The GroundTruth Project welcomes new VP of Finance

BOSTON, July 28, 2022 —The GroundTruth Project, home of Report for America and Report for the World, has named Stephanie Schmidt as its new vice president of finance. Schmidt comes to the nonprofit journalism organization from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), where she was the director of financial planning and analysis, and assistant treasurer.

“The GroundTruth Project works hard every day at the grassroots level to ensure that independent journalism not only survives all of the technological and economic changes that have eroded newsrooms around the country and around the world in recent decades but also helps journalistic outlets pivot toward a new sustainable funding model that can provide a path to growth that will enable them to thrive for years to come,” said Schmidt. “I am proud to be joining this distinguished and dedicated group of professionals, and I look forward to being a key financial partner to my new colleagues as we take on the challenges ahead in what is sure to be a new chapter of the organization’s growth.”

“Scaling our mission to meet the global crisis in local news will require smart, measured and responsible growth of our programs,” said Susan Leath, GroundTruth’s chief operating officer. “Stephanie’s financial acumen, and proven leadership, are exactly what we need to carry us into the future.”

Schmidt joined RFE/RL in 2007, working in Prague then transferring in 2011 to Washington, D.C. She served in various administrative and financial management capacities, including twice serving as the acting chief financial officer. Schmidt managed RFE/RL’s budget through such challenges as the forcible closures of operations in Azerbaijan and Pakistan, the crackdown of the Russian and Belarusian governments on independent media, domestic turmoil in Afghanistan, as well as the recent period of growth that brought additional funding for new programming initiatives for Russia and its periphery in the wake of the invasion in Ukraine.

Before joining RFE/RL, Schmidt worked at several international nongovernmental organizations and think tanks, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kosice, Slovakia. Schmidt earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University, and also holds a master’s in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.