Diane M. Foley is the mother of five children, including American freelance conflict journalist James W. Foley. She founded the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation in September 2014, less than a month after his public execution. Diane is currently serving as the President and Executive Director of JWFLF. Since 2014, she has led JWFLF efforts to fund the start of Hostage US and the international Alliance for a Culture of Safety, ACOS. In 2015, she actively participated in the National Counterterrorism Center hostage review which culminated in the Presidential Policy Directive-30. This directive re-organized US efforts on behalf of Americans taken hostage abroad into an interagency Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs and a White Hostage Response Group. Previously, Diane worked first as a community health nurse and then as a family nurse practitioner for 18 years. She received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH.
Ellen Shearer is the William F. Thomas Professor of Journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. She also is Executive Editor of Medill News Service in Washington and co-director of the Medill National Security Journalism initiative. She has written and taught extensively in the areas of political journalism, national security journalism and watchdog journalism. She is co-author of the book “Nonvoters: America’s No-Shows”; created and edited, with colleagues, “Whistleblowers, Leaks and the Media” and “National Security Law in the News: A Guide for Journalists, Scholars and Policymakers,” both published by the American Bar Association Publishing; wrote chapters for six books on journalism; and produced a five-part online curriculum, “The James W. Foley Guide on Journalists’ Safety.” Shearer is past president of the Washington Press Club Foundation and since 1999 has coordinated judging for the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual awards. She has served as an accreditor for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. She is secretary of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. Before joining the Medill faculty, Shearer was an editor at Newhouse News Service, a senior editor at Newsday in NewYork, a marketing executive at Reuters and New England Vice President for United Press International. She began her career as a reporter for UPI in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in interactive journalism from American University.
Executive Director, KIPP Chicago Schools
As Executive Director, April oversees the high-quality performance, strategic growth, and operational sustainability of KIPP schools in Chicago. Under her vision and guidance, the network and its staff have also received numerous accolades, including being recognized as the district’s highest performing school network. April has nearly 20 years of experience in education, including 15 years at KIPP. She began her career as a Teach for America corps member in Washington D.C., for which she received the Cartier Award for Excellence in teaching and community involvement. She has served as both a math teacher and principal in KIPP. As a first-generation college graduate who grew up in a low-income community, April appreciates education’s transformative power. She has a passion for the arts, and is particularly proud of KIPP Chicago’s Art Gallery in Pilsen (http://cmasj.org), through which the network raises funds for further arts integration at its schools. April received her bachelor’s degree, as a McNair Scholar, in Philosophy and History and her master’s degree in Teaching, Early Childhood Education. April also serves as a leadership coach for the KIPP Foundation and is a current board member of the James W Foley Legacy Foundation.
David Stephenson Rohde is an American author and investigative journalist who currently serves as the online news director for The New Yorker. While a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor, he won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1996 for his coverage of the Srebrenica massacre. From 2002 until 2005, he was co-chief of The New York Times' South Asia bureau, based in New Delhi, India. He later contributed to the newspaper's team coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan that received the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting and was a finalist in his own right in the category in 2010. He is also a global affairs analyst for CNN.
Jere Van Dyk
Lt. Col. John Foley
Peter Bergen is a print and television journalist, documentary producer, think tank executive, professor, and the author of five books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers and four of which were named among the non-fiction books of the year by the Washington Post. The books have been translated into twenty-one languages and have been turned into four documentaries, two of which were nominated for Emmys and one of which won an Emmy.
He is Vice President for Global Studies and Fellows and the Director of the International Security Program and the Future of War program at New America in Washington D.C.; Professor of Practice at the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University where he is the co-director of the Center on the Future of War; CNN’s national security analyst and a fellow at Fordham University’s Center on National Security.
Bergen is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, a leading scholarly journal in the field, and has testified before multiple congressional committees about Afghanistan, Pakistan, ISIS, al-Qaeda, drones and other national security issues. He is a member of the Aspen Homeland Security Group and a contributing editor at Foreign Policy and writes a weekly column for CNN.com. Bergen is the chairman of the board of the Global Special Operations Foundation, which is a non-profit advocating for the interests of special operations forces. He is also on the board of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, which advocates for Americans who are being held hostage and for journalists in conflict zones.
He has held teaching positions at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.