Advisory Board Speakers

Savannah Behrmann


Politics NOW Reporter, USA TODAY

Savannah Rose Behrmann is a Politics NOW Reporter at USA TODAY. In this role, she covers breaking political news that ranges from Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, and the 2020 election. Previously, Savannah was a News Associate at CNN, where she produced from the news desk, wrote for digital and reported from Capitol Hill. Savannah hails from Utah, and attended George Mason University. She is a proud alumna of the Washington Journalism and Media Conference, which she attended as a National Youth Correspondent in 2013, and then worked as a staff member for several years.

Advisory Board

Vaughn Ververs


Political Editor,

Vaughn Ververs is currently the political editor for Ververs, a veteran reporter and media writer formerly served as an editor for Politico, as well as senior political editor for, responsible for daily coverage and long-term planning for the website’s political coverage.

Before joining the CBS News interactive group as editor of Public Eye at its inception in 2005, Mr. Ververs served as the editor of The Hotline, Washington D.C.’s premier daily online political news source, and wrote Talking Heads, a weekly column explaining how the press covers Washington. While at The Hotline, Mr. Ververs was a regular guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and frequently discussed campaign news and events on shows such as PBS’ The McLaughlin Group, Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor and MSNBC’s Hardball. In addition, he frequently appeared on CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel as a political analyst and was a regular guest on ABC radio’s John Batchelor Show. Prior to that, he worked with the Fox News Channel as a field producer, booker, line producer and associate producer for Fox News Sunday (1997-98). He was an associate producer and researcher for the political unit of CBS News (1995-96).

Before his journalism career began, Ververs was the deputy press secretary for Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign in 1992. Ververs was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and grew up in Simla, Colorado. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and three children.

Advisory Board

Dr. Robert Lichter


President, Center for Media and Public Affairs

Dr. Licther is a member of the Communications faculty as well as a consultant for Fox News Channel and Voter News Service. He is the President and founder of The Center for Media and Public Affairs. CMPA is a nonpartisan research and educational organization which conducts scientific studies of news and entertainment media. He has also authored two books, Prime Time and Watching America, as well as coauthored several books that examine the media’s coverage of government and election campaigns with Dr. Stephen Farnsworth.

Advisory Board

Ann Klenk


Former Senior Producer, Hardball with Chris Matthews, MSNBC

Ann Klenk is a retired senior producer for MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.  Ms. Klenk started her career in Washington broadcast journalism in 1976 as a business reporter for WTOP radio and Channel 9. She moved to cable in the 1980s producing financial and political programming, including a nightly investigative magazine show.  In 1991, Ms. Klenk was hired to start the CNBC’s first primetime bureau in Washington and created “Equal Time with Mary Matalin and Jane Wallace” and launched “Russert” and “McLaughlin” on the network.

Advisory Board

Steve Klein


Professor Emeritus/Journalism, George Mason University

Mr. Klein specializes in a cross-platform journalism approach and provides workshops for high school programs through his “Journalism for the Rest of Us” initiative and as a Teacher Consultant for the Northern Virginia Writing Project. He has taught classes in Writing Across Media, News Writing and Reporting, Introduction to Journalism, Online Journalism, Sports Writing and Reporting and Political Journalism at George Mason University, American University, Cape Cod Community College and Michigan State University. Mr. Klein will also teach History of Journalism (From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg) at GMU and a Journalism Practicum and Feature Writing at Mary Washington University during fall 2014. Prior to coming to Mason, he served as Online Sports Editor of USA TODAY, and also worked at the Lansing State Journal, Tennis magazine, the Stamford (Conn.) Advocate, Enterprise Radio/The Sports Network, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Akron Beacon Journal, for the Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association, the South Bend Tribune, the Wisconsin (Madison) State Journal and the Milwaukee Journal.

Advisory Board

Dr. T. Mills Kelly


Professor, Global Affairs Program, George Mason University

Dr. Kelly is currently a professor with the Global Affairs Program at George Mason University as well as an associate professor in the Department of History and Art History, and an associate director of the Center for History and New Media.

CHNM uses digital media and technology to preserve and present history online, transform scholarship across the humanities, and advance historical education and understanding. Each year CHNM’s many project websites receive over 16 million visitors, and over a million people rely on its digital tools to teach, learn, and conduct research.

Dr. Kelly is also a Georgetown University Research Fellow on the influence of digital media on student learning in history.

Advisory Board

Andrew Flagel


Vice President for Advancement and Member Engagement, The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

Andrew Flagel is the Vice President for Advancement and Member Engagement at The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the former Executive Director of the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University. At AAC&U, Dr. Flagel helps promote the mission of AAC&U by leading strategic advancement and membership growth and development. He has served in higher education for over 20 years, including a decade as Dean of Admissions at George Mason University.

Dr. Flagel also writes the most popular blog in the country on the admissions process at, and recently began a popular companion twitter feed, @deanflagel (and he would love for you to follow him). He has presented hundreds of seminars across the country, including the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, the National Young Leaders Conference, and the Washington Journalism and Media Conference.

Flagel has an undergraduate degree in philosophy and psychology and a master of arts in education from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Education from Michigan State University. Dr. Flagel was previously the Director of Admissions and Recruitment at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan. He also served as the Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, and as a Regional Director of Admissions at GW.

Along with his presentations and blog, Dr. Flagel provides his expertise in a variety of media, appearing as a guest on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN’s American Morning, and on CBS Evening News, and interviewed in USA Today, US News and World Report, The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, and Teen Vogue…just to name a few.

Advisory Board

Sam Feist


Senior Vice President, CNN/U.S. and Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief

Sam Feist is senior vice president for CNN/U.S. and Washington, D.C. bureau chief.  Since January 2009, Feist has served CNN’s political director and vice president of Washington-based programming, overseeing Washington programming, including John King, USAThe Situation Room with Wolf BlitzerState of the Union with Candy Crowley, and Reliable Sources. As political director, he also coordinated all facets of CNN’s daily political coverage including the production of political specials such as primary nights, conventions, and election nights.

Advisory Board

Jennifer Carroll


Editor, Mission Point Press

Jennifer Carroll has a lifelong passion for helping others write, find personal connections, tell stories.

She worked at three Michigan newspapers in reporting, writing, coaching and top editing/management roles, including as managing editor of the Lansing State Journal and then at The Detroit News. She joined the Burlington (VT) Free Press as executive editor.

She also served as a digital content vice president for Gannett in Washington, D.C.

She collaborated with writers, videographers, web designers and editors across Gannett, leading extensive training on digital storytelling tools including video and mobile design. She won several awards for her work on innovation in digital publishing, and for launching a series of print entertainment publications and related niche products.

She enjoys editing, writing coaching, ghost writing and helping others synthesize thoughts into words. She has edited several books for authors with Mission Point Press.

She retired from Gannett and returned to Michigan in 2015. She also is a glass artist with displays in Charlevoix area art galleries.

Advisory Board

Mark Bauman


Chief Executive Officer, Virtual Wonders

Mark Bauman currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Virtual Wonders, a multi-plaform 3D media company that creates immersive experiences for every major media platform. Mr. Bauman is an award-winning International Media and Communications Executive with more than 20 years experience developing broadcasts, publications, and new media businesses and outreach strategies. Before his tenure with Virtual Wonders, he worked with The National Geographic Society and served as a radio correspondent, Bureau Chief, and Producer for ABC News both domestically and abroad.