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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
Sara Hutchinson is the Winter/Spring 2023 Fellow at the Texas Observer covering public health in a post-Roe Texas. Her writing on reproductive justice has appeared in The Hechinger Report, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and The Austin Chronicle. She has a master’s degree in public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin.
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 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).