Our Team

News Decoder is the educational services unit of the French nonprofit Nouvelles-Découvertes, whose mission is to inform young people about international relations with tolerance, objectivity and broad vision.

Our team is composed of a professional staff, accomplished trustees and advisors and a large network of correspondents.

Learn more about us.

News Decoder Staff
News Decoder Trustees
News Decoder Advisors
News Decoder Careers

MEET OUR STAFF

Maria Krasinski

Maria Krasinski

Managing Director

📍 Paris, France

Maria joined News Decoder in July 2021 managing operations and partnerships. An ardent believer in the values of global citizenship, she’s worked in experiential education, youth media and cultural diplomacy initiatives for nearly 20 years and has facilitated cross-border exchanges for hundreds of youth and professionals from more than 100 countries.

Previously, Maria served in the Peace Corps in Tbilisi, Georgia, where she worked with a civil society NGO to help hone fundraising and storytelling skills and launch youth citizen journalism programs. As Vice President of WorldChicago, a U.S. State Department partner, Maria convened local and global leaders to share knowledge and build connections, and founded Youth Diplomats to offer substantive global experiences for Chicago teens. She also held positions at Street-Level Youth Media and the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures.

A former Jeopardy! contestant, Maria is a published illustrator of two books, Art Hiding in New York and Art Hiding in Paris, with a third book in production. She holds a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from the University of Chicago.

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Marcy Burstiner

Educational News Director

📍 Donegal, Ireland
Marcy coordinates News Decoder’s network of professional journalists and works with students in the schools network on stories they pitch to News Decoder. She is professor emeritus at Cal Poly Humboldt in California where she taught journalism for more than 15 years.

Marcy is the author of “Investigative Reporting: from premise to publication” and was awarded the James Madison Freedom of Information Award in 2018 by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

For a decade, Marcy wrote a popular column on media for The North Coast Journal in Northern California, which in 2015 was named Best Column for mid-sized newspapers from the California Newspaper Publisher’s Association.

For her teaching, the California Journalism Education Coalition named her California Journalism Educator of the Year in 2010.

As a journalist, she covered technology and finance for thestreet.com, legal affairs for the San Francisco Daily Journal and international trade for the San Francisco Business Times.

She has a master’s degree from the Columbia Journalism School and a B.A. in political science from Union College in Schenectady, New York.

 

 

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Thea Lacey

Director of Development

📍 United Kingdom
Thea has 15 years of experience managing fundraising and programmes for mostly humanitarian and development NGOs, both small and large, including five years based in West and Central Africa. She holds an undergraduate degree in Politics from the University of Edinburgh and a postgraduate degree in International Development from SOAS University of London.
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Joyce Yang

Program Manager

📍 Paris, France
Joyce is a former classroom teacher passionate about equitable education access, intentional pedagogy and inclusive policy-making. She has professional experience working in schools on three continents and holds master’s degrees in Public Policy and Teaching, along with an undergraduate degree in Communications.

 

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Andrea Knezevic

Communications Specialist, WePod

📍 Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium
Andrea is a seasoned communications specialist, journalist and university professor with more than a decade of experience honing the art of storytelling and effective communication. Passion fuels Andrea’s pursuits, and her love for journalism and podcasting is palpable. A decade ago, she embarked on a journey from Bosnia to Paris for her studies, and now splits her time between Paris and Brussels.
Sabīne Bērziņa

Sabīne Bērziņa

User Experience Manager, ProMS Project

📍 Riga, Latvia
Sabīne is a media literacy curriculum and tool developer, as well as a journalist with nine years of experience in the media industry. Previously, Sabīne was a Program Engagement Coordinator in the U.S. Department of State program “Media Literacy in the Baltics” administered by IREX. She coordinated the content creation of an online course VeryVerified.eu and blended learning lessons in five languages used by thousands of learners in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Prior to that, she worked as a disinformation reporter and a fact-checker. Throughout her career, Sabīne has worked for online and print media, as well as public radio and TV in Latvia. She got her master’s degree in the Erasmus Mundus Journalism program at Aarhus University and the University of Amsterdam and spent a semester at the University of California, Berkeley as a student researcher.
Amina McCauley

