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 2011.

DocumentCloud Staff

DocumentCloud's staff, who also are employees of Investigative Reporters and Editors, are responsible for the day-to-day development and operation of the platform. Contact us with questions about accounts or using DocumentCloud.

Ted Han Ted Han has been leading DocumentCloud's technology efforts with a product focus since 2011. He studied computational linguistics and has worked in technology and startups for more than a decade. 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 and tsunami.

Justin Reese Justin Reese joined DocumentCloud's development team in 2015 and focuses on the platform’s front-end components. Before that, Justin spent years translating complicated business requirements into simple, usable web apps for companies such as Essilor Labs and Bon-Ton; and his civic coding contributions include Hack Tyler. Justin's artistry extends beyond software: he also makes short films and tolerable Neapolitan-style pizza.

Lauren GrandestaffLauren 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.

Advisory Group

DocumentCloud's group of advisers includes journalism, business and technology professionals as well as several of the platform's founders.

Penelope Muse AbernathyPenelope Muse Abernathy is the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina and a journalism professional with more than 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and media executive. Abernathy, a former executive at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, specializes in preserving quality journalism by helping the news business succeed economically in the digital media environment. Abernathy focuses her expertise on 21st-century economic models that will improve the ability of journalists to produce news in the public interest. Her book "Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability" was published by UNC Press in 2014 and is based on research involving more than two dozen U.S. newspapers. Prior to joining the school, she was vice president and executive director of industry programs at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. Before moving to the business side of the industry, Abernathy served as a newspaper reporter or editor at several daily newspapers. She has a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and an M.B.A. and M.S. from Columbia University.

Matthew de GanonMatthew de Ganon is Senior Director, Digital Product at Capital One. He has more than 19 years of experience in product management, technology, and running digital and mobile businesses. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Product Management and Commerce at Softcard, the mobile wallet joint venture of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. Before that, Matt held multiple positions at Gannett, where, as Vice President and General Manager of the Digital Portfolio Group, he led the product management teams responsible for more than 700 mobile, Web and tablet products, including USA Today's digital products. At The Weather Channel, Matt spent seven years in management positions, the last as ​​​​SVP and general manager of weather.com, the company's flagship digital business, and oversaw the teams responsible for the creation and growth of The Weather Channel Desktop, which became Internet's number one content application. Matt was also one of the founders of interactive agency K2 Digital.

Eric GundersenEric Gundersen is the CEO of Mapbox, a leading provider of custom online maps, coordinating its product and business development. Eric has been with the Mapbox team since its start and splits his time working on projects in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Eric got his start in the mapping and open data space at Development Seed, building open source tools for international development agencies. He holds a master’s degree in international development from American University in Washington, D.C., and has dual bachelor’s degrees in economics and international relations.

Jacqueline KazilJacqueline Kazil is an Innovation Specialist working on cross-agency platforms for the federal government. She is a social scientist and software developer passionate about human behavior, data, and government who has served in a variety of journalism and civic positions. She has been a Presidential Innovation Fellow who worked on disaster response and recovery initiatives. Prior to that, she worked for CACI, where she was lead developer on a contract at The Library of Congress, working on projects such as Chronicling America and Congress.gov. Previously, Jackie worked for The Washington Post on news-driven data applications — including the series Top Secret America, which received awards including the 2010 George Polk Award for Journalism and was a SXSW Finalist for Technical Achievement. She is active in open-source community development, founded PyLadies D.C. and Geo D.C., and also runs Django District and assists with D.C. Python. Jackie received her M.A. in Convergence Journalism from the University of Missouri and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Computational Social Science at George Mason University. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their three dogs.

Scott KleinScott Klein is an assistant managing editor at ProPublica and a co-founder of DocumentCloud. At ProPublica, he directs a team of journalists, statisticians, designers and programmers building large interactive software projects that tell journalistic stories, and that make complex national statistics relevant to readers and their communities. ProPublica's news application team’s awards include three Online Journalism Awards for General Excellence, nine Malofiej International Infographics Award medals, the Data Journalism Award Jurors Choice Award, and 34 Society for News Design Awards of Excellence, including special recognition for “defining the design language of data-driven news apps.” The team maintains a blog at propublica.org/nerds. A full list of their projects is at propublica.org/data.

T. Christian MillerT. Christian Miller, a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors board of directors, is a senior reporter at ProPublica, which he joined in 2008. He spent the previous 11 years reporting for the Los Angeles Times. His work included coverage of the 2000 presidential campaign and three years as a bureau chief for the Times, responsible for 10 countries in South and Central America. Earlier in his career, he worked for the San Francisco Chronicle and the St. Petersburg Times. He has received the George Polk Award for Radio Reporting, the Dart Award for Coverage of Trauma, the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors award for online reporting, two Overseas Press Club awards, a Livingston Award for Young Journalists, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Reporting and a certificate of recognition from the Daniel Pearl awards for outstanding international investigative reporting. In addition, Miller was given a yearlong Knight Fellowship in 2011 to study at Stanford University. Miller is the author of Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq.

Aron PilhoferAron Pilhofer is executive editor of digital at The Guardian and a co-founder of DocumentCloud. Previously, he was editor of interactive news at The New York Times. 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. He also has been a member of the IRE board of directors.

Chrys WuChrys Wu is developer advocate at The New York Times, where she leads internal and public-facing initiatives with The New York Times Developers. She is also a founding organizer of Hacks/Hackers, co-founder of the Write/Speak/Code engineering leadership conference, producer of the Robot Film Festival, and trustee emeritus of Awesome Foundation NYC. Chrys has also worked as a strategist, journalist, developer and consigliere to news media, tech startups, non-profits and foundations including The Los Angeles Times, NPR and its affiliates, DataKind, The Knight Foundation and The Gates Foundation. Talk with her on Twitter at @MacDiva.

DocumentCloud Founders, Launch Staff

DocumentCloud is deeply appreciative of the vision and dedication of its founders and launch staff. In 2009, Aron Pilhofer (then of The New York Times), Scott Klein and Eric Umansky of ProPublica received a Knight News Challenge grant that provided the initial funding to hire staff and launch the platform.

Jeremy Ashkenas was the project's lead developer from 2009 to 2011, creating an impressive array of open source document processing and UX components including CloudCrowd, Docsplit and the DocumentCloud platform itself. Out of his work on the project came the widely used Backbone.js JavaScript framework and the Underscore.js JavaScript library. Jeremy continues to contribute ideas, advice and code.

Amanda Hickman was DocumentCloud's program director from 2009 to 2011. Amanda was responsible for training, outreach and helping set the platform's priorities. Her dogged outreach brought hundreds of newsrooms on board.

Samuel Clay was a developer for DocumentCloud from 2010 to 2011 and contributed several key components to the platform, including visual faceted search in the workspace.

DocumentCloud Alumni

Anthony DeBarros Anthony DeBarros, director of product development, joined DocumentCloud in 2015. Previously, he led an interactive applications team at Gannett Digital that built data-driven interactives for investigations, elections and publishing tools for the Gannett platform. He has been a database editor and investigative journalist with USA TODAY and was a 2012 IRE Service Award winner for making Census data easily available to journalists.