FIU / CARTA Corona Virus Updates and Re-Population Guidelines
Thought Leaders Directory2020-08-23T16:51:57-04:00


Thought Leaders Directory

Sponsored by

Women in Communication: Thought Leaders Directory

The Kopenhaver Center’s Thought Leaders Directory compiles information on women scholars, media leaders and corporate experts in the field of communication who can provide world-class ideas and expert guidance on contemporary issues to ensure positive transformational conversations and change.The Center provides training programs for young women to enable them to move into management positions in the professions we serve. Women are 51 percent of the population, yet there are few women in leadership roles in the communication industries. In fact, according to, only 14 percent of women are senior managers in all industries

When half the population is female, those who are the communication providers must ensure that the messages our society receives about itself are representative of all of its population.

The Kopenhaver Center’s goal is to provide leadership training and mentorship programs to enable young women to have the tools to be better represented at the table where the decision-making process is taking place.

We thus hope to build more diversity in leadership, resulting in a new and exciting group of managers and leaders who reflect the population of this country.

Our roster of top leadership speakers and world-class experts in the field brings together today’s top preeminent minds in the field of communication, including leading journalists, executives, media experts, thought leaders, strategists and visionaries in order to help organizations achieve these goals. Their areas of expertise follow:

  • Business and management
  • The Academy
  • Change management
  • Broadcast, print, digital, public relations advertising
  • Corporate culture
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Technology
  • Motivation and empowerment
  • Work/life balance
  • And more

The innovation and thought leadership speakers on the Kopenhaver Center’s Thought Leaders Directory of address topics like team-building, motivation, innovation, empowerment and leadership, from entry-level to mid-level. These industry and academic experts will help cultivate women leaders within your organization, and in turn, create a culture that not only withstands, but embraces and harnesses the forces of today’s global marketplace.

As competition in all of the communication industries intensifies, it is more important than ever to focus on innovation and creativity and to embrace the technologies that will turn opportunities into reality. And even more crucial is to ensure that women are represented at the table where decisions are made. The Kopenhaver Center’s Thought Leaders Directory can be the catalyst to open doors for you.

The Kopenhaver Center offers seminars and webinars throughout the year as part of its Leadership Webinar and Leadership Seminar series.

The center also offers a workshop, Women Faculty Moving Forward, each summer at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication for young women assistant professors on a tenure-track to help them meet the challenges of moving ahead in the academic world, with the goal of their considering leadership roles in the academy.

“Diversity and Inclusion” is a key to the work of the center, with the goal of expanding the number of young women of all races, ethnicities, and cultures who are ready to move into positions of responsibility in the nation’s communications industries.

The center’s website at provides a comprehensive summary of activities over the past several years of operations, including our first national conference in the spring of 2016, as well as subsequent conferences in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The Kopenhaver Center Thought Leaders Directory is designed to provide information on women leaders in all the fields of communication who can serve as a resource to a broad range of academic institutions, professional organizations, the media and other entities related to the field of communication. These are individuals who can speak or comment on issues of relevance to the communications industries and profession, and particularly to the issues of women in those areas. It is also a recognition that there are a large number of women who are experts and can be called upon to comment when the media look for experts.

Our Thought Leaders are divided into two categories, Professional Leaders and Academic Leaders.




Sharri Berg

CEO, News & Operations FOX Television Stations & SVP, News Operations, FOX News

Sharri Berg joined FOX News Channel (FNC) at its inception in 1996 and currently serves as senior vice president of news operations for the network. She is also the chief operating officer of news and operations for the FOX Television Stations (FTS) group.

Working in a dual capacity for both FOX’s cable news and broadcast divisions, Berg currently oversees all initiatives and talent development for news programs across the FTS group, and manages news operations for FNC. Additionally, Berg is responsible for driving innovations across all of FOX’s news platforms. Most recently, she developed the Fox Flight Operations, the network’s national drone program, LNS (local news sharing initiative), enhanced field reporting technology, and the Fox News Reporter Training Program, which just graduated its third class of multi-media reporters.

During her tenure, Berg notably helped launch FOX News Channel and has held key operational positions at the network. She started her career with FNC as a satellite operations manager and progressed into leadership roles, which encompass field operations and newsgathering. In October 2005, she was promoted to senior vice president of FNC and FTS.

