Announcing the 2019 ELP Directors, Trainers and Speakers


In today’s changing media landscape, it is vital that leaders are equipped for addressing the responsibilities and challenges of serving our increasingly diverse and cross-cultural world.

The program has an impressive 20+ year track record, committed to journalistic excellence and leadership training. ELP provides targeted professional development to diverse, high-potential, ambitious, and community-minded professionals. The program delivers more strategic, agile, confident and diversity conscious leaders.

ELP has trained more than 500 media professionals to date, successfully fostering a pipeline of savvy industry leaders — many at major media companies — and providing graduates with access to a robust, life-long, and supportive alumni network.

Additionally, ELP offers continuing learning opportunities year-round (online and in-person), including: alumni programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking events.

The ELP 2019 Seminar will take place from April 15-19, 2019 at ABC News in New York City.




Karen Gordon is the founder of Strategic Horizons, Inc., a boutique management consulting firm established in 1991, providing strategic, organizational, and communication guidance, as well as executive coaching, to a wide range of companies. Her nearly thirty years of consulting experience includes six years at McKinsey & Company, where she led teams in strategic planning and organizational development on behalf of multi-national clients. In that role, she managed teams in the analysis of business strategy and organization, and developed enduring solutions.


Dr. Kevin Leo Yabut Nadal is a Professor of Psychology at both John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Graduate Center at the City University of New York. He received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Columbia University in New York City and is one of the leading researchers in understanding the impacts of microaggressions , or subtle forms of discrimination, on the mental and physical health of people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people; and other marginalized groups. He has published over 100 works on multicultural issues in the fields of psychology and education. He is the author of eight books including Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice (2011, John Wiley and Sons), That’s So Gay: Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community (2013, APA Books), and Microaggressions and Traumatic Stress (2018, APA Books). He was the first openly gay President of the Asian American Psychological Association and the first person of color to serve as the Executive Director of the Center for LGBTQ Studies. He is a National Trustee of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) and a co-founder of the LGBTQ Scholars of Color National Network. He has delivered hundreds of lectures across the United States, including the White House and the U.S. Capitol. He has won numerous awards, including the American Psychological Association 2017 Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest;  the 2019 Richard Tewksbury Award from the Western Society of Criminology, and the Thought Leadership Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.



Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career and business expert, writer, speaker and co-founder of SixFigureStart®. Prior to launching SixFigureStart® in 2008, Ceniza-Levine spent 15 years in strategy consulting, executive search and HR. She has been a repeat guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC and Fox Business and has been quoted in BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc, MORE, Newsweek, NPR, Real Simple, and Success Magazine.

Ceniza-Levine is a career columnist for and and formerly wrote for CNBC, and Portfolio. She is the author of 3 books: “Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career” (2015, Forbes); “Six Steps To Job Search Success” (2011, Flat World Knowledge); and “How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” (2010, Two Harbors Press).

Ceniza-Levine teaches Professional Development and Negotiation courses at Columbia University and received a grant from the Jones New York Empowerment Fund for her work with the mid-career professional. A classically trained pianist at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, she stays active in the arts, performing stand-up comedy. Follow her on Twitter at @sixfigurestart.


Dickson Louie is currently principal of Louie & Associates, a boutique San Francisco Bay Area-consultancy that provides strategic planning, competitive analysis, and executive development services to start-ups, non-profits and Fortune 500 companies. Louie has over 25 years of professional management experience within the news media industry, having worked as a planning and business development executive at the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle. As a research associate at the Harvard Business School, he wrote 20 case studies, including those on, The New York Times on the Web and CBS Marketwatch.

Louie, a certified public accountant, is a graduate of California State University, East Bay, where he received his bachelors, magna cum laude, in business administration, with a minor in journalism. He received his MBA from the University of Chicago, with concentrations in finance, marketing and statistics. Louie has also completed the Advanced Executive Program at Northwestern University’s Media Management Center. He is on the faculty of the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches the popular MBA elective course, “The Business of the Media.” Follow him on Twitter at @dlouie888.


Virgil Smith earned his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree from the University of San Francisco and has a long career as a media executive. He has spent 20 years with McClatchy Newspapers and the last 24 years with Gannett, where he served numerous roles, including president and publisher and corporate HR executive.

Smith has recruited, mentored and coached hundreds of professionals from entry-level to senior executive roles in broadcast, publishing and other professions. He can be reached at and you can find more information about his firm at Follow him on Twitter at @virgillamar.



Paul Cheung joined Knight Foundation in May 2018 with more than 20 years of experience at the forefront of digital journalism. Most recently, he was the director of visual journalism at NBC News Digital. In that role, he built a team and created an infrastructure to support interactive storytelling. He also facilitated the usage of new technology tools to enhance social video creations and immersive experience. Prior to NBC, Cheung helped pioneer VR360, automation, data journalism strategies and digital training initiatives at the Associated Press as the head of Interactives and Digital News Production. He also led a global team of multimedia journalists, data journalists and researchers who produced immersive digital experiences for web, mobile and social. Before joining the AP, Paul was The Miami Herald’s deputy multimedia presentation editor and a senior graphics editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Cheung served two terms as the Asian American Journalists Association’s global president from 2013 to 2016.  He assisted in raising more than $2 million to secure training programs to turn minority journalists into industry leaders. He also partnered with more than 40 community organizations to executive produce the first-ever quad-partisan presidential election forum in 2016, highlighting the rising influence of Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. He currently serves on the board of the American Society of News Editors. Cheung is a graduate of the 2016 Punch Sulzberger Executive Leadership program at Columbia University and an alumnus of New York University.


Caridad Hernandez is a seven-time Emmy award-winning Executive Producer and most recently she and her team were awards the Alfred I. duPont award for public service in Journalism fromColumbia University for their documentary: The Everglades: Where Politics, Money and Race Collide. Caridad is currently the Content Discovery and Producing lead for CBS affiliate WUSA9 in Washington DC. As a member of the Senior Leadership team, she is responsible for the production of the daytime, 7pm and weekend newscasts.

For the last six years, Caridad lead the Investigations and Special Projects Unit for CBS4Miami. She also supervised the production of the station’s political show, Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede and Focus South Florida which airs on MYTV33. Caridad and her team have executed a long list of Emmy-Award winning investigations. Some of which have made impacts in South Florida: Race Matters with Jim DeFedeLast Chance Boot Camp with Jim DeFedeThe Truth about Patrick Murphy with Jim DeFede, and Push for Safer Pools and Cave Diving: Beyond the Limit with Investigator David Sutta. Her experience as a producer is attributed to her time at various television stations in both Miami, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Caridad is a graduate of Florida International University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

She currently serves on the board of Urgent Inc. and gives back by volunteering with the Asian American Journalist Association where co-facilitates the Executive Leadership Program for emerging media leaders and previously served as a broadcast teacher for high school journalism students. Caridad Hernandez is the proud mother of 21-year old daughter, Kaela.


Katie Nelson is the Executive Producer for ABC News, where she leads editorial coverage for distribution across ABC’s websites, apps, social media, streaming services and emerging platforms. Katie is an AAJA and ONA member, was a 2016 Punch Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program fellow at Columbia University and a Chips Quinn Scholars alum. Previously, she worked for HuffPost, New York Daily News, The Associated Press, The Cambodia Daily and The Arizona Republic, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @katienelson.

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