Amina McCauley

Program Manager, EYES Project

📍 Aarhus, Denmark

Amina is an Australian journalist with a passion for learning through storytelling and a burning interest in the complicated relationship between humans and the environment. With a tendency towards cross-border work, she has worked as a media analyst for U.S-based company NewsGuard, a tutor in Communicating Sustainability for the University of Tasmania and a proofreader and writer for Danish and Swiss companies. She has also worked as a news reporter, a long-form journalist, a yoga teacher and a private music tutor. She holds a master’s degree from Aarhus University, the Danish School of Media and Journalism and Charles University in the Czech Republic through the Erasmus Mundus Journalism program.

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Kaja Andrić

Editorial Intern

📍 New York City, United States
Kaja Andrić joined the News Decoder team as an intern in January 2024. She is a second-year Journalism student at New York University. She is also studying Romance Languages with a concentration in French and Italian. Kaja has written for both NYU’s Washington Square News and Cooper Squared publications. Previously, she was a correspondent for the Florida Weekly newspaper’s Palm Beach community chapter. In 2022, she was Florida Scholastic Press Association’s Writer of the Year.

Kaja is honored to be a part of News Decoder and looks forward to working on reportage that connects the unsung stories among us, in all corners of the world.

 

MEET OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES

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Nelson Graves

Founder and President

📍 Paris, France
Nelson Graves is the president of Nouvelles-Découvertes and founder of News Decoder. An experienced educator and administrator, he has taught and worked on three continents. He was a correspondent, bureau chief and regional managing editor at Reuters, holding posts in Washington, Paris, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Milan and Tokyo. He later served as admissions director at Johns Hopkins University’s graduate program in international relations in Europe, and has worked with schools around the world.
Faith Abiodun

Faith Abiodun

📍 United Kingdom
Faith Abiodun is Executive Director of United World Colleges International. Previously he was Executive Director at Future Africa, a public sector leadership organization, and Collaborative Impact Director at Catalyst 2030, a coalition of the world’s leading social enterprises working to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. He is a strategic leadership consultant, international affairs analyst, writer and speaker.
Elis Estrada

Elis Estrada

📍 United States

Elis Estrada is the Director of Digital Operations for PBS Digital Studios. Prior to joining PBS in 2022, Elis was senior director of PBS Newshour Student Reporting Labs (SRL). In that role, she oversaw operations, strategy, and the development of the national youth media organization providing thousands of educators and students with unique resources and programs to build journalism, media literacy and storytelling skills. During her time at SRL, Elis led numerous content initiatives featured on the NewsHour, local PBS stations and partner organizations including MediaWise, TeenVogue, Snapchat and Instagram. She regularly speaks at conferences and events, and is invested in creating access points for people of all ages to explore how media and information shape their lives. Before joining the NewsHour, Elis helped to oversee program and digital strategy at the News Literacy Project and was a producer at NY1 News in New York.

Christian Henry

Christian Henry

📍 United States
Christian Henry is an executive recruiter within the education and nonprofit practice at Conley Search. He co-founded the high school study-abroad program The Island School as a science teacher before serving in business officer and fundraising roles. He has previously consulted on marketing strategies to engage public and independent schools with enrichment programming. He is on the board of several nonprofit educational organizations including the Centre for Ocean Research and Education, Beacon Hill Seminars and a Cambridge, Massachusetts public elementary school.
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Lauren Heuser

📍 Canada
Lauren Heuser is the founder, publisher and editor of Canadian Affairs, a digital newspaper focused on producing high-quality reported journalism for Canadian professionals and families. Her previous roles include chief strategy officer of News Decoder, deputy section editor at the National Post and corporate lawyer at a global law firm. Lauren holds a JD from the University of Toronto and an MBA from INSEAD. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto Fellowship in Global Journalism.
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Alan Main