As a 21st Century Fox and News Corp 30-year veteran, Berg began her career with WNYW-TV as a sales assistant. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in broadcast journalism

Alina Falcon

Senior Vice President of Daytime Programming

NBC Universal – Telemundo Enterprises

Alina Falcón assumes the role Senior Vice President of Daytime Programming for Telemundo network, after spending the past year as EVP, FIFA World Cup Programming.  In her new role, she’ll head the growth strategy for the network’s daytime programming, including shows “Un Nuevo Día” and “Suelta La Sopa.” The move was announced in an internal email from Ray Warren, President of Telemundo Deportes and Luis Silberwasser, President of Telemundo Network, to whom she’ll report. In the joint email, the executives state her recent role at Telemundo Deportes, overseeing World Cup programming “will be instrumental to showcasing our daytime entertainment properties to new audiences” during the 2018 event in Russia. Falcón joined Telemundo as EVP, News and Alternative Programming in 2011, after a 28-year career at Univision.

Dianne Festa

Senior Vice President

NBC News

Dianne Festa is Senior Vice President, NBC News, in NY, responsible for growing NBC News and MSNBC internationally and working closely with the NBCUniversal international team. She has a long history of international and national accomplishments in news, included coordinating worldwide news coverage for NBC News programs and specials. She coordinated the network’s election coverage as Political Editor, was  Moscow Bureau Chief, directed coverage of four presidential summits and the war in Chechnya and was nominated for an Emmy  for coverage of the October 1993 revolt in Moscow. She was acting bureau chief in Amman, Jordan, and worked as an assignment editor in the London Bureau.

Dianne began her career at the NBC News bureau in Miami, working with NBC affiliates in the Florida region as NBC News Bureau Coordinator and spent the next 36 years with NBC, steadily climbing the ladder to a vice presidency.

Dianne has consistently given back to FIU and our school, keynoting our Awards Ceremony several times, and speaking to classes. She served our students through webinars and currently serves on the Leadership Council of the Kopenhaver Center. She keynoted the CARTA Washington Symposium on Shattering the Ceiling in 2018. Her dedication to the news business and to FIU is immense and sustained.

Rosanna Fiske

Vice President, Corporate Communications

Wells Fargo Company

Rosanna M. Fiske, APR, Fellow PRSA, is Vice President of Corporate Communications for Wells Fargo & Co. in the Southeast U.S., leading all aspects of corporate and marketing communications including executive advocacy, social media, internal and external communications for six states, more than 1,200 branches and offices and nearly 31,000 team members.

A nationally recognized executive with more than 25 years of experience developing comprehensive marketing communications, brand positioning, advertising, and public relations strategies, Fiske has a proven track record driving successful, multi-channel campaigns working with some of the world’s leading brands such as American Airlines, GE, Charles Schwab, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Absolut Vodka, Visa USA and MTV Networks.

She has managed teams in corporate, non-profit and agency settings and is a recognized expert in matters pertaining to integrated marketing communications and diversity communications, having been honored by PRWeek as the industry’s 2014 “Diversity Champion.” In 2015, Fiske received the PRSA Miami Bill Adams Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into PRSA’s prestigious College of Fellows, an honorary community of less than 350 senior professionals worldwide who have each made substantial contributions to the profession and have vast accomplishments in the practice or education of public relations. She was also named “Professional of the Year” in 2010 by the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) and has received three PRSA Silver Anvils, a Bronze Anvil, several Addys and Cannes-Lions awards throughout her career.

Fiske graduated with a master of science from Florida International University’s Integrated Communications: Advertising & PR program and is a source for and a guest contributor to The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, DigiDay, PRWeek, and AdAge. She was the first Latina CEO of the Public Relations Society of America, the world’s largest communications organization with 32,000+ members, and was named one of the Top 100 Influential Hispanics in America by Hispanic Business Magazine.

Suzette Espinosa Fuentes

Vice President of Communication 

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Suzette Espinosa Fuente joined the Arsht Center in 2005 and played an instruments role in its 2006 Grand Opening, which secured extensive national and local media coverage. She oversees media relations activities for more than 100 performances and programs presented by the center each year and has developed strong relationships with local, regional. national and international media. her career also includes work with major multi-national corporations ( British Airways, MTV) lifestyle brands (Louis Vuitton, Guess?, Donald J Pliner), non-profit organizations and smaller start-ups in a variety of industries.

