Voting is Open for OPC Board

By William J. Holstein

I was pleased to chair the nominating committee that chose the slate of candidates to run for the OPC board this summer. Thanks to the other members – John Avlon, Pancho Bernasconi, Paula Dwyer and Adriane Quinlan.

Our goals were to continue driving down the average age of board members, expand our reach into new types of news organizations and strive for diversity while maintaining stability and continuity. We are pleased to feel that we pulled off that tricky balancing act.

This year, the OPC is electing ten governors who are Active members and two who are Associate members. The club is continuing to use the online voting website to host its secure election. You will receive an email before the end of July with a link to the election at the e-mail address where you receive OPC electronic correspondence. If you have not received this link by Aug. 5, please e-mail to obtain it.

The deadline for voting is Tuesday, Sept. 3 at noon, and the results will be announced at the Annual Meeting on Sept. 10., which is open to all members and will be held at 6:00 p.m. at Club Quarters. The OPC will host a party at the event with free drinks and refreshments.

Each ballot requires a login, which is your e-mail address where you received the ballot link. The system allows one voting ballot and delineates between Active and Associate members. For those who prefer to use a paper ballot, please send an email to or call the OPC office at 212-626-9220.


David Ake

I’m the director of photography at The Associated Press.

All of us in the journalism business increasingly depend on our freelance corps. As a governor of the Overseas Press Club, the safety and training of freelance journalists will be a priority. They are often at risk and need of our support and advocacy.

At the AP, I’ve held many photo leadership positions and key assignments: photo editing the massacre at Columbine High School, guiding 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina coverage, and shepherding three presidential campaigns on the way to my position today leading our worldwide photo team.

Previous to my time in the management chair, I was on the street as a photographer for Agence France-Presse, UPI and Reuters. My journey as a photographer took me around the globe many times making pit stops on six continents. I’m still trying to figure out how to swing duty in Antarctica.

Linda Fasulo

It’s an honor to serve as a current member of the Board of Governors of the OPC, an organization that is playing an increasingly important role in supporting international news reporting. I’d welcome the opportunity to continue for a second term. I am a journalist and author specializing in the United Nations and U.S. foreign policy.

Based at the UN, I am a longtime independent correspondent for NPR News. Other journalistic experience includes working as UN Producer and Correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC for a decade and as Special UN Correspondent for US News and World Report during the 1990s. I’m currently working on the 4th edition of my book, An Insider’s Guide to the UN, which will be published by Yale University Press next year.

I have a masters in Public Administration and have done further graduate study in international affairs at Columbia University. I currently serve as Co-Chair of the Dag Hammarskjold Fellowship for young journalists from developing countries and am a former member of the Executive Committee of the UN Correspondents Association. Over the years, my OPC activities include acting as an awards judge and organizing and moderating UN-focused programs. If re-elected, I would be especially interested in playing a role in OPC efforts to secure a larger membership of young as well as freelance journalists and participating in the freedom of the press committee.

Farnaz Fassihi

I’ve been a journalist for 25 years specializing in conflict reporting, the Middle East and diplomacy. I’m currently a contributing writer for The New York Times and working on a book about Iran. Previously, I was a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal for 17 years and served as Baghdad Bureau Chief, Deputy Middle East & Africa Editor and senior writer.

I’ve covered multiple wars and uprisings across the region from the invasion of Afghanistan to the second Intifada and civil war in Syria. I’ve won multiple journalism awards including two Overseas Press Club awards and written a book about the Iraq war titled, Waiting for An Ordinary Day. In my multiple roles at the Journal, I mentored younger women colleagues and advocated for diversity in the newsroom. I’ve also served as a head judge for OPC awards for a few years.

As board member at OPC, I hope to utilize my journalism and leadership experience to highlight the importance of foreign reporting, organize panels and seminars on conflict reporting and the Middle East and continue to mentor the younger members of the organization.

Josh Fine

I’m a Senior Segment Producer for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” I’ve been lucky enough to win two OPC awards, including the first-ever for a sports piece. During my 25-year journalism career both at HBO and CBS News’ 60 Minutes, I’ve reported in dozens of countries, including a multi-part series in Russia on Vladimir Putin and sports.

I’m seeking a second term on the board. My goal is to increase the frequency of our events. I believe the club can play an important role in keeping US-based journalists sharp and prepared to cover foreign stories; I’ve benefited from this in the past, and I’d like to make sure we’re continuing to do this going forward.

Charles Graeber

I’m a freelance long-form features writer for magazines and newspapers, an Executive Producer for “The Disappearnace of Madeleine McCann,” a Netflix documentary series, the author of two books (The Good Nurse and The Breakthrough), as well as a former OPC award winner (the Ed Cunningham Award) and governor. I’d be honored to serve again, if my fellow members believe I can continue addressing the unique needs independent of journalists. Previously, I spearheaded the creation of the OPC Press ID’s available today, knowing how valuable it was for a freelancer to have the benefit of an official-looking press identification. I believe the OPC can do more to help all journalists, staffers and otherwise, do their job safely and well.

