National Council

National Council for Media and Public Affairs

The National Council for Media and Public Affairs is the director's advisory body for SMPA. Comprised of distinguished national and international alumni and friends, the Council works to address issues impacting the growth and development of SMPA. In addition, members help to promote the mission of the George Washington University and SMPA through their work on the Council. Members serve on a volunteer basis, typically for three­-year terms.

If you are interested in more information about the National Council, please contact Matt Cannella, [email protected].


Members of the 2018 – 2019 National Council

  • Nana Agyemang, (B.A. '16), fashion content strategist, Refinery 29
  • John Barth, managing director,
  • Char Beales (B.A. '73), president & CEO (retired), Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing
  • Berl Brechner (B.A. '68), aviation writer and photographer
  • A'Lelia Bundles, author and journalist
  • Adam Conner (B.A. '06), vice president for politics, Brigade Media
  • Darren Davis (B.A. '95), president, iHeartMedia
  • Mark Dollins (B.A. '83), president, North Star Communications Consulting
  • Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chairman, Commission on Presidential Debates
  • Sam Feist, D.C. bureau chief and senior vice president, CNN
  • Richard Frisch (B.A. '78, P '19), principal, Forum Strategies and Communications
  • Joan Gillman (M.A. '91), executive vice president and COO, Media Services
  • Hadas Gold (B.A. '10, M.A. '12), European politics, media and business reporter, CNN
  • Kathryn Green (B.A. '77, P '15), literary agent, The Kathryn Green Literary Agency
  • Barbara Bradley Hagerty, author and journalist
  • Jacob Helberg (B.A. '12), news policy advisor, Google 
  • Dinni Jain, CEO, Google Fiber (currently on leave of absence)
  • John Lansing, CEO and director, United States Agency for Global Media
  • Heather Moran (B.A. '95), executive director, Sixth & I (vice chair)
  • Reena Ninan (B.A. '01), anchor and correspondent, CBSN and CBS News and CBS News 24/7
  • Howard Opinsky (B.A. '91), president, Five Blocks
  • Susan Smirnoff (B.A. '74, P '09), communications consultant
  • Andrew Springer (B.A. '09), “Stay Tuned” creator and executive producer, NBC News
  • Chuck Todd (attended '90 to '94), political director and Meet the Press moderator, NBC Universal Media
  • Scott Widmeyer, founder and managing partner, Widmeyer Communications (chair)
  • Paul Wilson, chairman & CEO, Wilson Grand Communications