Chris Fitzsimon leads the content and themes of the organization, managing financial resources and overseeing the digital, editorial, and operations departments. He also travels frequently to hire and visit editors and grantees.
From 2004 to 2017, Fitzsimon was the founder and original director of NC Policy Watch, North Carolina's leading online news and commentary outlet, where he led a team of seven journalists, hosted a weekly radio show and wrote a syndicated column on North Carolina politics and government.
Fitzsimon was also the founder and director of Common Sense Foundation, a progressive think tank in Raleigh. From 1991 to 1994, he was the spokesperson, speech writer and policy adviser for N.C. Speaker of the House Dan Blue. Before his stint with Speaker Blue, Fitzsimon was an award-winning television news reporter covering politics and government.
Adam Searing is an Associate Professor of the Practice at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families where he focuses on Medicaid and other health coverage programs.
Before joining CCF, Searing served seventeen years as Director of the Health Access Coalition for the North Carolina Justice Center. The Health Access Coalition is North Carolina’s leading voice for health reforms that address the needs of the uninsured and underinsured. During his tenure, Searing fought to keep health plans and hospitals nonprofit and community-focused, won and helped implement expansions of the state Medicaid program, helped pass a model state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program and worked on passage and implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. In addition, Searing taught public policy courses as adjunct faculty at both the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy.
In 2012 he was named a Health Advocate of the Year by the national consumer group Families USA. Also in 2012 he was recognized as a “Champion of Change” in health care by the White House. He is a recipient of both the NC Pediatric Society’s Tom Vitaglione Child Health Advocacy Award and the NC Primary Health Care Association’s Evelyn D. Schmidt Award for Outstanding Service. Searing is a licensed attorney with degrees in both law and public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
David Hudson is the Senior Director of Digital Content and Social Media at the Motion Picture Association, based in Washington, D.C.
Before joining MPA, Hudson served as Digital Director for Accountable US. Prior to that, he was with Precision Strategies, a communications firm, where he helped build awareness of MPA’s diversity and inclusion programming in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite. He also helped launch the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s inaugural Smithsonian African American Film Festival.
Hudson’s resume also includes the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, the Center for American Progress, and the Obama White House, where he was Associate Director for Content, managing among other things the We the People petition platform and other interactive content for WhiteHouse.gov.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Hudson received his bachelor's degree in English and African American and African Studies from the University of Virginia.
Jarvis DeBerry is an opinion editor for MSNBC Digital and the former editor of the Louisiana Illuminator. Jarvis spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune (and later NOLA.com) as a crime and courts reporter, an editorial writer, columnist and deputy opinions editor. He was on the team of Times-Picayune journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service after that team’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the deadly flood that followed.
In addition to the shared Pulitzer, DeBerry has won awards from the Louisiana Bar Association for best trial coverage and awards from the New Orleans Press Club, the Louisiana/ Mississippi Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists for his columns. A collection of his Times-Picayune columns, “I Feel to Believe” was published by the University of New Orleans Press in September 2020.
Kathy Best is director of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
As former executive editor and managing editor for digital news, Best led the Seattle Times staff to two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of breaking news, including real-time reporting of the manhunt for a gunman who shot four police officers. The staff also won two prestigious Online
Journalism Awards under her watch for a project on ocean acidification and coverage of a devastating mudslide in Oso, Washington, that claimed 43 lives.
As a reporter, Best covered the Illinois Legislature and state politics in Springfield and Chicago before joining the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Washington, D.C., Bureau, where she covered the Supreme Court, Congress and presidential politics.
Best switched to editing full time in 1996, directing coverage of earthquakes, hurricanes, domestic whale hunts, priest abuse, National Security Agency boondoggles, riots and other forms of mayhem in Seattle, St. Louis and Baltimore.