📍 South Africa
Alan Main is a purpose-driven leader recognized for creating strong, performance-driven cultures and diverse leadership teams. Alan has gained senior-level experience at companies like Roche, Bayer and Sanofi, including several years running multi-billion dollar enterprises. Alan is passionate about helping leaders develop and build successful businesses and is active in the non-profit sector in leadership development and supporting entrepreneurship, particularly for the African continent.
Nolwazi Mjwara

Nolwazi Mjwara

📍 Paris, France
Nolwazi Mjwara is a communications consultant at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France. She has previously held roles in social media and communications at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and UNICEF. Nolwazi holds a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Cape Town, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Master of Arts specializing in communications from the American University of Paris.
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Sue Phillips

📍 France
Sue Phillips has spent more than three decades in senior leadership posts in media and public affairs. At the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, she held senior production roles in London, Moscow, Rome and Washington before serving as CBC’s London Bureau Chief. At Al Jazeera, she worked as London Bureau Chief and then as Director of Foreign Bureaux. She held senior positions at News World International, the Doha Film Institute and the National Museum of Qatar. Sue is a Patron of the Borneo Nature Foundation and a founding Director and Trustee of the Frontline Club in London.
Martha Clement Rochford

Martha Clement Rochford

📍 United States
Martha Clement Rochford is a PR and communications consultant who has held leadership roles in nonprofit, professional services, government and international organizations. Rochford earned a bachelor’s in English from St. Lawrence University and master’s in Public Communication from The American University in Washington, DC. Informed by her years living and working in Europe and Asia, writing for a global audience and serving as an adjunct professor, Rochford views global citizenship, journalistic skills and media literacy as essential competencies for the next generation.
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Carlos Rubio

📍 France
Carlos Rubio is an international journalist who has lived and worked in 15 countries on five continents. He has held senior positions in the newsroom and in the field, both in print and broadcast media. Rubio was Australia correspondent for the Spanish news agency EFE and a news editor with Al Jazeera English in Qatar and with Euronews in Lyon. Rubio has four degrees — in journalism, development studies, refugee studies and Asian politics — from universities in London, Sydney and Madrid. He currently teaches at journalism schools in France.
Sonali Verma

Sonali Verma

📍 Canada
Sonali Verma is an independent consultant who collaborates with companies such as FT Strategies, the consultancy arm of The Financial Times. She was previously at Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, for 15 years, where she was the editor managing digital production and audience engagement teams. She also helped create and commercialise an award-winning AI tool called Sophi.io, which was used by publishers on five continents. She previously worked at Bloomberg News and CNBC, and was one of 10 young journalists chosen worldwide for the coveted Reuters Trainee program.

 

Betty Wong

Betty Wong

📍 United States
Betty Wong was global managing editor of Reuters from 2008-2011, with 29 years of experience at the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. She covered white collar crime on Wall Street from Ivan Boesky to Michael Milken in the 1980s, led U.S. corporate news coverage from the dot com bubble to rubble and was global equities editor for Reuters.

MEET OUR ADVISORS

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Tim Agnew is a principal of Masthead Venture Partners and serves on the boards of the Maine Venture Fund and CEI Community Ventures. 
Jui Chakravorty news decoder
Jui Chakravorty is the Special Projects Editor at Nikkei Asia in Tokyo and founded b-yond tv, a digital journalism startup in San Francisco, which trained aspiring journalists in under-resourced communities.
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Savannah Jenkins is Communications Officer for White Ribbon, a UK charity working to end violence against women, and News Decoder’s former Communications Manager.
Aralynn A. McMane is a journalist, journalism educator and director of Global Youth & News Media.
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Giuliana Nicolucci-Altman works at Alp Analytica as an environmental sustainability and climate security consultant and is a former News Decoder Student Ambassador from School Year Abroad France.
Tom Osenton is a best-selling author and growth strategist for nonprofits who has held senior management positions at CapCities/ABC, Billboard and The Sporting News Publishing Co. 
Charlotte Parker works at Acumen, a nonprofit venture fund working to change how the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. 
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Our Team