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 2017 – 2018 National Council

  • John Barth, chief content officer, Public Radio Exchange
  • Char Beales (BA '73), president & CEO (retired) at Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing
  • Cornell Belcher, president, Brilliant Corners Research and Strategy
  • Berl Brechner (BA '68), aviation writer
  • Adam Conner (BA '06), senior account executive, Slack
  • Darren Davis (BA '95), president, iHeartRadio
  • Mark Dollins (BA '83), president, North Star Communications Consulting
  • Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chairman, Commission on the Presidential Debates
  • Samuel Feist, D.C. bureau chief and senior vice president, CNN
  • Richard Frisch (BA '78), principal, Forum Strategies and Communications
  • Joan Gillman (MA '91), former EVP and COO, Time Warner Cable
  • Hadas Gold (BA '10, MA '12), European politics, media and business reporter, CNN
  • Kathryn Green, (BA '77, P '15), literary agent, The Kathryn Green Literary Agency
  • Barbara Bradley Hagerty, author and journalist
  • Dinni Jain, former COO, Time Warner Cable; president, Better Way Farm
  • John Lansing, CEO and director, United States Agency for Global Media
  • Heather Moran (BA '95), executive director, Sixth & I
  • Reena Ninan (BA '01), anchor and correspondent, CBSN and CBS News
  • Howard Opinsky (BA '91), president, Five Blocks
  • Susan Smirnoff (BA '74), communications consultant
  • Chuck Todd (attended '90 to '94), political director and Meet the Press moderator, NBC News
  • Scott Widmeyer, founding managing partner and chief strategy officer/Washington, Finn Partners
  • Paul Wilson, founder, Wilson Grand Communications