THE EDITORIAL BOARD: Meet the members of USA TODAY's board
USA TODAY's Editorial Board forms the opinions expressed in USA TODAY's editorials. Its members are selected by USA TODAY's opinion editor, with a goal of reflecting the diversity of the nation's conversation. The board operates by consensus and reaches its opinions independently from any other part of USA TODAY or its parent company, Gannett. It is not aligned with any political party. More broadly, the Editorial Board strives to present an opinion section online and in print that reflects the fullness of the national dialogue, offering commentary from columnists, readers and its own writers on a wide range of issues from many perspectives.
Kristen DelGuzzi is the opinion editor. She joined USA TODAY in 2018 as managing editor for politics and world and moved to opinion in 2021, after leading coverage of the Trump administration, the 2020 presidential election, the Mueller investigation, the confirmation of two Supreme Court justices, two impeachments, and reporting from inside Iran. She previously was at The Arizona Republic, where she was senior director for digital and audience growth and, before that, national politics editor overseeing Sen. John McCain’s 2008 run for the White House, border and immigration issues, and the Mexico City bureau. She was part of teams that were finalists for breaking news Pulitzer Prizes in 2012 and 2014 and the team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. She has been a business editor and has written about legal and political issues in Cincinnati, Cleveland and New Orleans. DelGuzzi is a graduate of Kent State University, which honored her in 2018 with the Taylor Award, the School of Journalism’s highest recognition.
Suzette Hackney is deputy editor/national columnist. She joined USA TODAY and the Editorial Board in 2020. Previously, she was a columnist and the director of Opinion & Community Engagement for The Indianapolis Star. Before joining the IndyStar in 2015, she worked as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, and as an editorial writer and columnist for the Toledo Blade. She has been recognized for her work with a National Headliner, a national Edward R. Murrow, numerous National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence awards and the Association for Women in Communications' Clarion. She was also a finalist for the Scripps Howard Walker Stone Award. Her work has also appeared online in The Washington Post and Politico. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University, a Master of Fine Arts degree in nonfiction writing from Butler University and was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.
Tim Swarens is deputy opinion editor. A former former opinion editor and columnist with The Indianapolis Star, he joined USA TODAY Opinion in 2018 as Hidden Common Ground editor. He was the editor or writer on projects that won national awards from Sigma Delta Chi, National Headliners, Scripps Howard, American Society of Newspaper Editors and Robert F. Kennedy Excellence in Journalism. In 2018, he was the author of the EXPLOITED project, a 10-part series that investigated child sex trafficking in the United States and internationally. His work as editor of The Manual Project, a yearlong examination of conditions at an urban Indianapolis high school, led to creation of the Our City, Our Children initiative, which raised millions of dollars to aid youth in Central Indiana and inspired thousands of people to serve as mentors and tutors for at-risk children. Swarens is a graduate of Indiana University and Vincennes University with degrees in journalism. He and his wife live in Indianapolis.
Louie Villalobos became the audience development editor for USA TODAY Opinion in 2021, after working for more than two years as a politics editor for USA TODAY. He was one of several editors to lead the political coverage of the 2020 presidential election and the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before joining USA TODAY in 2018, he worked for 14 years at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. He was an editor on the Republic team that was a Pulitzer finalist in 2014 for breaking news reporting and helped create the audience/social media plan for the border wall project that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. His first journalism job was in 1999, when he worked in the sports department of the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia. He is a first-generation American who grew up on the U.S. border with Mexico in California and went on to write about the border as a reporter in Arizona.
Thuan Le Elston
Thuan Le Elston has been Opinion operations editor since 2005. Her responsibilities include page layout, copy editing, and print and online publishing. She also writes editorials, opinion columns, poetry and fiction. Previously, she was a news copy editor for The Salt Lake Tribune and USA TODAY, and a news reporter for the Greenwich (Connecticut) Time and the Los Angeles Times. She was born in South Vietnam and left a week before Saigon fell in 1975. She received a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. One of her few non-journalism jobs was a speaking role in Oliver Stone's movie “Heaven and Earth.” She's married with four children. Her historical fiction novel, "Rendezvous at the Altar: From Vietnam to Virginia," was published Sept. 14, 2021.
Ingrid Jacques joined USA TODAY as an opinion columnist in May 2022. She has worked in journalism for nearly two decades, and prior to her current role, she served as a columnist and deputy editorial page editor at The Detroit News, where she spent 12 years as a member of the editorial board. She has written frequently on Michigan and national politics, with a focus on education and cultural issues. She has won numerous recognitions for her writing, including two first-place awards for editorial writing from the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors and a first place for editorial writing from the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She was also part of a three-member team that won a first-place National Headliner for editorial writing. In addition to USA TODAY and The Detroit News, her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review (online), the Washington Examiner, Real Clear Politics and the Weekly Standard, among others. A native of Salem, Oregon, Jacques has a degree in English from Hillsdale College and a master’s in journalism from Michigan State University. She lives in Metro Detroit with her husband.
Carli Pierson is a New York licensed attorney, former professor of human rights law and Opinion writer at USA TODAY. She has a B.A. in Islamic World Studies from DePaul University and a J.D. from Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad Law Center, cum laude, with a concentration in international law. From 2015 to 2020 she worked as a freelance writer and taught international human rights law at the Autonomous University of Campeche (Universidad Autonoma de Campeche) and the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico City. In 2015, she authored an article on the proliferation of human rights instruments and the relativity of their application in the book edited by M. Cherif Bassiouni, "Globalization and its impact on the future of human rights and international criminal justice". Before law school, she worked at South Florida's WSVN-7NEWS, Miami's 103.5 The Beat, CNN's Chicago bureau and Radio Islam in Chicago.
Steven Porter joined USA TODAY in 2021 as an assistant opinion editor. Previously, he wrote about crime and justice as a reporter for the Lafayette Journal & Courier in Indiana, covered the business of health care as an editor for HealthLeaders, and led the USA TODAY Network's local news coverage in southern Maine as editor of The York Weekly and York County Coast Star. His awards include two “Story of the Year” honors from journalism associations in Indiana and First Place in editorial writing from the Maine Press Association. Porter has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in media communication from Indiana Wesleyan University. He and his husband live in New Hampshire.