NEFAC Strengthens Board of Directors with Journalism, First Amendment Leaders

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce several new additions and the return of Naomi Schalit to its Board of Directors. Schalit, co-founder and senior reporter for the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, left the board earlier this year but now returns to the coalition.

“We’re very excited to grow our board and add the expertise of these individuals to the coalition’s leadership,” said Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director. “With their help, NEFAC will continue to be vigilant and vocal throughout the region.”

In addition to Schalit, the following are joining NEFAC’s Board of Directors:

conwayLinda Conway | Executive Director | New England Newspaper & Press Association

Linda Conway is the executive director for the New England Newspaper and Press Association. She began working with one of NENPA’s two predecessor organizations, the New England Press Association, in 1995. Prior to her appointment as executive director, she most recently had been advertising and business development director for the association. NENPA represents more than 450 news publications in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island, providing them with training, recognition, legal access, advertising revenue, event management, networking and other services. Conway received a bachelor of science degree in mass communications, with a journalism concentration, from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1995. She grew up in Tewksbury, Mass., and lives in Charlestown, Mass., with her daughter, Sydney.

fitzpatrickEdward Fitzpatrick | Director of Media and Public Relations | Roger Williams University

As the Providence Journal‘s political columnist, Edward Fitzpatrick championed First Amendment freedoms, pressing for access to public records and open meetings, a free press and freedom of speech. He worked for the Providence Journal for 16 years before becoming the director of media and public relations at Roger Williams University earlier this year. He just received the Excellence in Public Service Award from Common Cause Rhode Island for advocating for open and accountable government. In 2016 and 2015, he received the first-place award for news/features columnist from the Rhode Island Press Association. Before coming to the Journal, he was a reporter at the Hartford Courant, Albany Times Union, Daily Gazette and Post Star, and city editor at The Saratogian. He grew up in Greenville, R.I., and graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism and political science. He lives in Providence, R.I.

klauDan Klau | Attorney | McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney and Carpenter, LLP

Dan Klau is an attorney at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney and Carpenter, LLP, and is president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. He is also the immediate past president of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government.

Klau received his B.A., cum laude and with distinction in political science, from the University of California, San Diego in 1984. In the fall of 1987, after three years of cogitating about his future (and selling styrofoam to make a living), he began his law trek when he enrolled in Boston University School of Law. After eating, drinking and sleeping the law 24/7 for three years, he graduated summa cum laude and received the Melville M. Bigelow Scholarship Award, given to the graduating student showing the most promise as a scholar and teacher in law. Following graduation he clerked for Chief Justice Ellen Ash Peters of the Connecticut Supreme Court and then spent five years as an associate in the litigation department of Ropes & Gray in Boston, Mass. In 1996 he returned to Connecticut (where he was born and raised) to join the firm of Wiggin & Dana, where he practiced until 2003. In April 2003 he joined Pepe & Hazard LLP, which merged with McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney and Carpenter, LLP in 2010. Since 2003, Klau has also been an adjunct professor at UCONN Law School, where he teaches courses on the First Amendment and privacy law. He is also a supervising attorney for the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic. [More]

fullsizerenderAmanda Milkovits | Reporter | The Providence Journal

Amanda Milkovits is a reporter at The Providence Journal, where she has covered crime and justice stories since 2000. She has won recognition and awards for articles about high-profile issues including sex trafficking, gang slayings and the impact of gun violence. She is accustomed to battling police agencies over public records, including The Journal’s attempt to obtain records of the state police investigation of the governor’s son’s underage drinking party. Milkovits holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Keene State College and a master’s degree in writing from Rivier University in New Hampshire. She previously worked for newspapers in New Hampshire and has been a daily reporter for more than 20 years. Milkovits has been a fellow at the Journalist Law School at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism’s “Reporting Sex Trafficking” conference and the New England First Amendment Institute.


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. Donations can be made here. Major Supporters of NEFAC for this year include The Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund, The Robertson Foundation, The Boston Globe and Boston University.