Hendrik Hinzel

I’m an associate producer at VICE News where over the past four years I’ve worked on documentaries about Iran’s influence in Iraq, the resurgence of far-right movements in Europe, and the cyber security industry in Israel, among others. I grew up in Germany and prior to my time in the United States I lived in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, freelancing for German media outlets from the region.

I’ve been a member of the OPC since 2013, when I graduated from Columbia Journalism School’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. After graduating, the connections I made through the OPC helped me gain ground as a freelancer in New York trying to pitch to news outlets. As a board member, I’d like to help create more opportunities for mentorships among OPC members and possibly set up pitch workshops or pitch sessions with freelancers, new graduates and editors.

Azmat Khan

Freelancers. Fixers. Aspiring reporters. In an era of decreasing protections, on the OPC board I intend to work to expand the support the OPC offers to some of its most vulnerable members.

I’ve witnessed these needs in the field myself.  I’m an investigative journalist who’s spent the last decade reporting from places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, both as a freelancer and a staff reporter. (I am currently a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine). I know how costly it can be to operate without traditional institutional support, and I’d like to leverage the OPC’s network to do two things: 1) Shed light on the troubled financial models too many freelance reporters are mired in; and 2) Help expand the OPC’s support for these members, whether through services, resources, or educational tools. In particular, I would like to expand mentorship services to local journalists abroad who often work as translators or “fixers” with Western journalists.

I’ve served three previous terms on the board and know how to work with others to get things done. It would be my honor to continue to help make the OPC more accessible to new, diverse members and more responsive to the challenges of our changing industry.

Derek Kravitz

I am a reporter covering federal politics and government at ProPublica, the New York-based investigative nonprofit. Previously, I was ProPublica’s director of research from 2016 to 2018 and a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press and The Washington Post.

I am a two-time Livingston Award finalist and projects I edited or reported have won IRE, Polk, Loeb, ONA, Deadline Club and DuPont-Columbia awards. I have been a member of three teams that have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. I graduated from the University of Missouri and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. I have been an instructor for the Stabile program since 2014.

I was a 2014 OPC Foundation scholarship winner and have taught research methods to three subsequent scholarship winners; I’ve seen these scholarships and internship placements jumpstart journalism careers and am excited to help aspiring reporters and editors get ready to tackle the most pressing news stories of the day.

Rod Nordland

I’m a career foreign correspondent, both working and based overseas. (Currently International Correspondent at Large and Kabul Bureau Chief for The New York Times.)

I’d like to see the OPC become more than just a vehicle for hosting a wonderful dinner once a year, and become instead the sort of vital organization that the Frontline Club has become in London, providing a regular venue and frequent programming that stimulates discussion and development of our profession. The Frontline is a business, it’s true, but it is also heavily funded by grants and charitable endeavors, something we could perhaps learn from.

Ishaan Tharoor

I’m excited to be a candidate for the next slate of OPC governors. I’m a foreign affairs writer at The Washington Post, where I’ve been for the past five and a half years. I anchor a daily column on global politics called Today’s WorldView that’s read by hundreds of thousands of readers, both online and in the form of a popular email newsletter. Prior to the Post, I was at TIME magazine for eight years: First, as a reporter in its Asia headquarters in Hong Kong between 2006 and 2010, a stint that gave me the chance to travel and write from over a dozen countries in the region; then, I moved back to New York to be a senior editor and ran’s international coverage.

I love the work OPC does and would strive to help further its outreach and support to freelance journalists abroad, to help surface the work of non-American journalists in places often missed in the U.S. news cycle, and to help buttress its already robust commitment to the defense of press freedoms around the world.


Brian Byrd

As a governor seeking a second term, I plan to build upon the work we started the moment the current administration declared journalists the “enemy of the people.” These are troubling times for journalists, both overseas and here at home. In fact, 2018 was the worst year on record for deadly violence and abuse toward journalists, with 78 journalists killed. And with the 2020 Presidential elections nearing, the rhetoric and hostility towards members of the press will only worsen. If elected, my goal for the next two years is to further OPC’s role as an indispensable resource for journalists working in a highly dangerous environment. I want to see more safety trainings for current and aspiring journalists and a stronger voice for press freedom. I also want to reinforce the fact that journalism is not a crime and an unwavering belief that nothing is more important to our democracy than a well-informed electorate.

Currently, I am a senior program officer for the New York State Health Foundation, managing its Special Projects Fund. Prior to that, I worked for the Council on Foreign Relations as its Deputy Director for Membership. Before that, I was the Assistant Communications Director for the Rockefeller Foundation, where I managed media relations and communications in Europe, Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the United States. I have worked as a freelance journalist and photographer; and a member of the Advisory Board for, a human rights organization.

Bill Collins

I’m currently the chair of the OPC’s Press Freedom Committee and am running for the OPC Board to serve three purposes: 1) establish unique OPC press freedom initiatives; 2) grow OPC membership among younger working journalists; and 3) use my background to work on an OPC sustainability plan.

My career includes 15 years in print and radio reporting followed by 30 years in corporate communications. Later this year, I’ll be working on a press freedom project under the auspices of The Rockefeller Foundation.