About Semafor

In our increasingly interconnected world, journalism needs to deliver common facts to divergent audiences. Our biggest stories, and greatest crises, are global: from climate change to pandemics, rising inequality to supply chain disruption, political instability to the influence of social media. In response to those challenges, we’re building a new kind of trusted news source for this interconnected world, based on journalistic transparency and a platform that delivers shared facts while giving voice to a range of informed, competing views.

The Semafor Approach

Transparent News

We’re exposing the architecture of our original journalism in an effort to rebuild trust from our audience. Our journalists are experts in their own right — but they also know the difference between the facts and their analysis. Our “Semaform” structure makes clear the lines between facts, analysis, opinion, counter-narratives, and global perspectives. We’re cracking open the black box of the traditional news article, while seeking to set new standards for clarity and concision.

Distilled Views

Single sources can’t always capture the complexity of a story, and part of consuming the news is understanding diverse perspectives on the same facts. Our original journalism will be paired with distilled news, analysis, and opinion from a global range of sources, so our readers don’t have to search the internet trying to triangulate the truth.

Global Perspectives

We’re a global news company at birth. We believe that informed citizens of every country need to understand what drives decisions, actions, culture and power beyond their own borders. Our regional and national editions will be run by world-class editors and journalists on the ground, prioritizing the needs of local news consumers while adding perspective to our coverage around the world.
A small spinning earth, illustrated with outlined and illustrated continents

