Advisory Board

CMDS has an Advisory Board, led by the Director, consisting of internationally prominent media and communication scholars and practitioners:

Clara Luz Alvarez

Clara-Luz Álvarez is a researcher, professor and civil society activist on information and communication technologies related to human rights at Mexico City’s Universidad Panamerican. Clara-Luz has brought several lawsuits to defend human rights in ICTs in Mexico and redress children´s rights as viewers. Clara-Luz received the National Journalism Award for spreading democratic culture (2014), has been acknowledged as one of the key women in telecommunications in Mexico (El Universal, 2010), and as one of the 10 most influential persons in the public sector (Expansión, 2007). She writes bi-monthly for the leading Mexican newspaper Reforma. Clara-Luz is currently an International telecommunications union expert on ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities. She served as commissioner of the Mexican Telecommunications Commission (Cofetel), and she was also the head of the Legal Affairs Office from 2003 to 2006.

Floriana Fossato is an independent observer of the post-Soviet media landscape in Russia and other FSU countries. She has extensively written about the impact that media have on Russian society since 1996, first as a journalist, then as an analyst. Floriana has lived and worked in the region for over 20 years, most recently as associate director of the Center for the Study of New Media and Society at the New Economic School in Moscow. Previously she worked as senior expert and EU policy advisor for a number of projects implemented by the Internews Network in Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Floriana has also worked for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague and Moscow and is one of the authors of the first studies on internet in Russia (The Web that Failed,) published in 2008 by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University.  More recently she has contributed to a number of reports assessing vulnerabilities to propaganda in a number of countries in Eurasia. Floriana holds a MA in political sociology from the University of Manchester.

Ellen Hume is a Boston-based journalist, teacher and civil society activist who works on the front lines of democracy around the world. Before moving to Budapest (2009-2016) where she mentored journalists and founded a project on Roma integration, she was research director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT (2008-9), and creator of the New England Ethnic Newswire (2007-2009). Hume’s analysis of why independent journalism hasn’t done well in post-Communist countries “Caught in the Middle: Central and Eastern European Journalism at a Crossroads”  was published in 2011 by the Center for International Media Assistance. Her earlier report “Media Missionaries” was the first comprehensive study of U.S. efforts to train foreign journalists, published in 2004 by the Knight Foundation. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the advisory aboard of the Center for International Media Assistance, the Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University, and DIREKT36, a Hungarian investigative reporting group. An international journalism trainer since 1993, Hume also served on the board of Internews.

Professor Monroe Price is former Director of the Center for Global Communication Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and former Director of the Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research in London. Professor Price is the Joseph and Sadie Danciger Professor of Law and former Director of the Howard M. Squadron Program in Law, Media and Society at the Cardozo School of Law, where he served as Dean from 1982 to 1991. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale, where he was executive editor of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for Associate Justice Potter Stewart of the U.S. Supreme Court and was an assistant to Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz.

Anya Schiffrin is the Director of the International Media, Advocacy and Communications (IMAC) Specialization of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, New York. She spent 10 years working as a journalist in Europe and Asia, and was bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires in Amsterdam and Hanoi. She was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1999-2000. Schiffrin directs the journalism training programs of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a global economic think-tank based at Columbia University. She organizes seminars around the world to strengthen the capacity of journalists in developing countries to cover finance and economics, and has taught in Azerbaijan, China, Indonesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, South Africa and Vietnam. She is a regular lecturer at the International Institute for Journalism in Berlin. Schiffrin currently serves on the Advisory Board of Revenue Watch, and she is a member of the sub-board of the Open Society Foundation's Media Program.

Stefaan G. Verhulst (@sverhulst; @thegovlab) is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory @New York University (, an action research center dedicated to improving governance and people’s lives through advances in technology.  He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Culture and Communications at NYU, Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Media and Communications Studies at Central European University in Budapest, a Board Member of ORBICOM - Unesco; and an Affiliated Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Global Communications Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communications. Before joining NYU full time, Verhulst spent more than a decade as Chief of Research for the Markle Foundation, where he continues to serve as Senior Advisor. In addition, Verhulst was Co-Founder and Co-Director of PCMLP at Oxford University, the UNESCO Chairholder in Communications Law and Policy for the UK, the socio-legal fellow at Wolfson College (Oxford), Co-Founder and Co-Director of the International Media and Info-Comms Policy and Law Studies at the University of Glasgow, School of Law.  He regularly advises international organizations and has written and co-authored several books on a variety of topics including Internet Governance.