IRE's longest-serving trainer, Jaimi Dowdell, will leave her position at the end of January to complete her Spotlight Investigative Journalism Fellowship and pursue other career opportunities.
Since 2008, Dowdell has trained thousands of journalists in watchdog reporting and data analysis. "Jaimi is exceptionally gifted as a trainer. She's a dynamic presenter and runs amazingly effective hands-on data sessions," IRE Executive Director Doug Haddix said. "Her leadership also has been instrumental in the explosive growth and success of our annual computer-assisted reporting conference. We'll miss her energy, creative ideas and passion for investigative work."
Dowdell and freelance journalist Kelly Carr received the prestigious Spotlight fellowship earlier this year to pursue an in-depth investigative story that will be published in The Boston Globe. The fellowship was inspired by the Globe's investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church – portrayed in the movie "Spotlight." Before joining IRE, Dowdell worked as computer-assisted reporting editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.
"IRE is a wonderful organization and I'm so happy to have spent more than eight years working with such great people," Dowdell said. "I plan to stay involved with IRE as a volunteer and member for many years to come."
With Dowdell's departure, IRE will hire a training director to help organize and conduct watchdog workshops and customized newsroom training; help plan national conferences; and develop innovative instructional materials in investigative and data journalism. While IRE is located at the University of Missouri, training directors can be based anywhere in the United States. The position requires strong data and watchdog skills, excellent public speaking ability, a passion for investigative reporting, frequent travel (including weekends), and the ability to work successfully from a remote office.