Board of Directors

Judy Wise, Chair

Judy Wise is a longtime friend of Mother Jones and served on its board of directors for several years in the 1990s. She recently retired as senior director of Facing History and Ourselves, an international professional development organization for educators who reach more than 13 million students every year. She worked for Facing History for 25 years and co-founded the organization’s first regional office in Chicago and the UK office. She is now a member of Facing History’s International Board of Directors and a board member of the Chicago Media Project and Restore Justice (a criminal justice reform organization).

Judy served on President Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Previously, she served as executive director of the Committee on Illinois Government and worked in the news department at both NBC TV and CBS TV in Chicago. She received her BA from Washington University and MA in psychiatric social work from the University of Chicago. Judy has three grown children and four grandchildren.

Richard Melcher, Vice Chair

Rick has been in and around media his entire career. He is a founding principal of Melcher & Tucker Consultants, a Chicago-based strategic marketing and communications firm advising small and midsize companies and nonprofit organizations. Since co-founding the business in 2000, Rick has helped clients with strategic planning, public relations, and capital campaigns. Before his current endeavors, he worked at two leading public policy websites and spent two decades at Business Week magazine, managing bureaus in Chicago and London, where he received the Citation for Excellence from the Overseas Press Club for reporting on Europe, and the Center for Education Reform’s award for Excellence in Journalism.

Rick serves on the Chicago advisory board of Facing History and Ourselves and is a member of the national Leadership Council. He is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. A graduate of Duke University, Rick and his wife, Barbara, are the parents of three children.

Sara Frankel, Secretary

Sara Frankel began working in media companies as a Mother Jones fellow. She subsequently worked as a magazine editor and newspaper feature writer and later was an executive in multiple digital media and ecommerce companies. She founded and ran two internet startups, invested in multiple startup companies, and is currently working on a book.

Stephen Hendrickson, Treasurer

Steve joined the Mother Jones board in the fall of 2017. He is the retired founder of Christian Book Distributors, the leading mail order and internet company serving the Christian market and Hendrickson Publishers, a small publisher of classic reference and academic titles for the religious market. Steve has been active with numerous nonprofit organizations, including Trinity Church (Episcopal), Boston; North Park University, Chicago; and Sherrill House (a 160-bed skilled nursing facility in Boston). He has been active and involved in projects in Croatia and East Africa, from education to LGBTI-friendly organizations in oppressed areas of Africa.

Steve attended Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, (Sacred Music) and is an avid pilot with instrument, multiengine and jet ratings, and misses few appearances of David Corn on MSNBC. Steve can cure most cases of insomnia with a discussion of airplane engines; plays the piano; and aspires to return to the golden years of mediocrity in his golf game. After a 27-year courtship, Steve married his longtime partner, David McCord (also the son of a Pentecostal minister), in 2014. They live with their three dogs according to the season in Boston, Vermont, and Florida.

Monika Bauerlein, President, Ex Officio

Monika Bauerlein has been CEO of Mother Jones since 2015 and has focused on expanding MoJo’s journalistic and revenue capacity, deepening its impact, and broadening its audience. Previously, she served as co-editor with Clara Jeffery, who is now editor-in-chief. Together, they have been honored with the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Excellence, the Pen/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing, and multiple National Magazine Awards including the 2017 honor for Magazine of the Year. Under their leadership, Mother Jones grew from, as the PEN judges wrote, “a respected—if under-the-radar—indie publication to an internationally recognized, powerhouse” magazine.” She has also worked as Mother Jones’ investigative editor, focusing on long-form projects marrying in-depth reportage, document sleuthing, and narrative appeal, and as an alternative-weekly editor, a correspondent for US and European publications (in Washington, DC, and at the United Nations), an AP stringer, a corporate trainer, a translator, a sausage slinger, and a fishing-line packager. She lives in Oakland.

