Denisse A. Tirado
Deputy Director, Symposiums

Denisse Tirado

Deputy Director, Symposiums

Before joining InquireFirst, Denisse A. Tirado was director of the Institute of the Americas Summer Camp on Science and Innovation. For six years, Denisse helped organize the camp for more than 200 students from 16 Latin American countries, the Caribbean and the U.S. who received scholarships to attend the two-week program. The camp, which is conducted in Spanish, is designed for motivated students who have demonstrated interest in science and desire to go to college, but they need support and motivation from educators.

In 2015, Denisse launched a five-day workshop, complementary to the Science & Innovation Summer Camp, that engages high school science instructors in an idea-generating program designed to promote innovative teaching techniques in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Denisse also worked with the Vice President of the Institute of the Americas, S. Lynne Walker, in coordinating logistics for professional development workshops for journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean.

From 2007-2010 Denisse worked in the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS) at the University of California, San Diego. Where she supported underrepresented freshmen students in achieving maximum academic and personal success and satisfaction with first- year college experience via weekly group meetings with a facilitator, an academic counselor, and a mentor. During this time, Denisse also volunteered at Gompers Middle School tutoring 6th grade English.

Denisse has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies focused on Political Science and a Minor in International Migration Studies from the University of California, San Diego.

Denisse earned her MBA from California State University San Marcos, where she now serves as Director of MBA Operations. Her specialization is business intelligence.


Rosalind Reid

Rosalind Reid


Rosalind Reid is executive and program director for the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, the culmination of a love affair with science writing that began when she walked into the North Carolina State University news bureau in 1984, discovered physics, and gave up political reporting. Six years later she joined the staff of American Scientist magazine, serving as editor-in-chief from 1992 to 2008 and taking a leave to become the first journalist in residence at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara.

Over her years as a magazine editor, Ros also traveled widely to present workshops on the visual communication of science. That work led to a fellowship at Harvard, where she stayed on to launch an institute devoted to computational science while serving on the board of CASW.

Under her leadership since 2013, CASW has launched the CASW Showcase website for award-winning writing and co-organized the World Conference of Science Journalists with the National Association of Science Writers, while continuing its fellowships and awards programs and the New Horizons in Science briefings, which Reid organizes for each ScienceWriters meeting.

In addition to magazine and newspaper awards, Ros’s recognitions include honorary memberships in Sigma Xi and the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology and election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. An NASW member since 1986, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a master’s from Duke and lives in Amherst, MA.

Patricia M. Smith

Patricia M. Smith

Patricia Smith is a licensed California CPA who has a tax practice in San Diego. She has been in the business as a sole-practitioner for over 30 years. Her medium-sized practice deals with personal, business, corporations, trusts, and nonprofit entities through tax preparations, consulting and representation before the IRS.

Pat has served on many boards of director, particularly in the nonprofit field. Her first position was as the treasurer of Able-Disabled Advocacy, Inc., then in the same position for the National Sleep Foundation. In addition she served has a director for New Entra Casa, Project Wildlife and InquireFirst.

Over the years, Pat has taught federal income tax classes at the University of California, San Diego, for students seeking credentials as Certified Financial Planners. She lectures at numerous professional luncheons. Pat participated in one of the first seminars for "Women's Opportunity Week" in San Diego.

After recently undergoing cataract surgery on both eyes, Pat can indulge in one of her favorite pastimes, reading for pleasure. Her tastes are rather eclectic including historical novels, mysteries, science fiction and popular fiction. Another favorite is teen literature acquired from her years as a middle school teacher.


Sandra Young

Twenty years as the administrative coordinator for The San Diego Union-Tribune business department trained Sandra Young to follow the money, question authority and keep a watchful eye on motive. She provided a layer of filters and structure that was dependable and forward thinking—in the end, helping to create a highly functioning team. Five years in the bankruptcy legal community have verified everything she learned in the newsroom.


