Our Staff

Chad Lorenz EDITOR-IN-CHIEF clorenz@votebeat.org

Chad Lorenz has a 20-year background in newspaper, magazine, and online journalism at local and national levels, previously working as an editor at Slate.com, the Washington Post, and Washingtonian magazine. Chad is a graduate of the University of Nebraska’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Lauren Aguirre ENGAGEMENT EDITOR laguirre@votebeat.org

Lauren Aguirre has spent her career in local news working to connect people to the information they need. She comes to Votebeat from The Philadelphia Inquirer, where she worked as audience editor for enterprise and innovation. Before that, she worked in audience and digital journalism in Arizona and Texas. A native of Texas, she graduated from Southern Methodist University.

Oralandar Brand-Williams SENIOR REPORTER, VOTEBEAT MICHIGAN obrand-williams@votebeat.org

Oralandar Brand-Williams is a veteran journalist with a background in print and broadcast news. She most recently was a staff writer/reporter at The Detroit News, where she covered beats including criminal justice, courts, and race relations. She previously was an assignment editor at WDIV-TV in Detroit. Oralandar earned her journalism degree from the University of Michigan. She is a former vice-president of print for the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. 

Natalia Contreras REPORTER, VOTEBEAT TEXAS ncontreras@votebeat.org

Natalia Contreras has covered a range of topics as a community journalist including local government, public safety, immigration, and social issues. Natalia comes to Votebeat from the Austin American-Statesman, where her reporting focused on impacts of government policies on communities of color. Natalia previously reported for the Indianapolis Star, where she helped launch the first Spanish-language newsletter, and at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Natalia was born in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. 

Jen Fifield REPORTER, VOTEBEAT ARIZONA jfifield@votebeat.org

Jen Fifield previously covered Maricopa County and Phoenix for The Arizona Republic, including the high-profile review of the county’s 2020 election. Prior to that, she covered politics and government for local newspapers in Maryland and state policy for Stateline, a news service run by The Pew Charitable Trusts. She has won several regional press awards in Arizona and Maryland for her investigative, feature, politics and education reporting. Jen is a Phoenix native and graduated from Arizona State University’s Cronkite School.

Jessica Huseman EDITORIAL DIRECTOR jhuseman@votebeat.org

Jessica Huseman was previously the lead elections reporter for ProPublica, and helped manage the Electionland project for three federal election cycles, sharing information and tips with hundreds of newsrooms across the United States. She is an award-winning educator, and has taught at Columbia Journalism School, New York University, and wrote a high school investigative journalism curriculum in use by more than 200 high schools. Jessica is a graduate of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, where she graduated with honors.

Carrie Levine STORY EDITOR clevine@votebeat.org

Carrie Levine was most recently a senior reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, where she covered elections and campaign finance for more than seven years. Before that, she was research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonpartisan watchdog group. She previously reported and edited for Legal Times and the National Law Journal, the Charlotte Observer. A graduate of Boston University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she is based in Washington, D.C. 

Carter Walker REPORTER, VOTEBEAT PENNSYLVANIA cwalker@votebeat.org

Carter was previously a reporter at the LNP in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he covered political extremism, including election misinformation, for the past year. He is originally from Chester County, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Penn State with a journalism degree. After working at the Times West Virginian, he returned to Pennsylvania to cover government and politics with a focus on investigative work.

Votebeat is a subsidiary of Chalkbeat, and is fully supported by Chalkbeat’s leadership, revenue, strategy, and operations teams. See the full staff list here