Apply for ELP 2017 Today

The 2017 ELP session will take place from March 28 – April 1, 2017 at the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City.

Apply for ELP 2017 Now


The Executive Leadership Program (ELP) is for any professional journalist who is looking to advance their career to the next level.

ELP has designed a program that is challenging, practical and life changing and is recommended for anyone with four or more years of experience in a media organization. The program explores the responsibilities and challenges of the media workplace and examines how your personal values come into play in newsroom dynamics.

Led by professional career coaches and executives, participants will explore a variety of topics in a small, nurturing environment, including:

  • Defining success
  • Effective negotiation
  • Solving unstructured problems
  • Conquering excuses
  • Dealing with inequality, pressure and politics
  • Work-life balance

Each fellow will be also be paired an one on one mentorship session with a senior news leaders at a major media company.


Applicants must have a minimum of four years of professional journalism experience. Participants must also establish that they have the potential to further their leadership abilities. The program is open to all qualifying journalists.


The 2017 ELP Session will be held at the City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City from March 28 – April 1, 2017. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from CUNY, as well as for their hotel accommodations.


Tuition for ELP is $1,250 for AAJA members and $1,500 for non-members. It includes the costs of instructional materials, breakfast, lunch, and some evening group dinners.

Applicants accepted to ELP must provide a $300 deposit by March 4, 2017, and full payment must be received by March 18, 2017. Applicants who cancel their registration after March 10 will not receive a refund.

Those in need of financial assistance may apply for the Dinah Eng Leadership Fellowship by January 20, 2017.


You must be a professional journalist to apply for the program.

Click here for the application and fill it out completely.

Applications are due by February 3, 2017. Please note that space is very limited.

Attach the following documents to the form:
• A résumé or link to your LinkedIn profile
• A professional, color, high-resolution photo
• A letter of recommendation from a supervisor (OPTIONAL)
• A short 40-word biography
• A 250-word statement explaining what you hope to learn from this program and how it will help your career



Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career and business expert, writer, speaker and co-founder of SixFigureStart®. Prior to launching SixFigureStart® in 2008, Ceniza-Levine spent 15 years in strategy consulting, executive search and HR. She has been a repeat guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC and Fox Business and has been quoted in BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc, MORE, Newsweek, NPR, Real Simple, and Success Magazine.

Ceniza-Levine is a career columnist for and and formerly wrote for CNBC, and Portfolio. She is the author of 3 books: “Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career” (2015, Forbes); “Six Steps To Job Search Success” (2011, Flat World Knowledge); and “How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” (2010, Two Harbors Press).

Ceniza-Levine teaches Professional Development and Negotiation courses at Columbia University and received a grant from the Jones New York Empowerment Fund for her work with the mid-career professional. A classically trained pianist at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, she stays active in the arts, performing stand-up comedy.


Virgil Smith earned his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree from the University of San Francisco and has a long career as a media executive. He has spent 20 years with McClatchy Newspapers and the last 24 years with Gannett, where he served numerous roles, including president and publisher and corporate HR executive.

Smith has recruited, mentored and coached hundreds of professionals from entry-level to senior executive roles in broadcast, publishing and other professions. He can be reached at and you can find more information about his firm at



Dickson Louie is currently principal of Louie & Associates, a boutique San Francisco Bay Area-consultancy that provides strategic planning, competitive analysis, and executive development services to start-ups, non-profits and Fortune 500 companies.

Louie has over 25 years of professional management experience within the news media industry, having worked as a planning and business development executive at the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle. As a research associate at the Harvard Business School, he wrote 20 case studies, including those on, The New York Times on the Web and CBS Marketwatch.

Louie, a certified public accountant, is a graduate of California State University, East Bay, where he received his bachelors, magna cum laude, in business administration, with a minor in journalism. He received his MBA from the University of Chicago, with concentrations in finance, marketing and statistics. Louie has also completed the Advanced Executive Program at Northwestern University’s Media Management Center. He is on the faculty of the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches the popular MBA elective course, “The Business of the Media.”




Katie Nelson is news director for The Huffington Post, where she helps lead editorial planning and strategy — with a special emphasis on partnerships and cross-functional coordination. Katie is an AAJA and ONA member, a 2016 Punch Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program fellow at Columbia University and a Chips Quinn Scholars alum. Previously, she worked for the New York Daily News, The Associated Press, The Cambodia Daily and The Arizona Republic, among others.




Caridad Hernandez-Wood is the Executive Producer of Investigations and Special Projects for CBS4Miami. She is responsible for the production of stories generated by the team of investigators and reporters dedicated to bringing awareness to important issues in the South Florida community. Prior to joining CBS4, Hernandez-Wood was an Executive Producer for CNN Newsroom in Atlanta. She gained her experience as a producer by working at various television stations in both Miami and Philadelphia.




Paul Cheung is the Director of Visual Journalism at NBC News. This newly created role will build NBC News Digital’s foundation of visual language and define how stories are told beyond text, videos and photos across all digital platforms.
Prior to NBC, Cheung helped pioneer VR360, automation, data journalism strategies and digital training initiatives at the Associated Press as their head of Interactives and Digital News Production. He also led a global team of multimedia journalists, data journalists and researchers who produced immersive digital experiences for web, mobile and social.
Prior to joining the AP, Cheung was The Miami Herald’s Deputy Multimedia Presentation Editor. In 2009, he managed site redesign and was responsible for the conceptualization, creative direction and visual look of He was The Miami Herald’s graphics editor from 2004 to mid-2007. Prior to joining the Miami Herald, Cheung was a Senior Graphics Editor at The Wall Street Journal.
Cheung served two terms as Asian American Journalists Association global president from 2013 to 2016. Cheung was a 2016 Punch Sulzberger Executive Leadership graduate at Columbia University and a 2007 National Association of Newspapers Breakthrough fellow.


Cheung currently serves on the board of ASNE and as an advisor for Journalism 360, a coalition launched by the Online News Association, Google News Lab and Knight Foundation to help newsrooms experiment with and advance the field of immersive storytelling.
He graduated from New York University where he studied journalism, sociology, science and photography.


ELP is sponsored by:




Contact Daniel Garcia at the national office with any questions.

Learn more about last year’s program and read what the participants had to say here!