Hearst Executive Editor, Rhode Island-Based Advocate Join NEFAC’s Board of Directors

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 | justin@nefac.org

The New England First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce two new additions to its board of directors. Joining NEFAC are Christopher “Topher” Hamblett, president and founder of The Foundation for West Africa, and Barbara T. Roessner, executive editor of Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

“We are very excited to have Topher and Barbara bring their expertise to our coalition,” said Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director. “Not only will they strengthen our efforts in Connecticut and Rhode Island, but their involvement will make us a stronger influence throughout the region.”

CHRISTOPHER HAMBLETT | The Foundation for West Africa

Hamblett is president and founder of The Foundation for West Africa, a Rhode Island-based organization that supports community radio stations that build peace, democracy and hope in Sierra Leone and neighboring countries. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone from 1985 to 1987. Hamblett is currently director of advocacy for Save The Bay, an environmental advocacy organization focused on Narragansett Bay. He has served on the board of directors of Common Cause Rhode Island, Rhode Island Public Radio, and the International Institute of Rhode Island. He was awarded the 2011 Community & Justice Award by Rhode Island for Community Justice for his work in West Africa.

BARBARA T. ROESSNER | Hearst Connecticut Media Group

Roessner is executive editor of Hearst Connecticut Media Group, an amalgam of daily and weekly newspapers, websites and other print and digital products based in Southern Connecticut. She is a former managing editor, projects editor, writing coach, opinion columnist, magazine writer and chief political reporter for the Hartford Courant. A Pulitzer Prize-winning editor, she has twice served as a Pulitzer juror. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where she majored in Greek and Latin, and has been honored by the university with a Distinguished Alumni Award and a Koeppel Teaching Fellowship. She spent the 2003-2004 academic year as a Knight Fellow at Stanford University, where she studied the intersection of art and politics and became a painter.

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, The Boston Globe, WBUR and Boston University.