Board of Directors

The Board of Directors serves as the governing body of IRE.

  • Cheryl W. Thompson

    Cheryl W. Thompson, IRE Board President, teaches investigative reporting at George Washington University and writes investigative stories for The Washington Post. Her latest project, published in May 2018, was on the unsolved serial murders of six black girls in the nation’s capital nearly 50 years ago. She has written extensively about law enforcement, political corruption and guns, including an investigative series on firearms that tracked guns used to kill more than 500 police officers in the U.S. In 2015, her reporting found nearly one person a week died in the U.S. after being Tasered by police. Her latest project, published in March 2017, revealed myriad problems with Howard University Hospital, including that it had the highest rate of death lawsuits per bed than the five other DC hospitals. She’s won numerous awards, including an Emmy, National Headliner, IRE and two Salute to Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists. She was named NABJ’s Educator of the Year in 2017. She also was part of a team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. She can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]. (Originally elected 2015; current term expires June 2019.)

  • Lee Zurik

    Lee Zurik, Vice President, is an Evening News Anchor and Chief Investigative Reporter at WVUE-TV in New Orleans and director of investigations at Raycom Media. Lee has been honored with many of journalism’s top awards including two George Foster Peabody Awards, three duPont-Columbia Awards, the IRE Medal, three IRE Certificates, and eight National Edward R. Murrow Awards.  Before Hurricane Katrina, Lee was a sports anchor/reporter. He taught himself to be an investigative reporter by reading IRE resources (books and tipsheets) and attending IRE conferences. Lee can be reached at @leezurik and [email protected]. (Originally elected 2016; current term expires June 2020.)

  • T. Christian Miller

    T. Christian Miller, Treasurer, is a senior reporter for ProPublica. In more than 20 years as a professional journalist and foreign correspondent, Miller has covered four wars, a presidential campaign and reported from more than two dozen countries. He has won numerous accolades for his work in the U.S. and abroad, including the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, which he shared with Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project for coverage of sexual assault. In 2015, he won two Emmy Awards for his work with Marcela Gaviria on a PBS Frontline Documentary about the link between the Firestone tire company and the Liberian war criminal Charles Taylor. Miller’s work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, PBS Frontline, PBS Newshour, NPR and All Thing Considered, among other major media outlets. (Originally elected 2013; current term expires June 2019.)

  • Jill Riepenhoff

    Jill Riepenhoff, Secretary, joined Raycom Media’s national investigative team in July 2017 as a producer. Prior to that, she worked at The Columbus Dispatch since 1985. She has investigated issues ranging from naughty teachers to naughty mortgage brokers to naughty landlords and naughty guardians – those charged with caring for mentally-incompetent adults. She also enjoys digging into sports and has written extensively about the dark sides of youth, high school and college athletics. For the past two years, she has been the chair of IRE’s contest committee. She can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter at @JRiep. (Originally elected 2014; current term expires June 2020.)

  • Nicole Vap

    Nicole Vap, Executive Member (at-large), is the Director of Investigative Journalism at 9NEWS in Denver, and TEGNA Inc. Vap leads a team of award winning reporters and producers in Denver, and coordinates joint projects and training company wide.  Her team are winners of a 2018 National Edward R. Murrow award, a 2017 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Television Journalism, a 2011 DuPont Silver Baton for excellence in Broadcast journalism, multiple regional Edward R. Murrow and Emmy awards as well as being named a finalist for the IRE Freedom of Information award. She has also worked at television stations in Arizona, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Kansas. She can be reached at @nicolevap and [email protected]news.com (Originally elected 2014; current term expires June 2020.)

  • Matt Goldberg

    Matt Goldberg, Executive Member, is the Vice President of Content Strategy for the NBC Owned TV Stations. He has been honored with numerous local and national awards, including the IRE Award.  He has worked in management and as an investigative producer for television stations in Phoenix, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. His stories have exposed consumer fraud, government corruption and health and human rights violations. (Originally elected 2013; current term expires June 2019.)

  • Matt Apuzzo

    Matt Apuzzo is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times based in Brussels. For more than a decade, he worked at the Associated Press covering law enforcement and national security matters. He is the co-author, with Adam Goldman, of the book Enemies Within. He once successfully argued a motion from the audience in federal court. He has also slept in his car. Reach him at [email protected]. (Originally elected 2017; current term expires June 2019.)

  • Ziva Branstetter

    Ziva Branstetter is corporate accountability editor for The Washington Post. Previously, she worked as a senior editor at Reveal, a project of The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she led a team covering immigration and labor issues. She previously was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Frontier, a startup website devoted to investigative and enterprise news in Oklahoma. Before starting The Frontier, Ziva spent more than 20 years as an editor and reporter at the Tulsa World. In 2015, Ziva and her reporting partner, Cary Aspinwall, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting, the Anthony Shadid Ethics in Journalism Award and the Scripps Howard Service to the First Amendment Award. Previously, Ziva worked for The Tulsa Tribune and the Philadelphia Daily News. She has also served as president and board member of Freedom of Information Oklahoma Inc. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. She can be reached at [email protected] or @zivabranstetter. (Originally elected 2013; current term expires June 2019.)

  • Matt Dempsey

    Matt Dempsey is the data editor at the Houston Chronicle. He worked on projects involving wildfires, state pensions, and the chemical industry. His passion for public records frequently leads to disclosure of data from all levels of government. His series Chemical Breakdown won the 2016 IRE Innovation award and the National Press Foundation’s “Feddie” award. His work was a key part of the Chronicle’s Pulitzer Prize finalist entry for Breaking News. (Originally elected 2018; current term expires June 2020.)

  • Jennifer LaFleur

    Jennifer LaFleur is data editor at The Investigative Reporting Workshop and teaches at American University.  She previously was a senior editor at Reveal/CIR, data editor at ProPublica, The Dallas Morning News, the San Jose Mercury News and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was NICAR’s founding training director and has won awards for her coverage of disability, legal and open government issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or @j_la28. (Originally elected 2018; current term expires June 2020.)

  • Steven Rich

    Steven Rich is the database editor for investigations at The Washington Post. He’s worked on investigations probing the National Security Agency, tax lien sales, asset forfeiture, police shootings and college athletics. Since coming to The Post in 2013, he has shared in several national awards, including a George Polk award, a Robert F. Kennedy award and a Gerald Loeb award. He has been a reporter on two teams awarded Pulitzer Prizes, in 2014 for Public Service and in 2016 for National Reporting. Steven is a graduate of Mizzou and Virginia Tech. He can be reached at [email protected] or @dataeditor. (Originally elected 2015; current term expires June 2019.)

  • Norberto Santana Jr.

    Norberto Santana Jr. is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than two decades reporting experience, largely focused on local government across Southern California. He’s worked as a staff writer for the Orange County Register, the San Diego Union Tribune, the San Bernardino County Sun, the Virgin Islands Daily News and Congressional Quarterly. Since 2009, he’s led the digital nonprofit newsroom, Voice of OC, covering civic life in Orange County, California. (Originally elected 2018; current term expires June 2020.)

  • Jodi Upton

    Jodi Upton is the Knight Chair in Data and Explanatory Journalism at Syracuse University, where she is developing a data journalism program. Previously, she was Senior Database Editor at USA TODAY, where she led a team on stories from mass killings to Medicare fraud to football coach contracts.  She was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University and taught at Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center. Her team won many U.S. and international awards. (Originally elected 2018; current term expires June 2020.)