Meet the team

Justin B. Smith
Co-Founder & CEO
Justin is the former CEO of Bloomberg Media. He was previously President of Atlantic Media, where he co-founded Quartz, served as President of The Week magazine, and led corporate strategy at The Economist Group. He received his B.S from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Follow him on Twitter @Justin_B_Smith.
Ben Smith
Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Ben is the former media columnist of the New York Times. He was previously the founding editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News. Ben has covered American politics for more than a decade at Politico and the New York Daily News, among other outlets, and launched a number of political blogs. Follow him on Twitter @semaforben.
Al Lucca
Head of Design
Al has been leading design and creative teams for more than ten years. Before joining Semafor, he led the design teams at Axios and for streaming platforms at ViacomCBS. Throughout his twenty years as a designer, he has worked with a wide range of private and non-profit organizations, including the United Nations, Medicins Sans Frontieres, MTV Italy, SKY Italy, Natura, Grupo Positivo, and Grupo Lumen. Follow him on Twitter @all_lucca.
Bill Spindle
Climate and Energy Editor
Bill was a bureau chief and correspondent for The Wall Street Journal for two decades in Japan, the Middle East and South Asia. He used a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship to report on climate change and energy transition in India through the first half of this year, logging thousands of miles on India’s railway around the country. Bill is based in New York and Abu Dhabi. Follow him on Twitter @BillSpindle.
Alexis Akwagyiram
Managing Editor, Africa
Alexis joins us from the Financial Times where he previously served as Digital Editor on the World Desk. He also shaped global coverage of the pandemic as the editor overseeing health and science correspondents. Prior to the FT, Alexis spent six years reporting in Nigeria where he was the Bureau Chief for Reuters and previously worked as a journalist at the BBC. Follow him on Twitter @alexisak.
Benjy Sarlin
Washington Bureau Chief
Benjy has spent the last nine years at NBC News, where he covered the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns as well as major legislative battles in Congress, from immigration reform to the Inflation Reduction Act. He most recently served as Policy Editor, working under Meet The Press moderator Chuck Todd to shape on-air and online coverage. He previously covered national politics for The Daily Beast and Talking Points Memo. Follow him on Twitter @BenjySarlin.
Garett Wiley
Chief Financial Officer
Garett was previously Operating Partner at Optum Ventures and Partner at Palmyra Investments. He has cofounded a series of globally focused startups in industries such as financial services, computer games, education technology, and digital media. He is a lawyer by training and began his career as an ethnographic filmmaker.
Gina Chon
Business and Tech Editor
Gina has covered war, high finance, and most recently the U.S. economy, as a columnist at Reuters Breakingviews. Prior, she served as U.S. Enforcement Correspondent at the Financial Times. She was also at Quartz in the early days, and before that spent seven years at the Wall Street Journal in New York, Baghdad and Detroit. She’s the author of a 2010 book on the aftermath of the genocide in Cambodia. Follow her on Twitter @GinaChon.
Gina Chua
Executive Editor
Gina is the former Executive Editor of Reuters. She was previously editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post and the Wall Street Journal Asia, as well as deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. A native of Singapore, Gina transitioned in late 2020, making her one of the most senior transgender journalists in the industry. Follow her on Twitter @GinaSKChua.
Joe Posner
Head of Video
Joe is a filmmaker, motion designer, musician, and creative leader. He co-founded Vox Video in 2014, building their award-winning YouTube channel and creating Emmy-nominated streaming series like Level Playing Field on HBO, and Explained on Netflix. Posner previously created animation for documentary films such as Freakonomics, If a Tree Falls, and Point and Shoot. He is also 2023 New America Fellow. Follow him on Twitter @joeposner.
Kellen Henry
Product Lead
Kellen spent 8 years at The New York Times, most recently leading the Reader Experience team at Wirecutter. She worked previously on NYT’s core news products, creating experimental storytelling formats, building newsroom workflow tools and launching the paper’s first responsive home page. She has also worked at the intersection of news and product at The Associated Press and Bloomberg. Follow her on Twitter at @kellenhenry
Liz Hoffman
Business & Finance Editor
Liz is a former senior reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where she covered corporate dealmaking, banking and the world of high finance. She is the author of a forthcoming book on the pandemic's effects on corporate America. A Pennsylvania native, she attended Tufts University and earned a masters in journalism from Northwestern University. Follow her on Twitter @lizrhoffman.
Mark Wilkie
Head of Engineering
Mark is the former CTO of BuzzFeed. He was previously head of technology at Kinja Media, a startup founded by former Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton. Mark was a Senior Software Architect at United Health Technologies and has more than 25 years of experience delivering software products and technology. Follow him on Twitter @mwilkie.
Meera Pattni
Head of Global Communications
Meera previously served as SVP, Communications at Condé Nast where she spearheaded the company's global overhaul of its business and editorial operations. Prior, she spent almost a decade at VICE Media Group overseeing corporate and brand communications for its news, digital publishing, creative agency, studio production and television divisions. Meera started her career in journalism as a news producer for the BBC. Follow her on Twitter @meerapattni.
Niharika Acharya
Executive Director, Events
Niharika is the former executive director of events at The Hill. She previously served as senior producer for AtlanticLIVE and editorial director of National Journal LIVE. Before entering the world of live events, Niharika was a producer with Bloomberg Television and managing editor at Voice of America.
Prashant Rao
Senior Editor
Prashant has had one of journalism’s widest-ranging careers: Raised in Hong Kong and educated in London, he’s been the Iraq Bureau chief for AFP, the deputy Europe Business Editor for the New York Times, and the International Editor of The Atlantic. He will lead Semafor’s global publication, ‘Flagship,’ from London, and oversee a range of other projects. Follow him on Twitter @prashantrao.
Rachel Oppenheim
Chief Revenue Officer
Rachel is the former Head of Industry at the New York Times. She was previously the Times' Director of Sales for Story[X], where she led multiple first-of-their-kind partnerships with Google, Verizon and other companies. Rachel is a former Digiday "Future Leader" award winner and the recipient of a B.A from Emory University in Philosophy and Journalism.
Reed Albergotti
Technology Editor
Reed is a former reporter at The Washington Post, where his reporting revealed how Apple sought to bludgeon competition and stifle innovation. Other major stories of his include groundbreaking reporting for The Information on sexual harassment in venture capital and the revelation for The Wall Street Journal of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, which led to the bestselling book “Wheelmen”. Follow him on Twitter @ReedAlbergotti.
Steve Clemons
Editor at Large
Steve is the former Editor at Large of The Hill. He was previously Washington Editor at Large of The Atlantic and served in senior editorial roles at National Journal and Quartz. He is also proprietor of the popular political blog The Washington Note and host of The Bottom Line on Al Jazeera English. Clemons previously served as Executive Vice President of the Economic Strategy Institute and was the founding Executive Director of the Center for the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter @SCClemons.
Tasneem Nashrulla
Breaking News Editor
Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Tasneem worked for the Hindustan Times before relocating to the U.S., where she earned a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University. Since 2013, she has been a pillar of BuzzFeed’s breaking news operation. As a senior reporter there, she covered major national news stories including the trials of Derek Chauvin and Harvey Weinstein, the Capitol riot, and the pandemic. Most recently, she served as BuzzFeed’s Deputy News Director. Follow her on Twitter @TasneemN.
Yinka Adegoke
Africa Editor
Yinka is a former editor at Rest of World; Quartz Africa, which he launched in 2015; and Billboard. In 2018, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine. He previously wrote for Reuters, The Guardian, and The FT, among others, and has reported from more than 20 countries across Europe, Africa and the Americas. Follow him on Twitter @YinkaWrites.