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Meet Our Team

Advisory Committee

  • Victoria Baranetsky

    General Counsel, The Center for Investigative Reporting
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    Victoria Baranetsky
    General Counsel, The Center for Investigative Reporting victoriabaranetsky@gmail.com

    Victoria Baranetsky is general counsel at The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she counsels reporters on newsgathering, libel, privacy, subpoenas, and other newsroom matters.  Prior to CIR, Victoria served as a First Amendment Fellow at The New York Times, a fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a legal counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation. After graduating from Harvard Law School Baranetsky received a master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford University and clerked on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, a graduate degree from Columbia Journalism School, and currently, is a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. She is barred in California, New York and New Jersey. She also teaches media law at Berkeley Law School as an adjunct professor.

  • David Bralow

    Gerneral Counsel, The Intercept
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    David Bralow
    Gerneral Counsel, The Intercept

    David Bralow co-founded Lawyers for Reporters. He is General Counsel at The Intercept and previously served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Digital First Media, now known as MediaNews Group, and as Assistant General Counsel at the Tribune Company, where he provided legal advice to their newspapers, websites and television stations.

    David was a part of the team at the Orlando Sentinel that won the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award in 2001 for the Sentinel’s coverage of NASCAR and at the Sun-Sentinel that won the 2013 Gold Medal for Public Service Pulitzer Prize for articles on police violating speeding laws. He received recognition from the Florida Bar in 1999 for his work in helping to get the journalist-friendly Florida Shield Law passed by the Florida legislature.

    David attended law school at Temple University where he graduated summa cum laude in 1986. Prior to attending law school, he was a reporter and editor for newspapers in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College and a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

  • A. Nicole Campbell

    Founder & CEO, Build Up Advisory Group
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    A. Nicole Campbell
    Founder & CEO, Build Up Advisory Group

    A. Nicole Campbell specializes in creating peace of mind. She has provided strategic legal, governance,  and operational guidance as a senior advisor for two of the world’s most prominent philanthropists, and  has spoken on and trained senior management teams and board members in nearly every region of the  world in grant making, governance, and organizational design.

    With more than fifteen years of experience in the public and private sectors, Nic has deep expertise in designing and building nonprofit organizations from concept phase to full independence and designing  innovative organizational, grant-making, and governance structures. For her entire career, she has been a  sought-after strategist and thought partner to philanthropists, philanthropies, collaboratives, movements,  and nonprofit organizations in the United States, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and around the  world.

    Nic is founder of the Build Up Companies, a federated group of companies comprised of Build Up  Advisory Group, The Campbell Law Firm, and Build Up, Inc. and focused on transforming outcomes  for vulnerable and marginalized communities. She is Chief Executive Officer of Build Up Advisory  Group, an advisory firm that specializes in improving governance, grant making, and organizational  design for brave philanthropists, philanthropies, movements, and nonprofit organizations to provide them with the structural capacity to deliver on their missions. She is Managing Attorney of The  Campbell Law Firm, a boutique law firm that serves as a trusted advisor to brave grant-making  nonprofits, movements, philanthropies, and philanthropists to interrupt cycles of injustice and inequity.  She is also President of Build Up, Inc., a nonprofit capacity builder that supports leaders of color and  incubates and fiscally sponsors charitable projects and organizations that work with under-resourced and  invisibilized communities around the world.

    Prior to founding the Build Up Companies, Nic was Senior Director of Operations and Foundation  Counsel for Dalio Philanthropies, Ray Dalio’s global, multi-million dollar family philanthropy; Deputy  General Counsel and Secretary for the Open Society Foundations, George Soros’s global, multi-billion  2 dollar philanthropic network; and Associate General Counsel for the New York Community Trust, a  multi-billion dollar community foundation. Prior to her in-house roles, Nic was a tax associate attorney  in private practice working with both nonprofit and for-profit clients.

    Nic received her B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her J.D. from Northeastern  University School of Law, and her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. She  earned her Certification in Executive Leadership from INSEAD.

  • Karen Kaiser

    Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The Associated Press
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    Karen Kaiser
    Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The Associated Press

    Karen Kaiser has been a leading global freedom of expression and press freedom advocate for 25 years.

