Founder & Publisher
Jane Hamsher is the founder and publisher of Firedoglake.com, a leading progressive blog. Her work has also appeared on The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, AlterNet, The Nation, and The American Prospect. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Al Jazeera, PBS, and the BBC. She is the author of the best-selling book Killer Instinct, and she has produced such films “Natural Born Killers” and “Permanent Midnight.” Jane currently lives in Washington, D.C. Email address is janehamsher AT firedoglake DOT com.
Book Salon Editor
Bevw, also known as Bev Wright, Firedoglake Book Salon Editor. Everything interests me, not enough time in a day…I am a retired federal law enforcement officer from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, DOJ, after 32 years in the federal government. I have traveled the US and overseas, lived in houses, RV’s and Sailboats, grew up working on cars as a kid, then, electronics and construction, ending up a Program Manager in Security Electronics and Telecommunications, with a top secret clearance for 30 years. The whole time I probably had several books within reach. After two years of retirement and video games, and Hosting Drinking Liberally, FDL found me. I enjoy the Book Salons, the challenges of scheduling the authors and hosts, but mostly, the interaction between our readers and the authors. Our readers are fantastic. I live in the DC metro area. Email: BevJWright at gmail.com.
Brian Sonenstein directs the activism and technology programs at Firedoglake. After blogging and organizing local activism campaigns for Living Liberally in 2009, Brian joined FDL in the heat of the battle over health care reform and has remained at the organization ever since. He holds a BA in International Relations and Latin American Studies from Wheaton College (MA) and currently lives in Berkeley, CA. Email: [email protected]
Elliott plunged into Firedoglake during the Libby trial and has been swimming around the Lake from cove to cove ever since (3rd on the right from the left). She serves as weekend editor, compiles Sunday Talking Heads, and puts up assorted diaries at MyFDL, some of which are just for so. She can be reached at EllieElliott at gmail.com.
Senior Policy Analyst
Jonathan Walker is a graduate from Welseyan University and is currently living in Washington DC. He started ‘The Walker Report’ a blog about politics and public policy with a strong focus on the issue of health care. Walker is currently working full time for Firedoglake writing on the Just Say Now, FDL Action and Elections pages.
Blogger, The Dissenter
Kevin Gosztola served as an intern for The Nation Magazine and worked closely with Greg Mitchell, helping him to maintain his daily WikiLeaks blog. He contributed sections to both of Mitchell’s books, “The Age of WikiLeaks” and “Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences.” And, he’s the producer of a weekly podcast “This Week in WikiLeaks” that has been tweeted by WikiLeaks to their more than 900,000 followers. He has been writing and publishing to WikiLeaks Central for the past six months. He was a multimedia editor and trusted author for OpEdNews for over three years. He’s a 2009 YP4 fellow and also a filmmaker/videographer, who graduated with a Film/Video B.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. And, in April 2010, he co-organized a major arts & media summit called “Art, Access & Action,” which explored the intersection of politics, art and media. The conference earned support from the media reform organization Free Press.
Zach works as an online organizer for the activism arm of Firedoglake. He is a 2011 of graduate of Ithaca College with a degree in journalism. He has previously worked/interned at NPR, Democracy Now!, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and the ACLU. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Email zach at firedoglake.com
Blogger, Arts & Culture
Lisa Derrick writes La Figa for Firedoglake and hostesses FDL Movie Nights. She attended, in theory, UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University, but spent more time in punk rock clubs than in class, eventually matriculating to autodidactic studies in lots of weird useless pop-culturey stuff. She has worked in bookstores, at record labels, on film sets, in nightclubs, and as a freelance writer, as well as writing for and editing Grammy and Sacred History magazines. Her hobbies are religion, history, arcane feminine arts and crafts, and re-runs of Beverly Hills 90210. Film noir, American melodrama, vintage jewelry, and ice cream make her really happy. She can be reached at lalisa.derrick93 at gmail.com.
Blogger, Arts & Culture
Sara Haile-Mariam is an artist and activist. She is a recovering political operative who worked on the 2008 Obama campaign, in New York City local politics and at the Center for American Progress where she focused on writing, video production and public speaking. She’s appeared on CSPAN, been published by the New York Times and has had video products covered by The Tonight Show among other outlets. Disillusioned by partisan politics she found new life in music as a singer-songwriter. In 2013 she co-founded the band Music Bones and currently plays the guitar and drums.
