Bernard Poulet steps down as MDIF Board Chair, Sheila Coronel steps up

After 10 years as Chair of MDIF’s Board of Directors, Bernard Poulet stepped down at a Board meeting today. He was replaced by the Vice-Chair, Sheila Coronel.

MDIF is profoundly grateful to Bernard, who has led MDIF’s Board with great vision, calm and skill through a period of transition for both the media business and our organization. His early understanding of the scale of the changes being brought by digital transformation was a major factor in MDIF being able to act quickly to navigate the transition.

Under his guidance, MDIF was able to develop a digital focus, launch a private equity fund and significantly grow our portfolio in terms of dollars invested and mission impact. His steady hand has guided us through events as diverse as the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis and being declared “undesirable” by Russia. We remain indebted to him for a decade of wise advice and oversight.

However, as we say au revoir to Bernard, we are delighted to welcome Sheila as our new Chair. Sheila is Dean of Academic Affairs at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism, and Director of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. She began her reporting career at the Philippine Panorama, reporting on human rights and politics, before joining the staff of the Manila Times as a political reporter.

In 1989, Sheila co-founded the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, which trains journalists in investigative skills and has provided an environment for in-depth, ground-breaking reporting on issues such as the military, poverty and corruption. The PCIJ has served as a model for all the non-profit investigative reporting centers that have since burgeoned around the world.

Sheila has also reported on Philippine politics for The New York Times and The Guardian, and has authored more than a dozen books. She has received numerous awards, including the 2003 Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and the Creative Communication Arts.

Under Sheila’s leadership, MDIF’s Board of Directors will remain mission-focused, strategic and rigorous in its oversight, as the organisation faces new opportunities and challenges in helping committed entrepreneurs build and defend independent sources of new and information around the world.

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