    Karen currently serves as SVP, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary of The Associated Press. In that capacity, Karen is responsible for overseeing all the legal operations of the company globally with particular emphasis on press freedoms, journalist safety, crisis prevention, digital rights and online harassment, and governance, risk and compliance. Karen has put into place a variety of risk management measures at AP including a robust sanctions compliance program (covering locations such as North Korea and Russia), crisis management, digital security, rights management, ESG, FCPA, and data protection and privacy. Karen has spearheaded and leads AP’s crisis management initiative for journalists in high-risk situations globally, which includes conducting routine global threat assessments, training on emergency preparedness, diplomacy, and swift crisis response. She has successfully navigated crisis situations in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, including the successful release of journalists from prison in China, Sudan, Myanmar, and Ethiopia in recent years, and she oversaw the mass evacuation of staff from Afghanistan in 2021 and Russia in 2022. Karen leads efforts to make AP an industry leader on issues of freedom of expression and journalist safety, and she has championed freedom of information rights throughout her career. Her work on freedom of information was highlighted in a 2010 New York Times article, and her FOIA work was honored with the SPJ Eugene Pulliam First Amendment award in 2011. In 2015, Karen testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of stronger FOIA reforms. Karen also handles all governance matters for the company and the Board of Directors.

    In both 2014 and 2022, Karen was instrumental in reforming the U.S. Department of Justice Guidelines on Subpoenas for Members of the Press. For the last decade Karen has served on the Department of Justice News Media Task force where she meets regularly with the Attorney General to discuss press freedom issues. Karen is on the Steering Committee of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and the Publications Officer of the International Bar Association Media Law Committee. Karen also serves as Chairman and President of the AP Emergency Relief Fund, a 501c3 that provides emergency assistance to staffers worldwide affected by disasters and crisis situations.

    Prior to joining the AP, Karen was senior counsel at the Tribune Company, and prior to that, a senior litigation associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, where she worked on landmark First Amendment cases such as the Valerie Plame leak investigation and the Wen Ho Lee case. Karen clerked for the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy in the Southern District of New York.

    Karen is a frequent speaker, lecturer and panelist at numerous international conferences on issues of international press freedom standards, including the criminalization of reporting, digital rights and national security laws. Karen has twice been honored as one of “America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel” by the National Law Journal for championing First Amendment rights. She trains journalists across the industry on global press freedom standards, restrictive reporting laws, online harassment, digital security, and safety preparedness.

    Karen holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from Fordham Law School. She also holds a certificate in Crisis Leadership from Columbia Business School.

  • David McCraw

    Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, The New York Times Company
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    David McCraw
    Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, The New York Times Company

    David McCraw serves as the lead newsroom lawyer for The New York Times.  He has spent 21 years at The Times and currently holds the position of Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel.  He is the author of the book “Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts” (St. Martin’s 2019), a first-person account of the legal battles that helped shape The Times’s coverage of Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, national security, and the rise of political partisanship in America.

    In addition to advising the newsroom on libel and other legal issues, Mr. McCraw is one of the nation’s most prolific litigators of Freedom of Information cases. He also oversees international security for Times journalists working in high-risk areas and has served as the crisis response manager when journalists have been kidnapped or detained abroad.

    Mr. McCraw regularly teaches a course in press law at Harvard Law School and has been an adjunct faculty member at the NYU School of Law.  He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Cornell University, and Albany Law School.

  • Matthew L. Schafer

    Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Litigation Paramount Global
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    Matthew L. Schafer
    Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Litigation Paramount Global

    Matthew L. Schafer is Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, Litigation for Paramount Global. He handles litigation across its subsidiaries like CBS News, CBS Local TV Stations, Showtime, and Simon & Schuster, with a focus on defamation and privacy claims. He was a part of the teams that defeated back-to-back efforts by the Trump family and the U.S. Government to prevent publication of two books critical of the Administration, Too Much and Never Enough and The Room Where It Happened.

    Matt also teaches media law at Fordham University School of Law and regularly writes on the history of press freedom in common law jurisdictions with his articles published by law reviews around the country, as well as in the popular press.

    Previously, he was newsroom counsel at BuzzFeed News, where he advised its international newsrooms that broke the news that R. Kelly was holding women in an abusive “cult,” that detailed vast international money laundering schemes, and that cataloged suspected Russian-linked assassinations on UK soil, for which BuzzFeed News was a Pulitzer finalist.

