New Members’ Brief Biographies

William Borders retired from The New York Times in 2006 after a 46-year career as a foreign correspondent and a senior editor. His overseas stations included London, New Delhi, Montreal, and Lagos, Nigeria. He was also an editor on various desks, including deputy foreign editor, senior news editor, and editor of The Week in Review, a section since renamed Sunday Review.

Lynn Brenner has been writing about business and personal finance in Newsday for more than 25 years. Her weekly “Family Finance” column bowed in 1990 and since 2009, she’s been writing the weekly “Ask the Expert” column on personal finance. She is also a Reuters contributor and a contributing editor to AARP magazine and her articles have also appeared in a wide variety of publications. She is the author of the award-winning “Smart Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisors” and “Building Your Nest Egg With Your 401(K).”

Jerry Edgerton writes the Cars and Money blog for CBS’s His career goes back to the early 1960s, when he was hired by The Associated Press and then by Newsday. In 1969, he joined the Washington bureau of BusinessWeek magazine, leaving in 1975, when he was named a senior writer at Time Inc.’s Money Magazine. He remained at Money Magazine until 2001, then became a freelance until joining the CBS MoneyWatch website in 2011.

Adelaide Perry Farah is the former editor-in-chief of Beauty Fashion magazine. Prior to that she was special projects editor at Health magazine. She is currently a freelance editor.

Ari L. Goldman was a reporter at The New York Times, where he focused on writing about religion, but also covered New York State politics, transportation and education. He joined The Times as a copy boy in 1973, becoming a reporter two years later. He left in 1993 to join the faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, where he is a professor of journalism and director of the Scripps Howard Program in Religion, Journalism and the Spiritual Life. His books include “The Search for God at Harvard,” “Being Jewish: The Spiritual and Cultural Practice of Judaism Today,” “Living a Year of Kaddish,” and “The Late Starters Orchestra,” a memoir about his quest to conquer the cello.

Katherine Heires is a freelance reporter who for more than 20 years has focused on risk topics and emerging technologies and their impact on corporations, financial institutions, professional investors and individuals. She’s written for a wide range of outlets, including Institutional Investor; Risk Management;; Venture Capital Journal; Bloomberg Business Week; Cyber Times and The Deal.

Joanna Hernandez is a former reporter and editor who is currently Director of Diversity Initiatives at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has held various editing and reporting positions at such news organizations as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Record, and Newsday. She has also taught journalism at NYU and Hunter College and is a former president of UNITY: Journalists of Color (now known as UNITY: Journalists for Diversity).

Laura Jacobs has been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 1995, with a focus on culture and fashion. From 1987 to 1995, she was the editor-in-chief of Stagebill Magazine. In addition, she reviews museum exhibitions on fashion for The Wall Street Journal and is the dance critic at The New Criterion. Her books include “The Art of Haute Couture” and “Landscape With Moving Figures: A Decade on Dance.”

David R. Jones, a former assistant managing editor of The New York Times, retired in 1997 after almost 35 years at the paper. He spent six years as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal before joining The Times in 1963. Following a stint as a Times correspondent in Detroit, Jones moved to the Washington bureau, first as a labor reporter, then as an assistant news editor. In 1969, he was assigned to New York as assistant national editor and became assistant managing editor in 1989.

Sissel McCarthy is Director of the Journalism Program and a Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College. Earlier, she was part of the journalism departments at NYU and at Emery University. Before entering the fields of academe, she spent 1992 to 2004 reporting business news from New York, London and Atlanta. She began her career as a writer and producer for CNN’s “Moneyline” in New York, then went to CNBC to anchor the London bureau. From 1996 to 2000, she anchored “World Business Today” for CNN International, then was a reporter in Atlanta for PBS’s “Nightly Business Report.”

Spencer Rumsey, now a freelance writer and editor, was with New York Newsday, where he was assistant news editor from 1987 to 2008, and The Long Island Press, where he was a senior editor from 2010 to this year, writing extensively about politics and policy in his blog, “Rumsey Punch.” In addition, he has also seen service with The New York Post, the East Village Eye, and the supermarket tabloid Star Magazine.

Ned Steele was a reporter at The Long Island Press, The New York Post and The New York Daily News. He also worked as an assistant city editor at The Post and The News from 1970 to 1982, then embarked on a career in public relations and marketing. He is currently head of MediaImpact, a company he launched in 1994.

Irena Choi Stern is also an educator/journalist. From 2004 to 2014, she was the Assistant Dean of Alumni Relations at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism as well as managing editor of the school’s alumni publications, overseeing story assignment, copyediting and layout, and hiring and supervising freelance journalists. At the same time, she was a contributing writer whose articles appeared regularly in the Westchester section of The New York Times. She is currently a communications consultant at What Works Cities, a Bloomberg philanthropic initiative.

Patrick W. Sullivan, now retired, was with United Press International back in the 1970s before spending the next couple of decades at The New York Post and then at The Daily News. Eventually, he shifted to television and a change of scenery with ABC News, where he was first assigned to the Washington bureau and then was a producer and bureau chief in Berlin.

James Wolcott, who critiques contemporary media and other cultural institutions for Vanity Fair, has been a columnist at the magazine since 1996. For four years prior to that, he was a contributing writer for The New Yorker. Earlier, he wrote features and columns for Vanity Fair from 1983 to 1992, His articles have also appeared in Esquire, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books and New York Magazine, and his books include “Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Dirty in Seventies New York,” a memoir.

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