NEFAC Announces Additions to Leadership; Journalism, Communication Experts Join Board


CONTACT Justin Silverman | | 774.244.2365

The New England First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce the addition of five members to its Board of Directors.

“These individuals are proven advocates for the First Amendment and the public’s right to know,” said Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director. “We are honored to have them join NEFAC and to help lead our coalition.”

Joining NEFAC’s Board of Directors are:

Dieter Bradbury


DIETER BRADBURY | Deputy Managing Editor of News | Portland Press Herald and the Sunday Maine Telegram

Bradbury oversees the paper’s city desk and metro coverage, and directs several specialty beat reporters assigned to health care, energy, the environment and state government. He also leads the database team in producing databases and data visualizations for the newspaper’s web products. Before he became an editor in 2010, Bradbury worked for 21 years as a reporter at the Press Herald, covering the municipal, public safety, general assignment and environmental beats. His reporting work has won numerous awards from the Maine Press Association, and he was a finalist for the national Edward J. Meeman and John B. Oakes awards in 1997 for a series of stories on the threat of mercury pollution to the Maine environment. Bradbury is the editor of a year-long special project on the aging of Maine’s population, The Challenge of Our Age, which won national awards last year from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Society of Features Journalism and Associated Press Media Editors. He attended the University of Redlands in California and is a 1980 graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a degree in communication.



EDWARD CAFASSO | Managing Director | Burson-Marsteller

Cafasso has more than 30 years of experience as a reporter and editor, a public sector communicator and a corporate communications executive. While in the College of Communications at Boston University, Cafasso was among a small group of students who succeeded in having the campus police log treated as a public record and later became the first police reporter for BU’s student-run newspaper. From the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, he worked as a reporter and city editor covering local, national and international breaking news, as well as politics in Boston City Hall, the Massachusetts State House and the White House. He left journalism to serve as the director of communications for the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, where he acted as chief spokesman and was responsible for planning and directing all media, public and stakeholder communications on behalf of the state’s chief law enforcement official. For the past 15 years, Cafasso has been a public relations professional specializing in reputation management and corporate communications for top public and private brands in the retail, education, healthcare, real estate and energy industries, as well as government agencies and non-profit institutions. His expertise includes messaging, content marketing, traditional and social media relations, issues and crisis management, corporate citizenship, employee engagement and public affairs. Cafasso is a frequent contributor to The Public Relations Strategist, a quarterly magazine published by the Public Relations Society of America. He has been an editorial advisor to the publication since 2007. He also served as an elected member of the School Committee in Franklin, Mass., for a decade.



HELEN BENNETT HARVEY | Managing Editor | New Haven Register

Harvey began leading the New Haven Register newsroom last fall, previously working as the newspaper’s social media editor and state editor. She specializes in multimedia news reporting and is currently a journalism instructor at Southern Connecticut State University, where she has taught for more than seven years. Harvey has received several honors for her work, including recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists for her news reporting. Prior to her career in journalism, Harvey worked as a clerk for the Transportation Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly. Harvey joins the NEFAC Board of Directors, having previously served on the coalition’s Advisory Board.



JAMES H. SMITH | President | Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information

In his 42 years in journalism, Smith served as president of the New England Society of Newspaper Editors, president of the Connecticut Associated Press Managing Editors association, and is now president of the non-profit Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. He retired from daily journalism in 2010 and was inducted two years later into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame. He has served as city editor and sports editor of the Hartford Courant, and editor of the Connecticut Post. He led the Post to its first New England Newspaper of the Year Award. He also led The Day of New London, The News-Times of Danbury, the Record-Journal of Meriden and the New Britain Herald to their first New England Newspaper of the Year awards. He won the American Society of Newspaper Editors‘ Distinguished Writing Award for a selection of his columns on the First Amendment, which were published in “Best Newspaper Writing 2003” put out annually by the Poynter Institute. He is a recipient of the Yankee Quill Award from the Academy of New England Journalists and is a four-time winner of the First Amendment Award from the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Plaidswede Publishing of Concord, N.H., published a collection of Smith’s columns under the title “A Passion for Journalism, A Newspaper Editor Writes to His Readers.” His first novel, “Wah-say-lan, A Tale of the Iroquois in the American Revolution,” was also published by Plaidswede. He earned his master’s degree in humanities/writing from Wesleyan University, studied at Syracuse University‘s Graduate School of Journalism and has a B.A. in American History from the State University of New York at Brockport.



EMILY SWEENEY | Reporter | The Boston Globe

Sweeney is a multimedia journalist at The Boston Globe and author of the book “Boston Organized Crime.” She has been a staff writer at the Globe since 2001, and her work has been featured on the Howard Stern Show, WBZ News Radio, New England Cable News, The Howie Carr Show, and other media outlets. She currently writes the “Blotter Tales” column, which appears in the Globe every Sunday. She served for many years as president of the New England chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and she’s a frequent guest speaker at schools, universities, and media industry events. Most recently she joined the Board of Governors of the New England Society of News Editors.

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.