Clara Jeffery, Vice President, Ex Officio

Clara Jeffery is editor-in-chief of Mother Jones. In her time in this role, and as co-editor-in-chief with Monika Bauerlein, she has spearheaded an era of editorial growth and innovation, marked by the addition of a Washington, DC, bureau, an overhaul of the organization’s digital strategy and corresponding 15-fold growth in traffic, and the winning of two National Magazine Awards for general excellence. When Jeffery and Bauerlein received a PEN award for editing in 2012, the judges noted: “With its sharp, compelling blend of investigative long-form journalism, eye-catching infographics and unapologetically confident voice, Mother Jones under Jeffery and Bauerlein has been transformed from what was a respected—if under-the-radar—indie publication to an internationally recognized, powerhouse general-interest periodical influencing everything from the gun-control debate to presidential campaigns.” A relentless attention to detail, boundless curiosity, and embrace of complex subjects are also reflected on Mother Jones’ influential website, whose writers and reporters often put more well-known and deep-pocketed news divisions to shame.

Before joining the staff of Mother Jones, Jeffery was a senior editor of Harper’s magazine. Fourteen pieces that she personally edited have been finalists for National Magazine Awards, in the categories of essay, profile, reporting, public interest, feature, and fiction. Works she edited have also been selected to appear in various editions of Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and Best American Science Writing. Clara cut her journalistic teeth at Washington City Paper, where she wrote and edited political, investigative, and narrative features and was a columnist. Jeffery is a graduate of Carleton College and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She resides in the Mission District of San Francisco with her son, Milo. Their burrito joint of choice is El Metate.

Rafael Agustín

Rafael Agustín was a writer on the award-winning The CW show Jane the Virgin and is the author of the new bestselling comedic memoir Illegally Yours (Grand Central Publishing), which was selected as a Barnes & Noble “Priority Title,” as well as an Apple Books “Must Listen.”

Agustín serves as CEO of the Latino Film Institute, where he oversees the Youth Cinema Project, the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), and LatinX in Animation. In 2018, LA Weekly named Agustín one of the 50 most essential people in Los Angeles. Also in 2018, the United Nations invited Agustín to speak at their 70th anniversary celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 2021, Agustín was appointed to the National Film Preservation Board at the Library of Congress. In 2022, the LA Times declared Agustín a “Power Player” in their inaugural LA Vanguardia class.

Agustín received his BA and MA from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television, is an alumnus of the CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase, and is a Sundance Institute Episodic fellow.

Jane Butcher

Jane has been a Mother Jones board member since 1992. She is currently the board president of the Local Theater Company. She is on the BioFrontiers Advisory Board at the University of Colorado and the board of the Boulder Community Health Foundation. She is past chair of the Conference on World Affairs and the Women of the West Museum.

Bích Ngọc Cao

Bích Ngọc Cao is a digital marketing and communications executive whose career spans media organizations, tech startups, the music industry, government, and nonprofits. She serves as senior adviser to the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, specializing in communications. She has enjoyed an unconventional path that includes stints at organizations and companies such as Define American, (RED), the Los Angeles Times, Harvest Records, Warner Bros. Records, and MySpace. A native Angeleno, she is currently president of the Board of Library Commissioners for the city of Los Angeles.

André Carothers

André Carothers has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, philanthropy, program development, and organizational and leadership development. He is currently an independent consultant and executive coach for leaders in business, nonprofits, and philanthropy.

He is also general partner at the Batchery, a Berkeley-based early-stage startup incubator, and serves on the board of directors of the Furthur Foundation, the Weinmann Charitable Trust, the New Place Fund, the Rainforest Action Network, and the Story of Stuff Project.

In 1999, he co-founded the Rockwood Leadership Institute, an international leadership training organization, where he served as executive director until 2008. From 1984 to 1997, he worked at Greenpeace USA as an editor of their national newsmagazine, a campaign manager, and a member of the board of directors. He was a regular columnist for E magazine and has written on environment and civic issues for many publications. He has authored numerous reports, articles, and conference presentations on topics ranging from the economics of timber extraction in Papua New Guinea to the integration of spiritual practice into social activism. He received an MA in environmental science from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.