    He began his career at Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, the country’s preeminent First Amendment litigation firm. There, he defended news organizations in defamation cases, opposed efforts to obtain journalists’ newsgathering materials, and advocated for greater transparency in government, including greater press access to the 9/11 military commissions at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

  • David Snyder

    Executive Director, First Amendment Coalition
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    David Snyder
    Executive Director, First Amendment Coalition

    David Snyder, the First Amendment Coalition’s Executive Director, is a lawyer and former journalist whose work as a reporter included time at the Albuquerque Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, and the Washington Post, where he was a reporter on the metro staff from 2000 to 2005. As a lawyer, Snyder represented journalists and news media for the Sheppard Mullin law firm in San Francisco for many years. He became Executive Director of FAC in December 2016.

    Snyder received his B.A. with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin’s Plan II Honors Program. He holds a M.S. in Journalism with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Law.

  • Natalie J. Spears

    Partner, Dentons
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    Natalie J. Spears
    Partner, Dentons

    Natalie Spears is a trial lawyer and represents clients in courts across the US in a wide range of matters, including consumer class actions, IP, media and advertising disputes, complex commercial and real estate litigation. She is lauded by clients as “tenacious and pragmatic” and is recognized for her courtroom achievements. As head of Dentons’ global Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector and a former member of the US Board, Natalie sets direction for the firm’s commitment to exceptional client service.

    Natalie offers clients advice that is creative, concise and uses common sense. She leads teams with this approach to achieve successful outcomes in business and in litigation. Her clients include leading global media, news and entertainment companies, as well as major US retail, real estate and consumer products and services companies.

    Her work and litigation victories were featured in Leading Lawyer Magazine, Top 10 in Illinois, earning a spot on the cover in the “Leading Women Lawyers” edition, March 2015, and as part of the National Law Journal’s “2014 Chicago Litigation Department of Year”.

    Natalie has been routinely called upon to secure the media’s First Amendment rights over the past two decades, often in high-profile cases of public importance. Her clients include, among others, NBC, CBS, HBO, CNN, Netflix, Advance Publications, Dow Jones, The New York Times and Tribune Publishing. In recent public records litigation, she led the charge for 15 major news organizations to vacate the sealing order in the prosecution of Jussie Smollett, obtained judgment and fees in a precedential FOIA action against the Mayor and City of Chicago over use of private emails and texts about public business, and has won numerous access motions, including in the 2019 Laquan McDonald murder trial.

  • Nabiha Syed

    Chief Executive Officer, The Markup
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    Nabiha Syed
    Chief Executive Officer, The Markup

    Nabiha Syed is the chief executive officer of The Markup, an award-winning journalism non-profit that challenges technology to serve the public good. Under her leadership, The Markup’s unique approach has been referenced by Congress 21 times, inspired dozens of class action lawsuits, won a national Murrow Award and a Loeb Award, and been recognized as “Most Innovative” by FastCompany in 2022.

    Before launching The Markup in 2020, Nabiha spent a decade as an acclaimed media lawyer focused on the intersection of frontier technology and newsgathering, including advising on publication issues with the Snowden revelations and the Steele Dossier, access litigation around police disciplinary records, as well as privacy and free speech issues globally. Described by Forbes as “one of the best emerging free speech lawyers”, she has briefed two presidents on free speech in the digital age, delivered the Salant Lecture at Harvard, headlined SXSW to discuss data privacy after Roe v. Wade, and was awarded the NAACP/Archewell Digital Civil Rights award in 2023 for her work.

    A California native and daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Nabiha holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she co-founded one of the nation’s first media law clinics, a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and a law degree from Oxford, which she attended as a Marshall Scholar. She serves on the boards of the New York Civil Liberties Union, The New Press, and the Scott Trust, among others.

  • Barbara Wall

    Director, Gannett Co., Inc.
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    Barbara Wall
    Director, Gannett Co., Inc.

    Ms. Wall was appointed to the Gannett Board in November 2019, in connection with the Acquisition. She served as the Chief Legal Officer of Legacy Gannett from June 2015 to November 2019, and she also served as its interim Chief Operating Officer in 2019. She previously held various other positions with Legacy Gannett’s former parent, where she worked for thirty years.

