynter as the high school program director in 2004, organizing workshops for high school students and teaching at high school journalism conventions across the country.