Thomas J. Brennan


Thomas is a father, husband, and the founder of The War Horse — his passion is writing about war, trauma, and loss.

Prior to studying at Columbia University, he was a sergeant in the Marine Corps and served as an infantryman in Iraq and Afghanistan with the First Battalion, Eighth Marines. Thomas is the co-author of Shooting Ghosts — A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War. 

Anna Hiatt

Anna Hiatt is a reporter and editor based in New York City, working with words, audio, and pictures—both moving and still. She's an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she also earned her master's degree. She attended UC Berkeley, graduating with a history degree. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, Reuters, The Village Voice, and on WNYC, among others. Anna Hiatt serves as a features editor for The War Horse. She's currently working on a book about end-of-life care.


Lindsey Melki


Lindsey Melki is Chief Operations Officer for The War Horse. She’s a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army captain. Lindsey served for seven years as an aviation officer and Blackhawk helicopter pilot, including a deployment to Baghdad. Prior to joining The War Horse, Lindsey received her MBA and MPA from New York University and worked as an associate with Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Public Finance Investment Banking group. She’s a Tillman Military Scholar and member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council. Lindsey and her wife, Julie, reside in New Jersey.

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David Chrisinger

David Chrisinger is the Director of Writing Seminars for The War Horse. He believes everyone has a story that needs to be told. For the last three years, he has also taught a semester-long writing seminar for student veterans at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and in 2016 he edited a collection of his students’ essays, See Me For Who I Am, that bridges the cultural gap that divides Post-9/11 military veterans from the American people. For six years David taught public policy writing to graduate students in the Master of Public Policy program at Johns Hopkins University and wrote Public Policy Writing That Matters, a book for anyone passionate about using writing to create real and lasting change. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and two young sons. 

Newsroom Development

Bruce Shapiro

Bruce Shapiro is the director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism where he is also a professor of journalism ethics and is the school's Senior Advisor for Academic Affairs. Bruce has directed the Dart Center since 2006 and is the recipient of the Public Advocacy Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies for his work advocating for ethical and responsible trauma reporting as a global practice. He has taught investigative journalism at Yale University and is a contributing editor at The Nation. Bruce's personal and professional experiences with trauma reporting will bring a degree of clarity and responsibility in journalism beyond reproach. Bruce will serve as a member of The War Horse advisory team, auditing our adherence to ethical journalism practices. 


Robert Rosenthal

Robert J. Rosenthal is the executive director of The Center for Investigative Reporting and an award-winning journalist who has worked with The New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosenthal worked for 22 years at the Inquirer, starting as a reporter and eventually becoming its executive editor in 1998. Robert worked as an editorial assistant on the Pulitzer-Prize winning Pentagon Papers Project, and has also won the Overseas Press Club Award for magazine writing, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for distinguished foreign correspondence, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in international reporting. Robert was a Pulitzer Prize judge four times and has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University and University of California at Berkeley's Graduate Schools of Journalism. 

Editorial Advisors


Karen Stabiner

Karen Stabiner is the author of the upcoming "Generation Chef," which chronicles a year in the life of a young chef as he opens his first restaurant. Her most recent book, "Family Table," is a cookbook-with-narrative about backstage life at a group of New York City restaurants. Her nine previous books include "To Dance With The Devil: The New War on Breast Cancer," a New York Times Notable Book, and her personal favorite, "My Girl: Adventures With a Teen in Training." Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Columbia Journalism Review, and other national publications. Karen teaches Feature Writing at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and brings with her years of experience in vivid storytelling.

Kevin Cullen

Kevin Cullen is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and columnist at The Boston Globe. Kevin was a member of the 2003 investigative team that won the Pulitzer for coverage of the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal. He is the co-author of the New York Times best-seller, "Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice." Kevin is also a Harvard Neiman Fellow and serves as an advisory member reviewing editorial content on a quarterly basis. Kevin's extensive newsroom experience, recognitions, and prowess as an investigative journalist will guide The War Horse in creating thoroughly and responsibly reported works of investigative journalism into the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Kevin is also the recipient of the Goldsmith Prize, the George Polk Award, and the Selden Ring Award.


Finbarr O'Reilly

Finbarr O'Reilly was based in West Africa as a Reuters correspondent and staff photographer from 2001 until 2014, and covered wars in Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Chad, and elsewhere. His photography has earned top industry awards, including the World Press Photo of the Year in 2006, as well as numerous awards from the National Press Photographers Association and Pictures of the Year International. He left Reuters in 2015 after photographing wars in Afghanistan, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories. He has moved into academia, with fellowships at Harvard, Columbia, and Yale. Finbarr is co-writing a non-fiction book, "Shooting Ghosts," that will be published by the Viking imprint of Penguin/Random House. He will serve as an advisory member on visual storytelling. With his years of noteworthy war coverage, Finbarr will provide quarterly review and ensure The War Horse publishes visual components in the most captivating manner possible. 

Technical Advisors

Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg is probably best known for his 1971 role in disclosing the previously secret Pentagon Papers, which revealed the true story of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. A Harvard PhD in Economics and former U.S. Marine Corps rifle company commander, he worked at the Pentagon, White House, State Department and the Rand Corporation before he became disillusioned with the U.S.’s role in Vietnam.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, Ellsberg has been a lecturer, writer and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era, wrongful U.S. interventions and the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing. He is a Senior Fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.