    Ms. Wall brings extensive First Amendment and legal expertise in addition to a deep knowledge of Legacy Gannett and its history and operations

Lawyers for Reporters Team

  • Alexander Papachristou

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    Alexander Papachristou

    Alexander Papachristou is director of Lawyers for Reporters, managing fundraising, governance, and law firm relations, and, in client representation, focuses on corporate formation and governance, journalistic collaborations and other transactions, and employment and contracting.

    He serves as executive director of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice. He previously was president of the Near East Foundation, a participatory, community-based economic and social development organization working in Arab and African countries. For the preceding 18 years, Papachristou engaged in cross-border corporate finance in advisory and proprietary roles: he served as managing director and general counsel at NCH Capital, Inc, which invests in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; he lived in Russia from 1989 to 1993, where he opened and ran the Moscow office of White & Case. Papachristou is a member of the board of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, as well as the advisory council of Bard College’s Center for Civic Engagement. In late 2011, The New Press published Blind Goddess: A Race and Justice Reader, which Papachristou edited.

    Papachristou received an LLM and JD from Harvard Law School and an AB from Princeton University, as well as Arabic language training at the American University in Cairo.

  • Kay Murray

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    Kay Murray

    Kay Murray serves as Managing Attorney and brings extensive experience in media law, copyright and fair use, and nonprofit governance to Lawyers for Reporters.

    She has counseled and represented news organizations, writers, documentary filmmakers and nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years. Kay served as in-house counsel at First Look Institute, Tribune Publishing and the Open Society Foundations, and as General Counsel at the Authors Guild, where she was also Executive Editor of the Authors Guild Bulletin and Executive Director of the Authors Guild Foundation. She co-authored The Writers Legal Guide (3d ed.). Most recently, Kay was of counsel at the media law firm of Baron Harris Healey, where she advised documentary filmmakers and nonprofit organizations.

    Kay graduated from Northwestern University Law School, where she was Articles Editor of the Journal of Crime and Criminology, and from Xavier University, where she was the Outstanding University Humanities Scholar.

  • Carla Pierini Borenstein

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    Carla Pierini Borenstein

    Carla Pierini Borenstein is a staff attorney for Lawyers for Reporters, focusing on client representation, especially in the areas of free speech, defamation, and copyright. She previously worked at two international law firms. Her practice focused on developing and implementing anti-corruption measures at multinational corporations. Most recently, Pierini Borenstein was a legal producer and writer for two top-ranked weekly podcasts on U.S. law and politics. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a freelance reporter for a local Spanish-language newspaper in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

    Admitted to practice law in New York and the District of Columbia, Pierini Borenstein received her JD degree cum laude from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, with a joint master’s degree in Medical Humanities and Bioethics from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She also received an LLM in International Human Rights & Humanitarian Law from the Washington College of Law at American University, an Accelerated Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

    She is a native Spanish speaker, fluent in Portuguese, and conversational in French.

  • Zach Press

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    Zach Press

    Zach Press joined the Vance Center in June 2023 as Staff Attorney for Lawyers for Reporters. He advises clients on media and First Amendment law, focusing on defense against defamation and other publication torts, copyright and fair use analysis, and prepublication review.

    Before joining Lawyers for Reporters, Zach counseled media clients in litigation and transactional matters at the law firms of Miller Korzenik Sommers Rayman and Klaris Law. He has represented a diverse range of writers, editors, artists and publishers, helping them to minimize their legal risk and fulfill their creative vision.

    Zach earned his LLM in French, European and International Business Law from the École de droit de la Sorbonne and his JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He served as Articles Editor on the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal and was a Howard M. Squadron Fellow in Law, Media and Society. He is a graduate of Tulane University, where he received his BA in philosophy and French.

    Zach is a member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Communications & Media Law, the Media Law Resource Center, and is a volunteer translator for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. He is admitted to practice in New York State courts, and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

  • Sean Phee

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    Sean Phee

    Sean Phee is the program assistant for Lawyers for Reporters.  He is responsible for case management and coordination of client and law firm communications. Prior to Lawyers for Reporters, he worked for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and worked as a freelance writer in the New York City area. He received his BA in political science from Southern Illinois University where he wrote for his college newspaper and attended the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. ​