Gabriel Arana is a Latinx man with short dark hair wearing a light button down shirt.
Gabriel Arana Editor-in-Chief

Gabriel Arana is a queer, Mexican-American, progressive journalist who grew up on the border in Nogales, Arizona. A writer-editor passionate about longform journalism and narrative storytelling, he has served as an editor at legacy progressive publications like The Nation and The American Prospect, as well as digital outlets like The Huffington Post and millennial news site Mic. He has written about LGBTQ+ issues, media and diversity, Latinx politics, and mental health for The New York Times, The New Republic, Salon, The Atlantic, and then won awards for his coverage of the fight for marriage equality and the epidemic of violence against trans women of color.

Ivan Armando Flores Creative Director

Ivan Armando Flores is the creative director at the Texas Observer. Originally from Miami, before joining the Observer Ivan was a freelance photographer covering the conflict in Afghanistan and its impacts on Afghan civilians. He has a masters degree in journalism from the City University of New York. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR and Foreign Policy.

Lise Olsen Senior Reporter and Editor

Lise Olsen is a Houston-based senior reporter and editor at the Texas Observer. Lise has investigated many twisted Texas tales, including crooked judges, an unjust execution, massive environmental disasters, myriad cases of corporate and public corruption, and unsolved serial killings. Her reports in three states over 20 years contributed to the prosecutions of a former congressman and a federal judge, inspired laws and reforms, helped solve cold cases, restored names to unidentified murder victims, and freed dozens of wrongfully-held prisoners. Her work is featured in CNN’s “The Wrong Man” (2015) about the innocence claims of executed offender Ruben Cantu and the six-part A&E series on the victims of a 1970s serial killer, The Eleven, (2017). She is the author of Code of Silence: Sexual Misconduct by Federal Judges, the Secret System that Protects Them and the Women who Blew the Whistle.

Gayle Reaves has graying hair and is dressed in a layered jacket, checkered scarf, dark sweater and blue button down.
Gayle Reaves Editor-at-Large

Gayle Reaves is editor-at-large at the Texas Observer. She is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has worked everywhere from tiny weeklies to major daily papers, as state capitol bureau chief, Washington correspondent, and investigative reporter and editor. She and a Dallas Morning News team won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for a series on violence against women worldwide. With two other News reporters, she won a George Polk Award for courageous regional reporting on drug-related corruption in South Texas. Born in Hallettsville, Texas, she lives in Fort Worth and is a past president of the Journalism and Women Symposium. She also writes poetry, including a chapbook, Spectral Analysis. For several years, she has edited the Best American Newspaper Narratives anthologies, published by UNT Press in connection with the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference.

Kit O'Connell is a white person with a broad forehead and large nose and shoulder length, wavy brown hair. They are wearing a green metal wayfarer glasses, blue velvet coat, white button down with red accents and a red scarf wrapped loosely around their neck like a tie.
Kit O’Connell Digital Editor

Kit O’Connell is a genderqueer movement journalist, and Digital Editor at the Texas Observer, who has lived in the state since 1998. Their citizen journalism during Occupy Wall Street led to Kit becoming an editor at the formative political blog Firedoglake, where they broke the story of Occupy Austin’s infiltration by six undercover Austin police officers who entrapped activists into felony charges. Later, Kit spent four years writing about the hemp and cannabis industry as an editor at Ministry of Hemp and correspondent for Hemp magazine, where they influenced federal policy into giving Western hemp farmers access to water rights and allowing some people with drug convictions to re-enter the industry. Kit’s work at the Observer has earned them nominations for a 2023 National Magazine Award and a GLAAD Media Award. Their journalism has also appeared in Truthout, Yes! Magazine, and the Austin Chronicle, among others.

TXO Copy Editor Adam Muro
Adam Muro Copy Editor

Adam Muro is the Texas Observer‘s copyeditor. He is an editor, writer, journalist, and photographer whose work has appeared in the Independent, Columbia Journalism Review, and Al Jazeera. Originally from New York, he has worked in broadcast, print, and radio journalism, and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the City University of New York.

Tyler R. Lewis is a nonbinary Black person with braided hair and a silver stud medusa piercing. They are wearing a black top and standing in front of a brick house.
Tyler R. Lewis Social Media Manager

Tyler R. Lewis is a genderqueer black journalist and photographer from Navasota, TX. They bring over four years of news and feature journalism experience, covering topics like COVID-19’s effects on rural Texas. Previously, Tyler served as managing editor for ORANGE Magazine and associate editor for The AgriLeader Magazine. Their journalism has appeared in Arabian Horse Life Magazine, Maroon Weekly, and Centerfield Media, among others. Tyler holds a master’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from Texas A&M University (WHOOP!).