Lauri Fitz-Pegado

Cultural and commercial diplomacy is the hallmark of Lauri Fitz-Pegado’s career. She has worked at Voice of America and the US Information Agency, and has served as a US Foreign Service officer in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Appointed by President Clinton, she was assistant secretary and director general of the US and Foreign Commercial Service at the Department of Commerce, led by Secretary Ronald H. Brown. Lauri managed 130 global and 90 domestic offices engaged in supporting small and medium-sized businesses, helping them expand into foreign markets and advocating for major American companies competing for projects abroad. In the private sector, she advised countries, corporations, individuals, and nonprofits as a senior executive at Hill and Knowlton and Gray and Company, and as a partner at the Livingston Group. She also was an executive at Iridium, the global mobile satellite communications company.

With a history of ballet training and performance with the Capitol Ballet, Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre, and Ballet Santo Domingo, she now has returned to her passions by teaching ballet and mentoring. She applies her communications and public relations skills to promoting artists, and her business and leadership experience to advising dance institutions that share her commitment to social change, empowerment, and inclusion. Her memoir, Dancing in the Dash: My Story of Empowerment, Diplomacy, and Resilience, was released in the fall of 2021.

Lauri was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and received her BA cum laude from Vassar College and her MA from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She also speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

To watch interviews, podcasts and videos featuring Lauri click here:

Bill Gee

Bill Gee is a co-founder of the Manaaki Foundation and a longtime supporter of Mother Jones. In the nonprofit journalism space, he has served for nine years as a board member for Chicago Public Media (WBEZ), participated on ProPublica’s Leadership Council, and worked closely with the Global Press Institute and The Trace. Before embarking on his philanthropic path, Bill owned and operated a Chicago-based commercial baking business for 30 years. This experience fuels his special appreciation for the work MoJo does uncovering the dysfunction of this country’s food system. Bill is an advocate for advancing socially responsible investing principles applied on both personal and philanthropic fronts. Although a lifelong Chicagoan, he and his Australian wife, Sue Crothers, consider Sydney their second home.

Linda W. Gruber

Linda W. Gruber is the president of the Gruber Family Foundation, established in 1987. The foundation funds in the areas of women’s issues, human rights, the arts, progressive journalism, and education. She currently serves on the board of the Global Fund for Women and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and is a member of Women Moving Millions. She formerly served on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Beginning with a stint in the Lyndon Johnson White House, Linda worked as a consultant, taught at San Francisco State University, and worked for the US Department of Labor. A graduate of Wellesley College, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Jon D. Gruber. They have two grown children and six grandchildren.

Emily Harris, Staff Representative

Emily Harris is Mother Jones’ Director of Finance. In addition to assisting the CFO with companywide financials, she manages IT and facilities. She joined the staff in 2018 after working in accounting in a variety of industries, including advertising and politics. Emily is an alumna of Mills College in Oakland, CA.

Angie Jean-Marie

Angie Jean-Marie is the founder and principal of Fait La Force Strategies, a boutique social impact consultancy. With more than a decade working in policy and politics, Angie is a purpose-driven social impact strategist, community builder, and creative thinker. Through her boutique consultancy, Fait La Force, Angie offers services including social impact strategy, strategic planning, and political advising.

Angie’s unique approach to social impact, honed through her years at mission-driven organizations like TIME’S UP, Civic Nation, and the Goldhirsh Foundation, celebrates the optimism and opportunity in addressing our greatest challenges. Her expertise includes successfully managing multimillion dollar campaigns and grant programs, partnerships with brands and philanthropic organizations, and shaping thousands of events across all 50 states. Her innovative work with cultural institutions and grassroots organizers has contributed to a new wave of civic participation and attitude shifts about race, gender, political activism, and more.

Angie has been featured in Forbes and USA Today and on CBS, MSNBC, and MTV News. She serves on the boards of Courage California and Mother Jones. Angie holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

You can follow her on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

Jackie Flynn Mogensen, Staff Representative

Jackie Flynn Mogensen is an assistant editor at Mother Jones. She reports on science and helps operate Mother Jones’ social media accounts. She earned a master’s degree in environmental communication from Stanford University and interned at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she focused on cannabis-related reporting and social media.