Susan White
Executive Editor

Public Appearances

Sheri Fink and Susan White talk about outlining Sheri’s Pulitzer Prize-winning project.

In a lecture at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Susan White uses the trajectory of her own career to illustrate how journalism has changed in the last decade–and why the public should care about these changes.

Mike Web of ProPublica talks with Susan White about her three years at the investigative news site and her thoughts about what it takes to be a good editor.

Reporter Mike Stetz interviews Susan White about her career as an editor.


Susan White

Executive Editor

Susan White has edited or co-edited three Pulitzer Prize-winning projects at three different news organizations, working with a succession of talented reporters who are as obsessive as she is about accuracy and storytelling.

Susan studied professional writing at the University of Oklahoma School of Journalism, where she learned about plot, narrative, dialogue and the other building blocks of popular fiction. Her mentor, Prof. William Foster-Harris, urged her to delay the required journalism classes until her junior year, insisting she would learn most of what she needed in his classes. He was right. The story-telling techniques he taught her decades ago shaped not only her work, but also the work of generations of reporters who will never know his name.

After leaving Oklahoma, Susan worked for city magazines in Kansas City and Indianapolis. Her newspaper career officially began at the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, where she was the television critic for almost 13 years. During the 1990 Iraq war—the first war to unfold step-by-step, live, on America’s TV screens—she wrote almost every day, speaking frequently with news anchors Dan Rather and Peter Jennings. Years after she left the TV beat to become an editor, a reporter paid her the compliment she treasures most to this day. “Weren’t you once a TV critic?” he asked. “I always used to watch for your stuff on the Knight-Ridder entertainment wire, because it was so different.”

Susan moved to San Diego in 1994 to be with her now-husband, journalist Robert Laurence. She started at the San Diego Union-Tribune as a reporter, but soon became the newspaper’s writing coach and later its U.S.-Mexico border editor and enterprise editor. It was in that capacity that she worked with Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer on the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning articles that led to the imprisonment of former San Diego Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham for bribery. It’s also where she worked with then-reporter S. Lynne Walker, now her partner in InquireFirst, on two groundbreaking projects that cemented their friendship and changed the trajectory of both of their careers.

In 2008 Susan was the first assigning editor hired by New York City-based ProPublica, where she was an editor on Sheri Fink’s 2010 Pulitzer Prizing winning project about a New Orleans hospital where patients died during Hurricane Katrina. In 2011 she and Bob moved back to San Diego and she became executive editor of InsideClimate News, a nonprofit that focuses on climate and energy news. That’s where she conceived and edited “The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of.” The project won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting thanks to the hard work of reporters Lisa Song, Dave Hasemyer and Elizabeth McGowan. The fiction-writing techniques that Susan learned from Foster-Harris helped them breathe life and passion into their carefully documented reporting project.

Published Work


Susan White’s Brief Guide to Investigations
Great investigative projects usually begin with journalists brave enough to be guided by their own curiosity even if their sources—or their colleagues—think they’re a bit daft

Driven to see the USA for all its core values.
Published May 13, 2007 in The San Diego Union-Tribune
What does it mean to be an American at the beginning of the 21st century?Today, I'll set out on a six-week trip across the United States and back to try to answer that question. If all goes as planned, I'll be pulling out of my driveway in North Park at roughly the same time you are reading this article. Read more...

No debating role immigrants play in building Okla. town
Published May 27, 2007 in The San Diego Union-Tribune
Mike Shannon, the city manager of Guymon, Okla., isn't paying much attention to the immigration bill that's being debated in Congress.
Immigrants have been “the saving grace of this community,” he said. “I don't think anybody cares if they are legal or illegal.” Read more...


Nancy Wyld

Nancy Wyld

Nancy Wyld spent 17 years at the San Diego Union-Tribune, where she was operations manager for its 400-person newsroom. She handled budgets, contract negotiations and vendor relations. She also oversaw newsroom technology and was facilities manager for the Union-Tribune’s news bureaus. Prior to coming to San Diego she was production manager for a newspaper group on the east coast.