Geeta Anand, dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, is a former reporter for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, where she won a Pulitzer Prize in 2002.  She began her 27-year career as a full-time journalist at the Cape Cod News and the Rutland Herald and is a strong believer in the benefits of early career training at small news sites. 

Marty Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post from 2013 to 2021, previously led the Boston Globe and the Miami Herald.  Baron has also held senior editing positions at the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. He is on the board of trustees of the Knight Foundation and is currently writing a book about his experience at the Washington Post. Baron, a fluent Spanish speaker, also advises a Spanish-language news site.

Mimi Chakarova, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, is the founder of Still I Rise Films, a site that creates, produces and funds projects that celebrate people who persevere in the face of challenges. Chakarova, the director of five-full-length documentaries, won the 2011 Daniel Pearl Award for International Investigative Journalism for her documentary, The Price of Sex. 

Amanda Martinez, director of multimedia production and outreach for John Jay College, CUNY, worked at Mission Local from 2008 to 2010. Subsequently, she served as managing editor of Tribeca Enterprises and as a senior multimedia producer at NBC. Amanda is a former resident of the Mission District and got her first introduction to ethnic media while working for the local bilingual newspaper El Tecolote. 

Andrea Valencia studied at Instituto Superior de Intérpretes y Traductores in Mexico City; she has been involved with Mission Local’s bilingual efforts since 2008. She has also worked as a linguist at Square, Apple and Samsung. Valencia recently co-founded Linguaficient, where she works as a community and conference interpreter based in the Mission.

Kuang Xu, a Mission resident and Associate Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. Xu grew up in Suzhou, China, where he accompanied his father, a journalist, on interviews. He has been an active story advisor (and occasionally a translator) for Mission Local. 

Elizabeth Zitrin, a longtime Mission resident, is a lawyer with an enduring interest in criminal justice issues. She is the past president of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and a board member of the Southern Center for Human Rights and Witness to Innocence, the organization of death row exonerees. 

From Mission Local: 

Lydia Chávez founded Mission Local in 2008 as an opportunity to engage her students at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism in news coverage outside the classroom. The site has been independent since 2014. Chávez worked at The New York Times in the 1980s as a business and metropolitan news reporter, and as a foreign correspondent. She is the author of The Color Bind, California’s Battle to End Affirmative Action.


Joe Eskenazi, managing editor of Mission Local, was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended UC Berkeley. He was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. His work has also appeared in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.), San Francisco Public Press, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner and Dallas Morning News.