Gus Bova Senior Writer & Assistant Editor

Gus Bova is a senior staff writer and assistant editor at the Texas Observer. He covers labor, politics, and other major Texas stories. He has written extensively on topics ranging from the border wall to homelessness. Before coming to the Observer, he worked at a shelter for recently arrived immigrants and asylum-seekers. He studied Latin American Studies at the University of Kansas.

Justin Miller has brown hair, a light beard and mustache and is wearing a corduroy button down over a dark t-shirt.
Justin Miller Senior Writer

Justin Miller covers politics and state government for the Texas Observer. He previously worked for The American Prospect magazine in Washington, D.C., and has also written for The Intercept, The New Republic and In These Times. Originally from the Twin Cities, he received a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota.

Michelle Pitcher is a white woman with a slight smile, her wavy brown hair falling over her shoulders. She's wearing a dark v-neck shirt.
Michelle Pitcher Staff Writer

Michelle Pitcher is a staff writer at the Texas Observer, covering criminal justice, housing, and education. She received her master’s in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley and was part of the team at The Marshall Project that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, FiveThirtyEight, The Dallas Morning News, and more. Michelle was born and raised in Dallas and is now based in Austin.

Josephine Lee is a Chinese woman with black hair past her sweater, wearing a red sweater. She has a slight smile on her face.
Josephine Lee McHam Reporting Fellow

Josephine Lee is Texas Observer’s 2023 David McHam Investigative Reporting Fellow. She has previously worked as an educator and community organizer. Her reporting on labor, environment, politics, and education has been featured on Salon, Daily Beast, Truthout, and other outlets. She was raised in and lives in Houston.

Steven Monacelli is a white man with short brown hair and a curved brown mustache. He's wearing a green v-neck.
Steven Monacelli Special Investigative Correspondent

Steven Monacelli is an investigative journalist in Dallas. His reporting has been featured in Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, The Real News, Dallas Observer, Dallas Weekly, and more. He is also the publisher of Protean Magazine, a nonprofit literary publication.

Loren Lynch is a white woman with a serious expression, wavy brown hair that's parted to her right side. She's wearing a black jacket, black shirt, and a gold necklace with angular brass pendants on it.
Loren Lynch Interim Executive Director

Loren Lynch is the Interim Executive Director. She comes to the Observer from The Trace, where she was the first Director of Development, and established their membership and major gifts programs, and oversaw all organizational fundraising efforts. This is a return to the Observer for Loren, as prior to The Trace, she was with the TXO for over four years, directing their fundraising programs and assisting with overall publication strategy. Loren began her career as part of the development team at The Nation magazine, where her responsibilities included digital fundraising and creative strategy, and managing special revenue programs and events. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and philosophy, and a MA in international affairs with a focus on media and culture from The New School in New York City.

Nikki Kobiljak has shoulder length brown hair, large clear plastic glasses, and a slight smile on her face. She's wearing a dark turtleneck.
Nikki Kobiljak Business Manager

Nikki Kobiljak is the business manager at the Texas Observer. Born and raised in Chicago, Nikki is a tenured client services professional who thrives in fast paced, high energy, entrepreneurial environments. She has a proven track record of driving business growth through external client engagement and enhancing internal company operations. Nikki is known for her focus on client satisfaction, creating client loyalty, and delivering the operational support required for organizational growth. She has been recognized for her achievements in corporate philanthropy, social impact and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Nikki moved to Austin with her husband and dog in 2021.

Ben Sargent, a bald, older white man with a bushy white beard is dressed in a suit and red bowtie, with his artistic tools, including pens, in front of him.
Ben Sargent Staff Cartoonist

Ben Sargent is the Texas Observer‘s staff cartoonist. He launched his career drawing editorial cartoons for the Austin American-Statesman in 1974. He was born in Amarillo into a newspaper family and learned the printing trade from age 12 and started working for the local daily as a proof runner at 14. He attended Amarillo College and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 1970. Sargent won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1982. He has also received awards from Women in Communications, Inc., Common Cause of Texas, and Cox Newspapers. He is the author of Texas Statehouse Blues (1980) and Big Brother Blues (1984).