Former Providence Journal Editor Karen Bordeleau to Serve as NEFAC President, Lead Coalition in 2018

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce the election of Karen Bordeleau, former executive editor of The Providence Journal, as its new president. Bordeleau assumed the position on Jan. 1 and succeeds Tom Fiedler, dean of Boston University’s College of Communications, who will continue to serve on NEFAC’s Board of Directors.

“Tom led our organization admirably and helped grow NEFAC’s influence throughout the region during the last several years,” said Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director. “We’re very excited to have Karen now take the reins and lead our coalition in the years to come.”

Bordeleau is an award-winning journalist and the first woman in The Providence Journal’s 188-year history to hold the title of senior vice president and executive editor. She is the 2016 winner of the Judith Brown Spirit of Journalism Award, presented to a woman who has had a significant impact on journalism in New England. She is the 2014 winner of the Yankee Quill lifetime achievement award, and has been named one of Rhode Island’s 30 Most Powerful Women and one of the Top 10 Women to Watch in the U.S. Media.

Bordeleau, a Groton, Conn. resident, is a member of the affiliated journalism faculty at Emerson College in Boston and is currently the Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Journalism Ethics at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Fiedler, who became president of NEFAC in 2014, presided over a period of significant growth and influence for the organization. During his time as president, the coalition increased its yearly fundraising, expanded its New England First Amendment Awards program, attracted record-numbers of applicants to its investigative journalism institute, hired a full-time executive director and broadened its educational outreach throughout the region.

Joining NEFAC’s Executive Committee with Bordeleau are Naomi Schalit, an investigative reporter and co-founder of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, and Gregory V. Sullivan, general counsel for the Union Leader Corporation in New Hampshire. Schalit will serve as the coalition’s treasurer and Sullivan will serve as clerk. Returning committee members include Michael Donoghue, Robert A. Bertsche, Lynne DeLucia and David Rosen.


Karen Bordeleau, President | Bordeleau is a retired executive editor of The Providence Journal and an award-winning journalist. She now teaches journalism in the United States and abroad. She has served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in 2015 and 2016. Bordeleau is past president of the New England AP News Executives Association and the New England Society of Newspaper Editors.

Michael Donoghue, First Vice President | Donoghue was an award-winning writer for the Burlington Free Press for over 40 years and has been an adjunct professor of journalism and mass communications at St. Michael’s College since 1985. Donoghue has been an officer with the Vermont Press Association since 1979 and a former board member for the New England Press Association.

Robert A. Bertsche, Esq., Second Vice President | As a media and First Amendment lawyer at Boston-based Prince Lobel Tye, Bertsche offers counseling and litigation services to media clients throughout the United States. He is outside general counsel to the New England Newspaper and Press Association and oversees an active legal hotline for the 400-plus community newspapers that are NENPA members.

Lynne DeLucia, Fundraising Chairwoman | DeLucia is the editor and co-founder of the Connecticut Health Investigative Team, an in-depth news website focusing on issues of health and safety. Prior to launching, DeLucia worked at the Hartford Courant for 17 years, holding the positions of assistant bureau chief, bureau chief, state editor and assistant managing editor.

David Rosen, Communications Chairman | Rosen is a communications consultant and a freelance writer, editor and photographer with 45 years of accomplishment in journalism, public affairs and higher education. He has served as the senior communications officer at five colleges and universities and chief of staff for former Massachusetts Lt. Governor Evelyn Murphy.


Naomi Schalit, Treasurer | Schalit is an investigative reporter, editor and co-founder of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, a non-profit, non-partisan investigative news service in Maine. In the last two decades, she has written for magazines and newspapers around the country, worked as a columnist for the Maine Times and for five years was a reporter and producer at Maine Public Radio.

Gregory V. Sullivan, Esq., Clerk | Sullivan has served as General Counsel for the Union Leader Corporation for the past 39 years. He teaches First Amendment Media Law at Suffolk University Law School and at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. Sullivan serves on the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Committee on the Judiciary and the Media, as well as the Committee for Public Access to Courts.

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

Major Supporters of NEFAC include the Barr Foundation, The Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund, The Robertson Foundation, Lois Howe McClure, The Boston Globe and Boston University. Celebration Supporters include The Hartford Courant and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.