Jackleen de La Harpe

Executive Director

Jackleen focuses on program, strategic planning and fundraising for Underscore and was a strategic development consultant for InvestigateWest to increase the visibility and reach of investigative reporting. She was the founding Executive Director of The Metcalf Institute for Marine + Environmental Reporting and is a former journalist and freelancer — her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Providence Journal and, more recently, Indian Country Today.

Katie Whitecar

Operations Director

Katie Whitecar (pronounced whit-i-kerr) specializes in project management, designing and streamlining internal processes informed by data analytics. She has worked for environmental education nonprofits, healthcare administrators and energy efficiency programs. In 2018, Katie joined the Burgerville Strategic Initiatives team, researching regenerative agriculture to inform Burgerville’s eco-conscious supply chain decisions. She believes strongly in the nonprofit journalism model and is applying her skills and expertise to build the foundation for Underscore’s sustainability.

Ryan Brewer

Communications Coordinator

Ryan Brewer focuses on creative and strategic communications solutions for print and digital media. With a background in advertising and publishing, he strives to build a portfolio of socially-minded organizations—be it as a production artist for Image Comics, letterpress supervisor for the Independent Publishing Resource Center, and now as communications coordinator for Underscore. He is an enrolled citizen of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, and lives in Portland where he enjoys birding, biking, and all things books.

Jason Buch

Managing Editor

Jason Buch is an independent journalist based in Seattle. His work has focused on immigration, the environment and criminal justice. He was part of a team that reported on disproportionate search rates by the Washington State Patrol. That project won a Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism award and prompted new legislation. Before moving to Washington in 2018, Buch spent 10 years covering the U.S.-Mexico border for newspapers in Texas.


Brian Bull


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Brian Bull has been involved in journalism for 25 years and has filed for National Public Radio, the BBC, and other broadcast outlets. A proud citizen of the Nez Perce Tribe, Bull mentors up and coming journalists of color through NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project. When not covering news in the Pacific Northwest, he’s either spending time with his family or looking for hidden patches of huckleberries.

Christen McCurdy


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Christen McCurdy (@CMcCurdyPDX) is a journalist in Portland, Ore. She has written for Street Roots, Pacific Standard, Bitch, Willamette Week, and other publications, and served as the news editor of The Skanner from 2015 to 2019.

David G. Lewis, Ph.D


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David G. Lewis, Ph.D, is a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and an instructor in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies at Oregon State University. His contact information, essays, and posts about the history of indigenous people of Oregon can be found at ndnhistoryresearch.com

Dawn Stover


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Dawn Stover is a freelance science and environmental writer based in White Salmon, Washington, and a contributing editor and columnist at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Previously, she was a staff editor at Harper’s and Popular Science magazines, and an adjunct instructor in the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University.

Kevin Abourezk


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Kevin Abourezk serves as managing editor for Indianz.com, a Native American news website. He has spent 21 years as a professional journalist, including 18 years as a reporter and editor for the Lincoln Journal Star. He is an enrolled citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a married father of five children. He lives and works in Lincoln, Nebraska. Indianz.com is owned and operated by Ho-Chunk Inc., the economic development corporation for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

Melorie Begay


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Melorie Begay is a member of the Navajo Nation and a freelance reporter based in Eugene, OR. Though most of her experience is in public radio, as a multimedia journalist she enjoys exploring all mediums. She has bylines with KLCC Public Radio, KUNM Public Radio, and New Mexico In Depth. She has reported on a range of subjects including the environment, government, education, race & racism, and housing & homeless among other topics.

Sergio Olmos


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A probing, long-form journalist, Sergio left college in 2014 and landed in Hong Kong in the last 24 hours of the Umbrella Movement. He decided to buy a notebook and try being a journalist, thus launching his freelance career. For three years, Sergio traveled to more than 20 countries. His work during this time published with Latterly. He joined InvestigateWest in 2018 to report on concussions in high school sports. Él habla español.

Board of Directors

Erin Dysart

Board Chair

Erin is a Program Associate at Meyer Memorial Trust who advocates for journalism's role in supporting transformational, systems-level change that shifts power imbalances and creates and sustains equitable conditions.

Sharon Nielson

Board Treasurer

Sharon is the principal of The Nielson Group, and has extensive experience in the financing and development of community-based projects.

Sarah Kastelic

Board Member

Sarah has been the Executive Director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association since 2015 and has worked for the past 20 years in national Native nonprofits including the National Congress of American Indians.

Matthew Preusch

Board Member

Matt is an attorney with Keller Rohrback L.L.P., focused on consumer and environmental law. He's a former reporter who believes in fair and accurate reporting, the importance of public service, and the representation of individuals.

Bryan Denson

Board Member

Bryan is an award-winning journalist and author with 35 years of slinging true words for a living, most in daily newsrooms. His insights inform Underscore's public service mission.

Stone Hudson

Board Member

Stone Hudson is a Master's student in Social Work at Portland State University. He worked as a Field Representative for Congressman Earl Blumenauer, focused on operations management and community outreach. As a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, he is committed to mentoring youth and at-risk students.

Edward Hershey

Board Member

Edward Hershey, who spent six decades in journalism, government, higher education and organized labor, has been a judge of the George Polk Awards for 44 years. His memoir, “The Scorekeeper,” was a finalist for the 2018 Oregon Book Award.

Indian Country Advisory Team

Jason Begay

Navajo Nation

Jason is an Associate Professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism in Missoula, Montana, where he oversees the Montana Native News Honors Project. He is a former Native American Journalists Association Board Member.

Cynthia Coleman, Ph.D.

Osage Nation

Cynthia is a Professor of Communications at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, specializing in Native Americans in the media, science and communications. She writes and lectures about how mass media frame conflicts that affect Indigenous communities—particularly conflicts where science, risk, health and the environment take center stage. Her new book, “Environmental Clashes on Native American Land,” is now available.

Charles Hudson

Three Affiliated Tribes

Charles is the Intergovernmental Affairs Director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) in Portland, Oregon and serves as its congressional liaison.

James A. Parker

Chippewa Cree

James is Deputy Director of The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and Director of the Oregon Native American Chamber in Portland, Oregon.

Matthew Fletcher

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

Matthew L.M. Fletcher is Foundation Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and Director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. He sits as the Chief Justice of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Supreme Court and also sits as an appellate judge for nearly a dozen other tribes.