Ken Pelletier

Ken is a technologist, designer, musician, and amateur chef. Working at the intersection of design and technology, Ken has led several software and design projects over a 30-year career, most recently as CTO at He is an investor and adviser to several early-stage startups and serves on the board of the Old Town School of Folk Music, and the Awesome Foundation of Chicago, and is partner and board member at City Winery Chicago. Ken has had a lifelong interest in cooking and the politics of food. He has completed the La Technique program at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and is a founding member of the Kitchen Community Chicago, a nonprofit based in Boulder, Colorado, that is building “learning gardens” in Chicago schools. Ken is originally from Boston. He and his wife, Amanda Lao, split their time between Chicago and Los Angeles.

Vincent Robinson

As the founder of the 360 Group, Vincent participates in all aspects of the firm’s work—from client engagements to intellectual and human capital development and ensuring the firm’s overall health and effectiveness. He founded the firm in 2004 to realize his commitment to leadership in social sector organizations. During his tenure, he has worked with a diverse group of foundations and nonprofits to help grow their aspirations and impact through strategic tools with a keen eye on execution and implementation. He has developed innovative ways to connect organizations with solutions, including operational plans that organizations can leverage to the highest order.

Before founding the firm, he served as executive director of Social Venture Partners Bay Area (SVP), where he led all aspects of a membership organization, including strategic planning, grantmaking (in education and economic development), financial management, and member recruitment and retention. He previously worked in the investment management division of Goldman Sachs.

Vincent is widely regarded as an expert on issues facing the nonprofit sector, having been interviewed on public radio and quoted in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He has also served as a board member of Net Impact, a global network of leaders, and Planned Parenthood/Golden Gate Community Health, a comprehensive community health center that serves more than 60,000 low-income clients each year. He has been co-chair of Common Sense California, and on the Leadership Council of the Public Policy Institute of California. He was a New York City Urban Fellow and holds an AB in political science and American studies (with honors) from Stanford University, and an MBA and certificate in nonprofit management from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Vincent is increasingly conversant in Spanish. He lives in San Francisco.

Rinku Sen

Rinku Sen is a writer and a political strategist. She is currently the executive director of Narrative Initiative, where she weaves the power of narrative together with other social change strategies to advance equity and justice. She is formerly the executive director of Race Forward and was publisher of their award-winning news site Colorlines. Under Sen’s leadership, Race Forward generated some of the highest-impact racial justice successes of recent years, including Drop the I-Word, a campaign for media outlets to stop referring to immigrants as “illegal,” resulting in the Associated Press, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets changing their practices. Her books Stir It Up and The Accidental American theorize a model of community organizing that integrates a political analysis of race, gender, class, poverty, sexuality, and other systems.

Phil Straus

Phil Straus joined Mother Jones’ board in 2006 and chaired the board for 12 years until 2020. He served for 10 years on the board of the Center for Defense Information and is still fighting to control the Pentagon’s budget. He holds degrees in psychology and engineering and went back to school in mathematics. He is spending his retirement photographing, performing improv theater, cooking, playing go and court tennis, and babysitting his three grandchildren. He and his wife, Margaret, have lived in Philadelphia for more than 30 years. Luckily, their two children and grandchildren live nearby.

Ekow Yankah

Ekow Yankah is a professor of law at Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. His work focuses on criminal theory and punishment and political theory, and particularly questions of political obligation and its interaction with justifications of punishment. He has written op-eds and essays for publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Huffington Post, and others, and he has appeared as a commentator on MSNBC, BBC, PBS, NPR, and elsewhere. He serves on the New York State Legislature’s Public Campaign Finance Board and the board of the Innocence Project, and has been a distinguished visitor of the MacArthur Foundation and the co-chair of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, the voting rights arm of the Democratic Party. He hails from Michigan and lives in New York.