Shannon Sonenstein Sonrouille
Blogger, Arts & Culture
Shannon Sonenstein Sonrouille is a documentary filmmaker. From post-Katrina New Orleans to Cairo, Egypt, Shannon has produced films on topics like race car drivers, striking factory workers, and gun violence. Select recent producing credits include: Katrina Sisters (NYC Life, 2012), No Contract No Cookies (HBO, 2011), Dirty Driving: Thundercars of Indiana (HBO, 2008). Shannon also associate produced Redemption (HBO, 2012) which was nominated for a 2013 Academy Award in the Best Documentary Short category and Wartorn: 1861-2010 (HBO, 2010). She brings her perspective as a working filmmaker to her writing and looks forward to curating & discussing great films with FDL’s readers.
Allison Hantschel (aka Athanae) is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a journalism and politics blog, with her partners Adrastos and Jude. She is the author of It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal (2008, Heritage Books) and Chicago’s Historic Irish Pubs (with Mike Danahey) (2011, Arcadia Books). She also edited the anthology Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War (2005, William, James & Co.). Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three pet ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.
In 1949, I decided to wrestle professionally, starting my career in Texas. In my debut, I defeated Abe Kashey, with former World Heavyweight boxing Champion Jack Dempsey as the referee. In 1950, I captured the NWA Junior Heavyweight title. In 1953, I won the Chicago version of the NWA United States Championship. I became one of the most well-known stars in wrestling during the golden age of television, thanks to my exposure on the Dumont Network, where I wowed audiences with my technical prowess. I was rumored to be one of the highest paid wrestlers during the 1950s, reportedly earning a hundred thousand dollars a year. My specialty was “the Sleeper Hold” and the founding of modern, secular, Turkey. Oops, sorry, that’s the biography of Verne Gagne with a touch of Mustafa Kemal. I’m just an average moron.
Autumn Sandeen is a contributor to Pam’s House Blend. She previously blogged for the Ex-Gay Watch, and has written for Frontiers Magazine, The Advocate, the Washington Blade and Baltimore OUTloud. She currently writes the Trans Progressive column at San Diego’s LGBT Weekly. In 2010 she was honored as one of San Diego Pride’s Champions of Pride, and in 2012 was awarded the Community Service Award at San Diego’s Transgender Day of Empowerment. In 2008, she was one of the first two transgender reporters to be credentialed to cover the Democratic National Convention, writing for Pam’s House Blend. Autumn is a Persian Gulf War veteran who retired as a Fire Controlman Petty Officer First Class in 2000 after 20-years of service. She has a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell story of being sexually harassed for being perceived as being gay that was featured in the joint HRC/SLDN/AFER Documenting Courage campaign. She went to jail twice for participating in the GetEqual Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell protests where LGBT veterans handcuffed themselves to the White House fence. A California native, Autumn lives in “America’s Finest City” — San Diego, California. Email: autumn at firedoglake.com.
Christina Siun O’Connell
Christina Siun O’Connell writes on conflict zones for Firedoglake with a focus on Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In her professional life, she was an early specialist on online communications and worked in publishing and media relations before directing the development of the first corporate social responsibility news service. She currently advises multinational organizations on sustainability and climate change management and communications.
Cynthia Kouril is a former Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York under several different U.S. Attorneys, former counsel to the Inspector General for the N.Y.C. Department of Environmental Protection [where she investigated threats to the New York City water supply and other environmental crimes, as well as public corruption and fraud against the government], former Examining Attorney at the N.Y.C. Department of Investigation and former Capital Construction Counsel at New York City Parks and Recreation. She is now in private practice with a colleague whom she met while at the USA Attorney’s Office. Ms. Kouril is a member of the Steering Committee, National Committeewoman and Regional Coordinator for the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, a member of the Program Committee of the Federal Bar Council and an alumna of the Election Law Committee at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She was NYS election day in-state litigation counsel for the Barack Obama presidential campaign. Most important of all, she is a mom.
Kirk James Murphy
Kirk James Murphy, M.D. is a board certified psychiatrist and medical educator who completed formal fellowship training in consultation-liaison and trauma psychiatry as well as undergoing advanced training in human sexuality, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and cognitive behavioral therapy. After many years providing care to organ transplant patients and oncology patients in a renowned Los Angeles academic medical center he moved to the Bay Area, trading less challenging work for far lovelier surroundings. For over a dozen years he’s participated in and provided medical support for non-violent eco-protection efforts including the Ruckus Society and many forest protection campaigns. This work enabled him to identify the pattern of neurotoxic symptoms in civilians exposed to chemical weapons during the 1999 Seattle WTO protests. His greatest activist success so far was his successful effort to ensure the precautionary principle was the framework for the LA Unified School District’s pesticide reform plan, thus ensuring the principle’s wide adoption in other jurisdictions. He writes for Firedoglake on food safety, environmental, and human rights issues.