Our
Team

Sandy Close

Sandy Close

Founder

Sandy started her career covering China and Vietnam as an editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review in the mid-1960s. She became editor of Pacific News Service in 1974 and was a pioneer in developing youth media. In 1996, she founded New America Media, the first and largest collaboration of ethnic news organizations. Her work has received several awards, including a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” and the 2011 Polk Award for Career Achievement. In 1996, a film she co-produced, Breathing Lessons, won an Academy Award for best short documentary. She founded Ethnic Media Services in 2017 to continue her work amplifying and elevating the voices of ethnic media.

Jaya Padmanabhan

Jaya Padmanabhan

Director of Programs

Jaya writes an immigration column for the SF Examiner and contributes to Bay Area publications on race, politics, immigration and mental health. She was the editor of India Currents, an Indian American monthly magazine started in 1987, from 2012 to 2016. Under her stewardship, India Currents consistently won overall excellence awards from SF Press Club. Jaya has won several journalism awards for her editorials and in-depth reporting. She is the author of a collection of short stories titled “Transactions of Belonging” published in 2014. Jaya has a master’s in computer science from San Jose State University.

Dana Levine

Dana Levine

Marketing

Dana Levine manages social marketing campaigns for EMS. She handles media planning and ad placement. She is also the marketing event planner. She coordinates media outreach, media tracking and monitoring, as well as the production of post-event reports. Since November 2007, Dana has contributed her organizational talents on several major marketing campaigns for clients including Flex Your Power, California Teacher’s Association, Leadership Conference of Civil Rights, Bureau of Automotive Repair, Haas Jr. Fund and Census 2010.

Anthony Advincula

Anthony Advincula

Media Consultant

Anthony Advincula is a New York City-based journalist and communications consultant. Formerly the national media director, writer and editor for New America Media, he managed and organized ethnic media projects in 45 states. He was a correspondent for The Jersey Journal and the communications director and managing editor of the Independent Press Association-New York, where he co-edited Voices That Must Be Heard (now known as CUNY’s Voices of NY). His awards include a New York Times Foreign Press Fellowship and a National Health Journalism Fellowship. Anthony studied advanced narrative nonfiction at Harvard University and received dual master’s degrees in public administration and journalism from Columbia University where he was awarded a Charles H. Revson Fellowship.

Lynn Chan

Lynn Chan

Media Coordinator

Lynn Chan works for Ethnic Media Services on media partnerships, outreach, and event coordination. Lynn, a Bay Area native, graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. From 2014-2015, she worked as an intern and office assistant for San Jose City Councilmember and later California State Assemblymember Kansen Chu. She has also worked for the City of Fremont’s Human Services Department, and as an intern at KTSF Channel 26.

Mark Hedin

Mark Hedin

Reporter

Mark Hedin’s lifetime of newspaper work began as a teenager at Manhattan’s neighborhood rag Our Town and continued as editor of San Francisco State University’s Golden Gater when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit in 1989. Springing from 16 subsequent years at the corner of San Francisco’s 5th and Mission streets where the Examiner and Chronicle were produced, came a spell with the Tenderloin District’s Central City Extra, whose name he suggested, through to its final edition 15 years later. Prior to joining Ethnic Media Services, he was the sole reporter on the Oakland Tribune section of the East Bay Times when its staff won a Pulitzer for breaking news work covering the Oakland Ghost Ship tragedy in late 2016.

Ellen Hong White

Ellen Hong White

Assistant Director of Media Relations

Ellen joined EMS in April 2019 to help amplify and elevate the collaborations that EMS receives from a variety of media outlets. She worked for computer hardware, telecommunications, technical recruiting, investment research and political advocacy industries in both Asia and the US. Ellen also runs a non-profit organization, FoodSchool.us, in an effort to bridge the gap between the suppliers and the consumers by hosting workshops throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Ellen co-authored an op-ed to bring attention to diminishing workforce in food sector which was published by Foodtank in 2017. Ellen also provides full life cycle recruitment services along with a wide range of human resources management. She has a BA in Economics from University of Nevada, Reno and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.

 Peter Schurmann

Peter Schurmann

Online Editor/Social Media

Peter Schurmann was a program manager and general news editor for New America Media. He directed NAM’s Education desk, overseeing projects including a one-year reporting fellowship for ethnic media on Common Core in Silicon Valley, as well as several projects focused on state funding for public schools in California. Prior to joining NAM in 2010, Peter worked as an editor for South Korea’s state-run news service, Yonhap. A San Francisco native, Peter completed his degree in Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Pilar Marrero

Pilar Marrero

Contributing Editor

Pilar Marrero is a journalist and author with long experience in covering social and political issues of the Latino community in the United States. In October of 2018, she was selected by her peers at CCNMA (Latino Journalists of California), as Latina Journalist of the Year. Her work currently appears in Latino USA and Latino Rebels, Angelus News, KCET, La Opinion and Hoy San Diego, where she is a columnist. In early 2019 she became contributing editor of Ethnic Media Services, focusing in Spanish-language multimedia coverage of the 2020 Census.

Khalil Abdullah

Khalil Abdullah

Contributing Editor

Khalil Abdullah provides consulting, writing, and editing services on a range of policy issues. He joined New America Media as its first Director in the Washington D.C. office, coordinating outreach, media training, policy briefings, and workshops for ethnic media in various cities. He also served as the Lead Facilitator and editor of the Beat Within, Washington D.C. edition, and Managing Editor of the Washington Afro-American Newspaper. Khalil was the Senior Writer/Researcher for the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, Inc. He was the Executive Director of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, where he staffed key policy committees on international affairs, energy, environment, transportation, business and finance.

Charlene Muhammad

Charlene Muhammad

Contributor

Sister Charlene Muhammad is a multi-award-winning multi-media journalist with 19 years experience in print media and 13 years combined experience in radio broadcast, magazine editing and Internet media and marketing. Ms. Muhammad is founder, host and executive producer of “Liberated Sisters,” “Uprising: The Freedom Now Edition,” and “The Justice Report.” She has served as news anchor and field reporter for KPFK, is a founding member, producer and host of “Some of Us Are Brave,” and contributed to “Free Speech Radio News.” Ms. Muhammad is also a regular contributing writer to the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper and the New L.A. Watts Times Newspaper.

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