March 21, 2023 — Prison Journalism Project (PJP), a national initiative that trains incarcerated writers to be journalists and publishes their stories, today announced that it has appointed two new members to its Board of Directors and one new member to its Board of Advisors. Steve Seleznow and Aly Tamboura join as board members, and Alex Papachristou joins as an advisor, closely following poet and lawyer Reginald Dwayne Betts who joined the advisory board earlier this year.
The new members bring to PJP a wealth of professional experience across several industries including philanthropy, higher education, law and public policy, which will help to guide the organization as it continues to expand its platform and programming.
“We are honored to welcome Steve, Aly and Alex to our Board in this exciting time of growth and development for PJP. Their individual accomplishments will serve as an incredible resource, and we are looking forward to elevating the reporting of incarcerated journalists together,” said Yukari Kane, co-founder of PJP.
“There are decades of professional insights between our three new members, including a tremendous amount of work dedicated to communities. This new cohort is an invaluable addition to the existing talent on our Board,” said Shaheen Pasha, co-founder of PJP.
The new members are listed below, along with their brief biographies:
Board of Directors
Steve Seleznow is a community-centered chief executive known for his leadership across multiple sectors: philanthropy, large public education systems and higher education. A relationship builder, Seleznow has worked closely with widely diverse groups: from ranchers and Indigenous peoples in Arizona to the White House, governors, mayors, superintendents and union leaders; from governing boards to community organizers; from global investment managers to corporate leaders; and from children facing dire conditions to high net-worth individuals and families. Most recently, he completed 13 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Arizona Community Foundation, one of the 25 largest community foundations in the U.S. He served as program director and deputy director of U.S. Programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation leading implementation of a $2.5 billion investment strategy focused on education reform. Prior to that, he was a partner and Chief Investment Officer of Venture Philanthropy Partners in Washington, D.C., one of the nation’s first charitable funds to apply the principles and best practices of venture capital to investments in the non-profit sector. Seleznow served on the Visiting Committee of the Board of Overseers for the Harvard Graduate School of Education and held appointments as associate research professor and special assistant to the dean of the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development. He has served on numerous boards and commissions focused on improving lives and building equitable communities. Seleznow divides his time between Scottsdale, Arizona, and Silicon Valley, where his wife Nicole Taylor leads the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
Aly Tamboura is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. He was previously a Strategic Advisor to the Just Trust and a Criminal Justice Reform Program Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Tamboura has assisted in building national and state-based coalitions that challenge the harsh laws that contribute to mass incarceration, pass critical legislation, and give those closest to the problem of mass incarceration agency and voice in reimagining and fundamentally reshaping our criminal legal system. Tamboura is also a formerly incarcerated American. During his 12 years of incarceration, he co-founded the San Quentin News (an award-winning publication), earned a college degree and learned to write computer code. Before his incarceration, he had 20 years of experience working in the underground utility industry, including 12 years as the founder and CEO of a geotechnical company where he managed and completed large and complex underground utility analytics for government and private entities. He brings to the Prison Journalism Project Board of Directors his firsthand experience with the criminal legal system, philanthropic expertise, strong technical skills and a passion for justice.
Board of Advisors
Alexander Papachristou is Executive Director of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, an international public interest law program of the New York City Bar Association, providing pro bono legal support to human rights, environmental and investigative journalism organizations worldwide. He is the former president of the Near East Foundation, which empowers vulnerable communities in the Middle East and Africa to overcome conflict, migration and climate change. Papachristou lived in Russia from 1989 to 1993, where he opened and ran the Moscow office of White & Case and wrote a column for the Moscow Times. From 1994 to 2007, he served as managing director and general counsel at NCH Capital, Inc. He also was a board member and acting U.S. CEO of Spinevision, a French company. Papachristou earlier was associated with the law firm of Clifford & Warnke in Washington, D.C., and served as policy assistant to New York Governor Mario C. Cuomo. He was law clerk to U.S. District Judge Myron H. Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama. Papachristou serves on the board of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the European Commission Anti-SLAPP Working Group, and the advisory boards of Bard College Berlin and the Environmental Reporting Collective. In late 2011, The New Press published Blind Goddess: A Race and Justice Reader, which Papachristou edited. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Princeton University.
About Prison Journalism Project
Prison Journalism Project is a national, independent, nonpartisan initiative that trains incarcerated writers in the tools of journalism and helps them reach an outside audience via their own publication as well as through partnerships with mainstream media organizations.