Media Fellow Alumni: 2016 & 2017
Media Fellow Alumni: 2016 & 2017
Title/Company: West Coast Correspondent, Devex; Bay Area Coordinator, Solutions Journalism Network
Based In: Sacramento, California, USA
Geographic Focus: West Coast of US (and its impact on emerging markets)
Areas of Expertise: Solutions journalism
(All biographical info is from 2017. For latest bio, please visit Fellow’s website, LinkedIn, or other social media profiles).
Catherine Cheney loves to tell stories and connect individuals in order to draw attention to, and drive collaboration around, responses to problems. As the West Coast correspondent for Devex, the media platform for the global development community, she reports on the role of technology, philanthropy, and new approaches from the lean startup methodology to human centered design in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
In addition to writing, she sees her role as breaking down silos, building bridges between Washington, DC and Silicon Valley, and identifying new ways to advance the Devex motto and mission of “Do Good. Do It Well” from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Catherine is also the Bay Area coordinator for the Solutions Journalism Network, a New York based nonprofit that aims to spread the practice of rigorous reporting on responses to social problems. She trains other journalists to report on what is working in addition to what is not, and works to raise awareness and builds support for the solutions journalism mission. She sees a powerful connection between the Devex mission and the Solutions Journalism Network mission. The more complex the problem, the greater the need for reporting on responses with evidence of impact. This is a message she delivered to an audience of individuals working to address global poverty as a 2016 Boehm Media Fellow at Opportunity Collaboration.
Catherine graduated from Yale University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science and distinction as a Yale Journalism Scholar. She went on to work as a web producer and staff writer at POLITICO, a reporter for World Politics Review, and the first social media editor for the Middle East focused news site Al Monitor. Prior to Devex, Catherine joined NationSwell as the first hire, and helped build a media company and membership network that mobilizes support behind solutions to national challenges. She has remained engaged in national service both as a volunteer ambassador for the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, now the Service Year Alliance, and as an Air Force spouse.
Since winning a $50,000 award from Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, Catherine has consulted for Newseum and she returns year after year to support a conference that inspires young journalists to “Dream, Dare, and Do.” She has reported internationally from countries including Tanzania, Qatar, Peru, Haiti, Venezuela, and Germany, where she was both a Fulbright fellow in the Berlin Capital Program and an Arthur F. Burns fellow at Der Spiegel. Her freelance reporting has been supported by institutions like the International Center for Journalists and appeared in publications including The Washington Post and The Atlantic. And she has organized or led discussions at conferences and venues ranging from SwitchPoint to the New America Foundation to South by Southwest. Through storytelling and convening in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, Catherine is on a mission to elevate impactful responses to complex problems.