Susan Goldberg

Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners and Editor in- chief

National Geographic Magazine

Susan Goldberg is editorial director of National Geographic Partners and editor in- chief of National Geographic Magazine.  Named editor-in-chief of the magazine in April 2014, she is the 10th editor of the magazine since it was first published in October 1888.  Under her leadership, in 2015, National
Geographic magazine won two National Magazine Awards and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In March 2015, she received the Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award from Exceptional Women in Publishing (EWIP).  Before joining National Geographic, Goldberg was executive editor for federal, state and local government coverage for Bloomberg News and was voted one of Washington’s 11 most influential women in the media by Washingtonian magazine. She also served as editor of The Plain Dealer, executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News and deputy managing editor of the News, Life and Enterprise sections at USA Today, among others.

Aminda “Mindy” Marques

Executive Editor and Vice President for News

The Miami Herald

Aminda (Mindy) Marques Gonzalez is Executive Editor and Vice President for news at The Miami Herald.

Born in New York to Cuban immigrant parents, Marques began her career as an intern at The Miami Herald and rose through the ranks to become the paper’s first Hispanic editor in 2010. She is only the second woman to hold the post.

Her career has included assignments as a metro reporter, assistant city editor and deputy metro editor, directing The Miami Herald’s local, state and community news operations. She also was Miami bureau chief for People magazine, overseeing coverage for the southeast U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America.

She returned to The Miami Herald in 2007, where she was a multimedia editor and Sunday/features editor before being named managing editor. Under her leadership, The Miami Herald was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for its 2010 coverage of the earthquake in Haiti. In 2012, The Miami Herald was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in public service for a series detailing Florida’s systemic failures in regulating assisted-living facilities. The Miami Herald has won 20 Pulitzer Prizes in its history.

Marques is a 1986 graduate of the University of Florida, where she was honored as an Alumni of Distinction by the College of Journalism and Communications.

She serves on the boards of the Pulitzer Prize, the Associated Press Media Editors (APME) and the Poynter Institute’s advisory council.

Cynthia Hudson

Senior Vice President and General Manager and Hispanic Strategy US

CNN en Español

Cynthia Hudson is senior vice president and general manager of CNN en Español and Hispanic strategy for CNN/U.S. Hudson oversees all aspects of CNN’s Spanish-language media businesses, including newsgathering, editorial content, programming, production, operations and personnel, of the CNN en Español 24/7 television news network, CNN en Español RADIO and CnnEspañ

Since 2010, Hudson re-launched CNN en Español’s multi-platform business with expanded feeds for Latin America, Mexico and the US Hispanic as well as revamping the logo, branding and programming.  She changed the channel from a news wheel to a program-based information network and added a studio in Miami as well as expanding production in Mexico, Argentina, Washington DC and Los Angeles.  Hudson launched CNNEspañ and expanded the radio business to include over 50 affiliates in the US Hispanic Market and another 100 in Latin America and Europe. Hudson added new talent and hit shows such as Cala, Café CNN, Conclusiones and CNN Dinero, and launched originally produced documentaries, investigative series and live programming.

In addition to an extensive bilingual staff at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, CNN en Español’ s operations include newsgathering Spanish-speaking personnel based at the CNN bureaus in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Buenos Aires and Jerusalem, and a worldwide network of nearly 50 Spanish-speaking contributing journalists.   Under Hudson, CNN en Español has won three National Emmys, three Glaad Awards, two Promax-BDA awards, as well as an honorable mention at the Shortly Awards for Best Multi-Platform Campaign for Social Coverage of 2014 Venezuelan Crisis.

In 2016, The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) recognized Cynthia Hudson with a Presidential Award for her unwavering commitment to journalism, the pursuit of the truth and her leadership in journalism.

Before joining CNN en Español, Hudson served as chief creative officer and executive vice president for SBS and managing director of Mega TV. There she was responsible for SBS’ expansion, directly overseeing flagship TV network Mega TV, as well as the company’s internet site and other new media development.   In addition, Hudson supervised the strategic expansion of SBS content across multiple media platforms and development of branded entertainment synergies among all SBS properties.  Mega TV saw tremendous growth under her watch and garnered the network 27 EMMY awards in just four years since its launch.

