Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism appoints new U.S. Advisory Board members

ATLANTA (June 17, 2021) — The Carter Center’s Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism (RCJF) is pleased to announce the appointment of four new U.S. Advisory Board members. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise from various mediums, academia and the international journalism arena.

The new members are Dr. Kortni Alston, happiness scholar and assistant professor of Journalism and Mass Communication (Public Relations) at North Carolina A&T University; Jimmie Briggs, principal at Skoll Foundation and 2005-2006 Carter Fellow; Dr. Victor Perdomo-Garcia, administrator of the fellowships in Latin America and associate professor in the School of Communication at Universidad de La Sabana; and Deborah Wang, contributing reporter, editor and host at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle and 2018-2019 Carter Fellow.

“I am honored and delighted to welcome our new Advisory Board members,” said Kari Cobham, senior associate director for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism & Media. “In addition to their tremendous achievements, they bring much needed perspectives that we hope will empower and support fellows as they pursue and elevate diverse stories and experiences.”

Meet the new U.S. Advisory Board Members

Dr. Kortni Alston
Happiness Scholar and Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication (Public Relations) at North Carolina A&T University

Dr. Kortni Alston is a happiness scholar, transformational trainer, and TEDx speaker. Her area of research combines positive psychology, business administration, and media management, and advocates for happier workplaces, well-being, and meaningful work. Dr. Alston was previously director of news and public affairs for NPR affiliate WEAA-FM in Baltimore. She is a recipient of the Executive Development for Radio Executives at Georgetown University, Connections Mentoring Initiatives and the Albert Fitzpatrick Media Institute. Dr. Alston launched “The Takeaway,” the national public radio show produced by Public Radio International (PRI), BBC, The New York Times, WGBH, and WNYC. She has also served on the advisory committee for “Tell Me More” hosted by Michel Martin and produced by NPR.

Jimmie Briggs
Principal, Skoll Foundation & 2006-2007 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow

Jimmie Briggs has more than two decades of experience as a journalist, author, and activist. He is a principal at social entrepreneurship funder Skoll Foundation and co-founder of the Man Up Campaign, a global initiative to activate youth to stop violence against women and girls. As a 2006-2007 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow, Briggs explored the psychosocial impact of gender-based violence on female war survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has served as an adjunct professor of investigative journalism at the New School for Social Research, as a George A. Miller Visiting Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana, and adjunct documentary journalism instructor at the International Center of Photography. Briggs has worked for The Washington Post, The Village Voice, and LIFE magazine and is a contributor for Vanity Fair. He has been honored by the Open Society Institute, National Association of Black Journalists, the Congressional Black Caucus, and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Briggs is the author of “Innocents Lost” (2005).

Dr. Víctor García-Perdomo
Associate Professor in the School of Communication at Universidad de La Sabana & RCJF Administrator in Latin America

Víctor García-Perdomo, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the School of Communication at Universidad de La Sabana (ULS) in Bogotá, Colombia, and administrator of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism in Latin America. He is also the director of the Doctoral Program in Communication, and the Research Center for Digital Technology and Society at ULS. He received his Ph.D. in Journalism and M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. A Fulbright Fellow, García-Perdomo’s research addresses the impact of digital technology on media, journalism and audiences. García-Perdomo is part of the Research Group in Journalism (GIP) and has published extensively in high impact academic journals. He has 14 years’ experience as a journalist for various media, including Univision Online, Univision Radio in Miami, El Espectador newspaper and Terra TV from Telefonica in Colombia. Follow him on Twitter @victorgap.

Deborah Wang
Contributing Reporter, Editor and Host at KUOW Public Radio & 2018-2019 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow

Deborah Wang is a contributing reporter, editor, and host at KUOW Public Radio, the NPR News station in Seattle. Since joining the staff in 2005, Deborah has done everything from political reporting to podcast hosting and most recently served as the station’s interim news director. As a 2018-2019 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow, Wang delved into reporting on adolescents and mental health. In 1990, she worked for National Public Radio and served as NPR’s Asia correspondent based in Hong Kong. She was later a television correspondent for ABC News in Beijing and Hong Kong and went on to set up the network’s first news bureau in Seattle in 1999. Wang has also worked as an on–air anchor for CNN International and as host of IN Close on KCTS9 Public Television in Seattle. She is a long-time host on the TEDxSeattle stage. She has won numerous awards for her reporting, including the Alfred I. DuPont Silver Baton, the Overseas Press Club’s Lowell Thomas Award and a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation for her mental health reporting.

About the U.S. Fellowship Advisory Board

Mental health experts, journalists, fellowship alumni, and experts in related fields all make up the U.S. Fellowship Advisory Board.

They offer guidance on fellows’ projects and mental health reporting, from sharing advice and making connections to working through challenges.

New U.S. Advisory Board members serve a 3-year term while Emeritus Advisory Board members have the option every three years of stepping back from the program if needed.

Learn more about the U.S. Fellowship Advisory Board members

The international fellowship programs also have Local Advisory Boards (LABs) comprised of esteemed mental health experts, journalists, and experts in related fields in the country or region.

About the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

The mental health journalism fellowships were founded in 1996 by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter to give journalists the resources to report on mental health and substance use and to help dismantle through storytelling the stigma that people with behavioral health challenges face every day.

Over the past two decades, more than 225 journalists from United States, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Latin America, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have been awarded the highly competitive fellowships.


Contact: Susan Hunsinger,

The Carter Center

Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.