The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism is pleased to announce that Carmela S. Fonbuena will be PCIJ’s new executive director starting January 1, 2021.

She succeeds Malou Mangahas, who led the PCIJ for eleven years and retired in early 2020. 

Carmela, or Ela, will bring to PCIJ 17 years of experience as a journalist working for local and foreign news organizations. She is co-author of four books on Philippine elections and government contracting, and has just launched her latest book, "Marawi Siege: Stories from the Front Lines." 

Carmela has also produced documentaries and video essays, having worked for Rappler as a senior reporter from 2011 to 2018 and before that as a producer and head researcher for “Bawal ang Pasaway,” a public affairs program on GMA Network anchored by the esteemed economist Winnie Monsod. She has successfully led teams in enterprise reporting projects, and has a special interest in data journalism. 

In recent years, Carmela has also written stories for the Guardian newspaper in the UK. In 2007, she won the first prize in the Jaime Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism. She has an MA in Political Communication (with distinction) from Cardiff University as a Chevening scholar in the UK, with a focus on the impact of political and public opinion surveys, and a BA in Journalism (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. 

We are very pleased that Carmela has decided to be at the helm of PCIJ at a time when journalism in the Philippines and elsewhere is facing challenges on multiple fronts. 

We are also happy to announce that Floreen Simon, who was an able acting executive director during the transition, will take on the position of deputy executive director while retaining her portfolio as head of PCIJ’s training desk.