From 1997 to 2005, Hudson served as senior vice president and editorial director of Cosmopolitan Television (a Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group division), heading up the creation and development of the Cosmopolitan TV Networks, including Canal Cosmopolitan Iberia and Canal Cosmopolitan Latin America as well as the foundation for Cosmo TV Canada.  There she led the research, development and creation of Cosmo TV, overseeing design of original programs, on-air packaging, promotions and program acquisitions, as well as the creation and production of original formats and the overall business strategy for the networks.

Hudson also wrote and created the original drama, Miami Sands, Promark’s internationally successful English-language American telenovela.

Prior to Cosmopolitan TV, Hudson was senior vice president of programming and creative services for United International Holding’s joint venture channel service, United Family Communications (UFC), now MGM Networks Latin America. While at UFC she created Casa Club TV, the first pan-regional Home channel for Latin America (today MGM).

Hudson was the vice president of programming and production for the Telemundo Network from 1992-94. During her tenure, the network’s programming line-up was redesigned, achieving its highest ratings to date and developing its first in-house telenovela production unit with successes such as “Tres Destinos,” a prime-time scripted drama series that debuted in 1994.

Dianne Lynch, PhD

President | Stephens College

Dr. Dianne Lynch has been the president of Stephens College since 2009. Under her leadership, the College has reestablished its financial stability, invested more than $10 million in infrastructure, improved its academic profile and selectivity, recommitted to its historic mission as a women’s college — and become the pet-friendliest campus in the country.

Dianne was Dean of the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in New York from 2004 to 2009, and a faculty member and chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at St. Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont from 1989 to 2004. During those years, she also worked as a columnist for ABCNews, writing about women and technology; as a columnist for the Christian Science Monitor, writing about technology and culture; and as the founding director of the national Online News Association.

Dianne earned her undergraduate degree in journalism and her master’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her PhD from McGill University in Montreal. She continues to write as a journalist, most recently for the Huffington Post, and she lives on the Stephens College campus with her husband, Philip; her daughter, Annie – at 15, the youngest of her four children; their three dogs — Pippa, a Yorkie; Addy, a mutt; and Murphy, an Irish Wolfhound — and their old, fat cat, Willie.

Anne Vasquez

Journalist & Media Executive

Sharri Berg joined FOX News Channel (FNC) at its inception in 1996 and currently serves as senior vice president of news operations for the network. She is also the chief operating officer of news and operations for the FOX Television Stations (FTS) group.

Working in a dual capacity for both FOX’s cable news and broadcast divisions, Berg currently oversees all initiatives and talent development for news programs across the FTS group, and manages news operations for FNC. Additionally, Berg is responsible for driving innovations across all of FOX’s news platforms. Most recently, she developed the Fox Flight Operations, the network’s national drone program, LNS (local news sharing initiative), enhanced field reporting technology, and the Fox News Reporter Training Program, which just graduated its third class of multi-media reporters.

During her tenure, Berg notably helped launch FOX News Channel and has held key operational positions at the network. She started her career with FNC as a satellite operations manager and progressed into leadership roles, which encompass field operations and newsgathering. In October 2005, she was promoted to senior vice president of FNC and FTS.

As a 21st Century Fox and News Corp 30-year veteran, Berg began her career with WNYW-TV as a sales assistant. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in broadcast journalism

Ellen Weiss

Chief of Washington Bureau and Vice President

E. W. Scripps Company

Ms. Ellen Weiss has been the Chief of Washington Bureau and Vice President of The E. W. Scripps Company since February 11, 2013. Ms. Weiss joined Scripps from The Center for Public Integrity. She served as Senior Vice President of News at National Public Radio, Inc. until January 14, 2011. She oversees NPR’s worldwide journalism operations, including 18 domestic and 18 foreign bureaus, more than 400 staff members, more than 50 hours of news programming weekly, and NPR’s award-winning investigations, longform series and other special reporting. She served as Vice President of News at National Public Radio, Inc. since April 2007. Ms. Weiss joined NPR News in 1982 and served as its Acting Vice President for News since October 2006. Ms. Weiss, an award-winning broadcast news executive who served as head of the NPR News National Desk and Executive Producer of the top-rated daily NPR News magazine All Things Considered.

