October 26, 2018

RSF USA announces new advisory board members and a new West Coast chair

Chairman of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) US Board Peter Price is pleased to welcome new members William McCarren and Thor Valdmanis to its US board, as well as announce the creation of the RSF US West Coast advisory board.

Bill McCarren has served as the Executive Director of Washington DC’s National Press Club since 2007. McCarren is a close partner of RSF, having hosted events at the National Press Club including an exhibition displaying the photographs of Austin Tice, the American journalist detained in Syria. Before joining the National Press Club, McCarren served as the Founder and CEO of US Newswire, a national news release wire service that distributes media materials to the US government and non-profit agencies, from 1986-2006.



Thor Valdmanis is an award-winning financial journalist who has served as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Relationships at Dow Jones since 2015. Prior to his work with Dow Jones, Valdmanis was a Principal at The Dilenschneider Group, a strategic communications consultancy, and a Managing Director in the financial services group of FTI Consulting. As a journalist, he covered mergers and acquisitions for the Evening Standard in London and later for USA Today in New York.



Within the last year, members who have joined the US board include Marty Schenker, Chief Content Officer at Bloomberg News, Roxanne Taylor, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Accenture, James Schwab, President at VICE Media, and Brad Jakeman, Senior Advisor and Consultant at PepsiCo. RSF looks forward to strengthening the work of its organization in the US with the addition of these esteemed members.   



With the official opening of its new bureau of Journalism and Technology in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 23 hosted by Bloomberg News and attended by RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire, RSF announced the creation of a West Coast advisory board which will work towards engaging the leadership of west coast media, technology, and entertainment sectors to conceive and conduct programs consistent with the mission of RSF. The board will be chaired by Norman Pearlstine, Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Times. Additional co-chairs and members from the journalism and technology sectors will be announced in the coming weeks.



The office of Journalism and Technology will focus primarily on issues at the intersection of journalism and technology and the impact of emerging tech on freedom of the press and information. From its new strategic location and with the assistance of the West Coast advisory board, RSF will be able to develop its presence in the dynamic tech ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay Area and across the West Coast. The office will be led by Sabine Dolan, who joined RSF in July 2018. Prior to RSF, Dolan worked with the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF and as a show producer at CNN, BBC World Service, Reuters, AP and CNBC. In the US, RSF is a 501(c)3 organization carrying out the mission to protect and defend journalists working both internationally and in the United States. RSF USA seeks to raise awareness and involve Americans in preserving freedom of information, as well as monitor and take action to prevent press freedom violations in the United States, Canada, and the English-speaking Caribbean.