Journalism Speaker Panel – June 2017

Come join us for our first StuyAlumni Journalism event!

There will be a panel consisting of leading Stuyvesant alums, working in the news or media industry. All classes are invited to join this Events Committee activity for networking, light food and drinks. We welcome journalists, photographers, movie makers, writers, media professionals and students and alumni with an interest in these and related areas. A Q & A will follow the formal presentations. Ling Wu Kong ’01 has graciously provided us space at his office to hold this event. Ling is a former Spectator editor and now a Partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP. This panel is the 7th event in the Industry Tower speaker and networking series, which has been organized by Director Hal Diamond ’78, in coordination with the Stuyvesant H.S. Alumni Association. These events have brought together alumni from all class years in finance, law, and medicine. We look forward to expanding these events to entrepreneurship, technology, and the arts.

Tickets are $25 for all alumni who graduated before 2013 and are free for alumni who graduated in 2013 and after.

You can purchase tickets here.

Capacity for this event is limited. We invite you to RSVP as soon as possible as we anticipate this event will sell out quickly.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].


Co-Keynote Speaker: Rachel L. Swarns ’85 is a journalist and author, who covers race and race relations for The New York Times. Her articles about Georgetown University’s roots in slavery touched off a national conversation last year about American universities and their ties to this painful period of history.

Ms. Swarns joined The Times in 1995 and has reported on immigration, the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008 and First Lady Michelle Obama and her role in the Obama White House. She has also worked overseas for The Times, reporting from Russia, Cuba, Guatemala and southern Africa, where she served as the Johannesburg bureau chief. In recent years, she launched the newspaper’s “Working Life” column, focusing on work, the workplace and New York City’s evolving economy.

She is the author of “American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama,’’ which was published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, in June 2012. Her book about Georgetown’s roots in slavery will be published by Spiegel & Grau/Random House in 2020. She is also a co-author of “Unseen: Unpublished Black History from The New York Times Photo Archives,’’ which will be published by Black Dog & Leventhal/Hachette Books in 2017.

Prior to joining The Times, Ms. Swarns worked for The Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg Times. She received her B.A. from Howard University, with a major in Spanish and a minor in African/Caribbean studies, and received her M.A. in international relations from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

Co-Keynote Speaker: Adam Davidson ’88 is a Staff Writer at The New Yorker, covering business, technology, and economics. Previously, he was the On Money Columnist and a contributing writer for Times Magazine. He also co-founded and co-hosted NPR’s “Planet Money,” after serving as the International Business and Economics Correspondent. He has been a frequent contributor to “This American Life,” including co-reporting the episode “The Giant Pool Of Money,” which received the Peabody, DuPont-Columbia, and Polk Awards. It was also named one of the top works of journalism of the decade by New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, GQ, Rolling Stone, and other publications. He has also served as a technical consultant to Adam McKay, the Co-Writer and Director of the Academy Award-winning film ,“The Big Short.”

Moderator: Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman ’75 is an award-winning editor and writer, specializing in home remodeling projects and products who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty renovating and maintaining her own 100+year-old home. Skilled at developing, editing, and writing investigative reports as well as life-style content for print, online, and social media platforms. At Consumer Reports, she led a team of editors, writers, and analysts and worked closely with product-testing teams and an in-house survey department to transform technical and statistical data into compelling and consumer-friendly content. Experienced and versatile media spokesperson with appearances on national television, along with print, radio, and social media outlets. National Press Club Consumer Journalism award winner.

Panelist: Fabio Bertoni ’85 is general counsel of The New Yorker magazine, where he is responsible for pre-publication review of all articles, website posts, videos and other content published by The New Yorker, as well as supervising legal issues surrounding The New Yorker Festival and other events. Prior to working at The New Yorker, Fabio was assistant general counsel at HarperCollins Publishers, where he conducted pre-publication review of non-fiction books, and handled legal issues for the Children’s Division, negotiated author-publisher agreements, and advised on licensing, copyright and trademark issues. Prior to that, Fabio was vice president and deputy general counsel for ALM Media, publisher of The American Lawyer, the New York Law Journal, and dozens of other newspapers and magazines across the country.

Fabio also serves as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, where he teaches a seminar on Media Law Drafting. He began his legal career at the firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, after graduating from Columbia Law School and from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Panelist: Diane Dragan ’88 is a publishing, content and audience development executive with experience in digital editorial and marketing across a wide variety of lifestyle categories such as food, health, DIY, design, humor and human interest stories. After graduating from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a B.A. in Communications, she returned to New York City and worked at companies like Random House, Conde Nast, Meredith, ABC and Trusted Media Brands. Diane is currently Director of Editorial Operations at Architectural Digest, shaping its digital direction and growth strategy while overseeing digital and print operations. A respected expert, Diane has appeared on local and syndicated TV/radio broadcasts and on media panels. Additionally, she is an advisor at CUNY for its New Media Studies program; a mentor with NYWICI and FindSpark; and a volunteer with many other organizations, including the Girl Scouts.


Panelist: Ilya Mauritz ’95 was raised in Manhattan and covers business for WNYC, the nation’s largest public radio station. He’s also contributed to All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, Planet Money, and On The Media, with print bylines in Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, and the New York Daily News. He also made radio in Berlin and Prague. He once hosted a college football podcast, in spite of barely understanding the rules of the game. He now lives in Brooklyn.