From 2001 to 2006, she served as Senior Editor of the National Desk, managing 80 reporters, editors and producers covering all national issues including politics, business, religion, education, immigration, police and prisons. She oversaw coverage of major national events, among them, NPR News’ critically-acclaimed work covering 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2002 and 2004 elections. Ms. Weiss also edited many of NPR News’ investigations including Daniel Zwerdling’s award-winning coverage of the use of dogs in detention centers, Carrie Kahn’s report on mercy killings at New Orleans hospitals during Hurricane Katrina and John McChesney’s investigation into the final hours of the only Abu Ghraib detainee whose death was ruled a homicide. For 12 years, she served as Executive Producer of the daily NPR News magazine All Things Considered. She was responsible for its broadcasts from around the U.S. and the world – including Berlin during the fall of communism, San Francisco after the 1989 earthquake, L.A. in the midst of the 1992 riots and Jerusalem during the 1996 elections. Ms. Weiss also served as a senior producer, editor, field producer and director at NPR News. She has been part of the NPR News teams that have received such honors as Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, George Foster Peabody Awards, Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, Overseas Press Club Awards and American Women in Radio and Television Awards. Ms. Weiss is a graduate of Smith College with a B.A. in international relations.

Geneva Overholser

Senior Fellow 

Annenberg Center for Communication Leadership and Policy

Geneva Overholser is a journalism consultant and adviser.  A former editor of the Des Moines Register now living in New York City, Overholser speaks and writes about the future of journalism. She has advised numerous organizations, including the Trust Project, Report for America, SciLine, the Democracy Fund and the Public Face of Science project at the Academy of American Arts and Sciences. She serves on the boards of the Rita Allen Foundation, Northwestern University in Qatar and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Foundation.

Overholser was until 2013 director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. Prior to that post, she held the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting for the Missouri School of Journalism, based in the school’s Washington bureau.  She was for seven years editor of the Des Moines Register, leading the paper to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.  While at the Register, she earned recognition as Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation and was named “The Best in the Business” by American Journalism Review.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Wellesley College, a master’s in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a French language certificate from the Sorbonne.  She has honorary doctorates from Grinnell College and St. Andrews Presbyterian College, and alumnae achievement awards from Wellesley, Northwestern and Medill.


Tracy Everbach, PhD

Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas

Tracy Everbach is an associate professor of journalism in the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas. She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on race, gender and media, news reporting, mass communication theories and qualitative research methods. Her research focuses on women’s work and leadership in journalism, and on representations of race and gender in media. Her work has been published in Journalism & Mass Communication QuarterlyNewspaper Research JournalJournal of Sports MediaMedia Report to Women, Columbia Journalism Review, and American Journalism. She received her Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a former newspaper reporter, including 12 years on the city news desk at The Dallas Morning News.

Candi Carter Olson, PhD

Associate Professor of Media and Society at JCOM

Utah State University

Candi Carter Olson is an associate professor of media and society in JCOM. She’s also an affiliate faculty member for American Studies and serves as a faculty contact for American Studies students interested in media courses. Dr. Carter Olson teaches media literacy courses in the department, including JCOM 2010: Media Smarts, JCOM 4410/6410: Gender and the Media, and JCOM 4020: Media and Society. In addition, Dr. Carter Olson also teaches JCOM 4040: Social Media. Dr. Carter Olson comes to Utah State with a background as a print journalist for community newspapers in Washington state and Boston, MA, and as a freelance journalist. She has an M.A. from Boston University, an M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Her research focuses on the history of women’s press clubs and newswomen more generally, and she also researches the ways that social media communities are used for support and activism. Her writing has been published in Journalism History, Pennsylvania History, and Feminist Media Studies, among others. She recently won the American Journalism Rising Scholar award, the American Journalism Historian Association’s Maurine Beasley Award for Outstanding Paper on Women’s History, and a College of Humanities and Social Sciences Seed Grant. She previously was awarded a Mountain West Center Research Grant, and she was a 2012-2013 American Association of University Women American Dissertation Fellow. When she’s not teaching or researching, Dr. Carter Olson enjoys swimming, playing the flute, exploring the mountains with her family, and reading mysteries and YA novels.

“The mission of our center is to empower both women professionals and academics in all fields of communications.”
Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver

Kopenhaver Center in the News.

Women and Careers: Repositioning for a post-virus world.

June 1st, 2020|Comments Off on Women and Careers: Repositioning for a post-virus world.

FIU’s Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication (LLK Center) is offering guidance in this area in [...]