Forrest Wilder, Editor
Forrest Wilder, a native of Wimberley, Texas, is the editor of the Observer. Forrest has appeared on Democracy Now!, The Rachel Maddow Show and numerous NPR stations. His work has been mentioned by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Time magazine and many other state and national publications. Other than filing voluminous open records requests, Forrest enjoys fishing, kayaking, gardening and beer-league softball. He holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. You can contact him at [email protected]
Rose Cahalan, Managing Editor
Rose Cahalan is managing editor at the Observer and also edits the magazine’s arts and culture coverage. She was previously senior editor at the University of Texas at Austin alumni magazine, the Alcalde, where she wrote about everything from geology research in the Arctic to human rights in Iran. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Rice University, enjoys knitting and running, and is always planning her next trip to Big Bend. You can contact her at [email protected]
Kolten Parker, Digital Editor
Kolten Parker is the digital editor of the Observer. He holds a journalism degree from Texas State University and previously worked as a reporter and digital news editor for the San Antonio Express-News. Beyond journalism and politics, he enjoys soccer, skydiving and tacos. The Stephenville, Texas, native can be reached on Twitter or at [email protected].
Sunny Sone, Engagement Editor
Sunny Sone is the engagement editor. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin. You can contact her at [email protected].
Michael Barajas, Staff Writer
Michael Barajas is a staff writer covering civil rights for the Observer. Before joining the Observer, he was editor of the San Antonio Current and managing editor of the Houston Press. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. You can reach him on Twitter or at [email protected].
Gus Bova, Staff Writer
Gus Bova reports on immigration, the U.S.-Mexico border and grassroots movements for the Observer. He formerly worked at a shelter for asylum-seekers and refugees. You can contact him at [email protected].
Christopher Collins, Staff Writer
Christopher Collins is an investigative journalist based in Abilene. The Wichita Falls native graduated from Midwestern State University in 2012 with a degree in Mass Communication. He previously has worked as a reporter at the Abilene Reporter-News and the Wichita Falls Times Record News, along with running a freelance reporting business. At the Observer, he writes about rural Texas. He can be reached on Twitter or at [email protected].
Justin Miller, Staff Writer
Justin Miller covers politics for the Observer. He was previously a writing fellow at The American Prospect magazine in Washington, D.C., where he covered the labor beat and wrote broadly about national politics and policy. He’s also written for The Intercept, The New Republic and In These Times. A Twin Cities native, he received a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota. You can follow him on Twitter and reach him at [email protected].
Sophie Novack, Staff Writer
Sophie Novack covers public health at the Observer. She was previously a staff correspondent at National Journal in Washington, D.C., where she reported on Congress, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, abortion legislation and more. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic and CityLab, and been cited by The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN, and the 2014 Supreme Court brief for the Hobby Lobby case. Originally from New York City, she has a bachelor’s degree in English from Dartmouth College. You can contact her at [email protected].
Naveena Sadasivam, Staff Writer
Naveena Sadasivam is a staff writer covering energy and the environment at the Observer. Prior to joining the Observer, she wrote about the coal industry for InsideClimate News and the water woes of the West and fracking for ProPublica. She has a degree in chemical engineering and a master’s in environmental and science reporting from New York University. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Bloomberg and Salon. You can contact her at [email protected].
Mike Kanin, Publisher
Mike Kanin is the publisher of the Texas Observer. He has many years of media experience, including a role as the founding publisher of the nonprofit local daily the Austin Monitor. Before that, he spent some time on the other side of the wall, as both a freelancer and a staffer. His work has appeared in the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post’s Express, the Boston Herald, Boston’s Weekly Dig, the Austin Chronicle and the Texas Observer. He’s also served as the Washington City Paper’s City Lights Editor and as the co-founding editor of Unfit Times. You can contact him at [email protected].
Loren Lynch, Development Director
Loren A. Lynch is the development director at the Observer. Though she was born in Dallas, Loren has spent most of her life outside of the state, in Wisconsin and New York City. She is excited to return to Texas because of tacos, BBQ and mild winters. Previously, Loren was at The Nation, where she fundraised and oversaw special revenue programs and events. When not talking about the importance of independent, local journalism, she writes about science fiction, TV, films and comic books. She also enjoys swimming, leisurely walks around Austin’s endless parks, a good glass of scotch and taking too many pictures of her cats. You can contact her at [email protected].
Marisol Gomez, Office Manager
Marisol Gomez is the office manager for the Observer. A proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, Marisol was born and raised in Southern California. She holds a degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. When not behind her sewing machine, she can be found outdoors hiking, camping or paddle-boarding.
Naomi Shihab Nye, Poetry Editor
Naomi Shihab Nye is a poet, essayist, and novelist, living in San Antonio. She has edited eight anthologies of poetry, including Is This Forever or What? Poems & Paintings from Texas. Her collection 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is the author of two acclaimed novels for teens, Habibi and Going Going, and a recent novel for children, The Turtle of Oman.
Ben Sargent, Staff Cartoonist
Ben Sargent 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).
Sargent is married to Diane Holloway, former television critic for the Austin American-Statesman.
David Duhr, Copy Editor
David Duhr is co-founder of WriteByNight, a writers’ service dedicated to helping authors achieve their goals. He lives in New York City and writes about books for The Dallas Morning News, Publishing Perspectives, and others.
Drue Wagner, Art Director
Drue Wagner is the art director at the Observer. Born in Dallas, she got her start in graphic design and illustration at Pentagram Design in Austin, then dove into the magazine world in New York, working at various magazines including GQ, Bon Appetit and Golf Digest. After a stint on the Off Duty section of the Wall Street Journal newspaper, she moved backed to Austin and is happy to be close to all the Greenbelt swimming holes.