Andy Hall, executive director
Hall, a former Investigative Reporters and Editors board member, won dozens of awards for his reporting in 26 years at the Wisconsin State Journal and The Arizona Republic. He began his career in 1982 as a copyboy at The New York Times. At The Republic, Hall helped break the “Keating Five” scandal involving Sen. John McCain. At the State Journal, Hall’s stories held government and the powerful accountable and protected the vulnerable through coverage that addressed the racial achievement gap in public schools and helped spark the creation of the nationally noted Schools of Hope volunteer tutoring program, revealed NCAA violations by University of Wisconsin athletes, and exposed appalling conditions in neglected neighborhoods such as Allied Drive and Worthington Park. Hall won a first-place award in 2008 for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association. He also has received National Headliner, Gerald Loeb, James K. Batten and Inland Press Association awards for investigative, financial, deadline and civic journalism coverage. Hall has served as a mentor to the staff of La Comunidad, a Spanish-language newspaper in Madison, and has taught numerous courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication. He currently serves on the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council Board of Directors, Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism Board of Directors, and Indiana University Journalism Alumni Advisory Board. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.
Lauren Fuhrmann, associate director
Fuhrmann joined the Center in 2011 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. A Wisconsin native, her work has focused on environmental and investigative reporting. Fuhrmann previously researched audience engagement as a social media intern for Harvest Public Media and spent two years as a multimedia reporter for KBIA 91.3 FM and the Columbia Missourian. At WCIJ, Fuhrmann leads WCIJ’s public engagement efforts, including events, social media, newsletter and promotional materials; is co-director of the website; tracks the distribution and assesses the impact of WCIJ’s news stories; assists with development of donors and writing of grant reports; handles bookkeeping duties; and produces photos, audio and video content. In 2013, she was among five young leaders in the inaugural group of “Future Headliners” honored by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.
Kate Golden, multimedia director and reporter
Golden specializes in environmental stories and data visualizations, and is handy in print, radio, video, photo and online media. She came to the Center in 2010 from Alaska, where she reported on natural resources and business for the Juneau Empire. Before she got into journalism, Golden spent a year studying lowland gorillas in central Africa and collected oral histories in Zanzibar; she has also worked as a photographer. Her work has appeared in Marketplace, washingtonpost.com, and many an Alaska news outlet. Golden has degrees from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Dee Hall, interns director
Hall is a volunteer and co-founder of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. She also works as an investigative reporter at the Wisconsin State Journal, where in recent years she has focused on stories involving official misconduct. Before joining the State Journal in 1991, Hall was a reporter for eight years at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix. She is a native of Madison and a graduate of Indiana University.
Gail Kohl, development consultant
Kohl comes to the Center with more than 30 years of fundraising experience for both statewide and local organizations, including American Players Theatre, Taliesin Preservation Commission, Frank Lloyd Wright Heritage Tourism Program, United Cerebral Palsy, Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy and Big Top Chautauqua. From 1993 until 2010, Kohl was development director of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. Over her career, Kohl has been responsible for major gifts, project and operations funding, membership development and enhancement, strategic partnerships and alliances, event planning and coordination, special projects, proposal and grant writing.
Bill Lueders, Money and Politics Project director
Lueders is a veteran Wisconsin newspaper editor and reporter who came the Center in 2011 after 25 years at Isthmus, a Madison weekly. He is also the elected president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, a statewide group that works to protect public access to meetings and records. He has received national awards for editorial writing and reporting on animal issues and state awards for investigative, legal, interpretative and business reporting. He is the author of three books: An Enemy of the State: The Life of Erwin Knoll, Cry Rape: The True Story of One Woman’s Harrowing Quest for Justice and Watchdog: 25 Years of Muckraking and Rabblerousing.
Ron Seely, reporter and editor
Ron Seely joined the Center as a part-time reporter, editor and student mentor in June 2013 after nearly 35 years as an award-winning reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. For the past two decades, Seely covered science and environment for the State Journal. Seely is also a senior lecturer on the faculty of the Life Sciences Communication Department in UW-Madison’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where he has taught science writing for 20 years. Seely has won numerous awards for his newspaper work. Most recently he was named a winner of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ national investigative reporting award for a series on Wisconsin’s failure to adequately regulate factory farms. The series was cited for a third place award behind projects by the New York Times and ProPublica. Seely was the 2010 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s national science writing award, the prestigious James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award. In 2008, he won the Inland Press Association Award for investigative reporting for the series on problems at the Madison Water Utility. And he is a three-time winner of the Wisconsin Press Association’s award for environmental reporting. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.
Christa Westerberg, counsel
Westerberg is a shareholder at McGillivray Westerberg & Bender, LLC, in Madison, Wisconsin, where she practices environmental, civil rights, and open government law. Since 2008, Westerberg has served as the vice president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.
Madeleine Behr, reporter
Behr joined the Center in June 2014 as a summer reporting intern. Before joining the Center, the Chicago native worked as a research intern for the Center for Media and Democracy on its ALEC Exposed and SourceWatch projects, in addition to serving as state news editor for The Badger Herald, one of UW-Madison student newspapers. She will graduate in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and legal studies.
Taylor Chase, reporter
Chase joined the Center as an intern in the spring of 2014. Before working at the Center she interned with Madison’s ABC affiliate, WKOW, where she wrote, edited and produced broadcast news stories. Chase has also worked at WSUM Madison Student Radio co-hosting a music/talk show weekly, and spent a short amount of time interning at Wisconsin’s Capitol under various legislators. She will be graduating from UW-Madison in May of 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science.
Sean Kirkby, reporter
Kirkby joined the Center as an intern in summer 2014, after completing his bachelor’s degree in journalism, English and history at UW-Madison. Previously, he reported and edited for The Badger Herald, one of UW-Madison’s student newspapers, and worked for the university’s writing center as a Writing Fellow, helping students revise their course papers. His work has appeared in Wisconsin Health News, a news service focusing on health care policy in the state; on the university’s home page; and in Madison Commons, a hyperlocal blog supported by UW-Madison’s journalism school.