Who We Are: Meet the people behind DocumentCloud

DocumentCloud is a catalog of primary source documents and a tool for annotating, organizing and publishing them on the web. Documents are contributed by journalists, researchers and archivists. We're helping reporters get more out of documents and helping newsrooms make their online presence more engaging.

DocumentCloud was founded in 2009 with a grant from the Knight News Challenge. After two years as an independent nonprofit organization, DocumentCloud became a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors in June of 2011.

DocumentCloud Staff

IRE's staff are all actively involved in helping guide DocumentCloud's next stage of development.

Ted Han Ted Han joins DocumentCloud from Videojuicer, an online video platform focused on open standards and software integration. He's a computational linguist by degree, developer by trade, and Sci-Fi nerd by leisure. He was selected as a participant in the Knight Mozilla Journalism Challenge and has worked on DataMapper, Merb and a variety of data-based projects, including the CrisisCommons response to the Tohoku earthquake & tsunami.

Lauren Grandestaff, director of IRE's Resource Center, provides support to DocumentCloud users. She directs collection, indexing, and archiving of research materials that include tens of thousands of investigative stories and thousands of reporter tipsheets and coordinates IRE's annual awards, which honor the best investigative journalism around the world. A lifelong Missourian, Lauren does her part to keep Columbia, Missouri's local music scene thriving, too.

Advisory Group

DocumentCloud's founders and founding staff continue to advise us on the project.

Jeremy Ashkenas Jeremy Ashkenas, Lead Developer 2009-2011, joined DocumentCloud from Zenbe, a provider of online email and collaboration software. He created the Ruby-Processing visualization toolkit, the CoffeeScript programming language and is a two-time winner of the Sunlight Foundation’s Apps for America competition, for Know Thy Congressman and Quakespotter. You can contact him at jeremy@documentcloud.org.


Amanda Hickman Amanda Hickman, Program Director 2009-2011, joined DocumentCloud from Gotham Gazette where, as the Director of Technology, she managed development of a series of games about public policy issues, built a pretty cool database of candidates for local office and shared an ONA award for General Excellence with her colleagues there. Prior to joining Gotham Gazette, she worked as a Circuit Rider, providing technology assistance and training to low-income grassroots groups in the U.S. and as a consultant to foundations looking for ways to support their grantees’ use of technology in organizing work. She taught an undergraduate course at NYU’s Gallatin School on using the Internet as an organizing tool. You can find her at amanda@documentcloud.org.

Scott Klein is the Editor of News Applications at ProPublica, directing news application development and production. He previously worked at The Nation, directing editorial and business application development for the TheNation.com. Earlier in his career, Scott worked at The New York Times.

Aron Pilhofer is editor of Interactive News at The New York Times. His team blends journalism and technology to enhance The Times's reporting online through social media, community and dynamic, data-driven Web applications. He is also co-founder of two news-related nonprofits: DocumentCloud.org and Hacks and Hackers. Aron joined The Times in 2005 as a projects editor on the paper's newly expanded computer-assisted reporting team. Prior to joining The Times, he reported for the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, Gannett newspapers in New Jersey and Delaware and was on the national training staff of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Eric Umansky is a senior editor at ProPublica, where he oversees daily reporting. Previously, Eric wrote Slate’s “Today’s Papers” He also written, mostly on national security issues for The New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, The New Republic, and elsewhere. Earlier in his career, Eric was editor of MotherJones.com.