The Coalition Against Online Violence Leadership

Newsroom Advocacy

The Newsroom working group is focused on changing newsroom culture and the way online abuse and safety are addressed within the media industry. By developing and advocating for best practices for newsroom leadership and management, we hope to help newsrooms bolster the support they offer their staff and freelancers for navigating online abuse.

PEN America – Jeje Mohamed

Jeje Mohamed has over a decade of experience working on human rights issues, journalism, and safety and security in the Middle East and internationally. Before joining PEN America as senior manager for digital safety and free expression, she was a Next-Gen Safety Trainers fellow with the International Women’s MediaFoundation, developing more inclusive and trauma-informed safety and security training. She managed several campaigns and programs focusing on sex trafficking, racial disparities, and human rights violations in Egypt and exile. She led and took part in the production of documentaries focusing on social issues and founded Witness Magazine that covered human rights abuses in Egypt and the Middle East. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the American University in Cairo in multimedia journalism and international relations, and completed a graduate degree in international media focusing on human rights and democracy in areas of conflict as an OSF Civil Society Leadership Award Fellow at American University.

Platforms Advocacy

The Platforms working group is comprised of a diverse group of advocates dedicated to boosting user safety on social media and other digital platforms. We recognize that company business models have long been prioritized over investing in adequate moderation and user protection — and this neglect has pushed activists, social leaders, and those of marginalized identities out of the sphere of public debate. We see the value of contextually specific advocacy with platforms to present both granular and big picture recommendations for bolstering user protection.

International Media Support – Colette S. Wahlqvist

Colette Simonne Wahlqvist is the Global Safety Advisor for IMS (International Media Support) based in Copenhagen. She leads research, evidence-based advocacy and the advancement of strategic partnerships to implement the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity with a focus on the development of national journalist safety mechanisms. She has co-facilitated the Safety of Journalists Coalition since 2020, which brings together civil society organizations to advance collaboration and maximize impact of activities in the target countries and on thematic issues. Colette is a human rights lawyer licensed to practice in New York and is specialized in the promotion of press freedom. Previously, Colette was a researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden and interned for the UN Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights. She has a B.A. from Ithaca College, J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and an L.L.M.from Lund University.

Research & Knowledge Sharing

The Research and Knowledge Sharing working group is focused on global trends, training, education, resources, and tools. We are highlighting existing work, as well as and initiating new research surfaced from the Coalition’s areas of expressed interest and expertise. This workgroup will seek opportunities to collaborate with the other workgroups and Coalition members and will prioritize peer support for members experiencing challenges, threats, and trauma in the course of conducting research.

Rural Digital Resilience Project – Dana Coester

Dana Coester is founder of the Murrow award-winning digital outlet 100 Days in Appalachia and director of the Rural Digital Resilience Project. Coester’s research examines online and offline extremism, media manipulation, and disinformation campaigns with a trauma-informed approach.Coester has long focused on the intersection of technology, media and communities, with an emphasis on susceptibility and resilience in rural community members. Coester directed and co-produced the documentary film Raised by Wolves, a deeply reported feature length documentary that peers into online youth culture in Appalachia and reveals the risk of radicalization through exposure to weaponized misinformation and extremism. Coester has been an invited speaker on these topics at the Aspen Festival of Ideas, Newsgeist North America, the Council on Foreign Relations, Our Body Politic, among others, and her work has been cited in testimonies before two congressional committees. Coester received her Master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Legal/Regulations Advocacy

The Regulatory working group works on developing a shared international understanding of what online gender based violence is and how this can be addressed in regulatory and legal frameworks. We are building tools to unpack the different elements that exist under and are related to online gender based violence.

Free Press Unlimited – Emma Bergmans

Emma Bergmans is a safety specialist currently focusing on issues relating to the online harassment of (women) journalists, legal intimidation of media workers, and the importance of media in exile in Free Press Unlimited’s Policy & Advocacy team. Previously, Emma coordinated their Safety & Emergency Assistance programme, providing rapid support to journalists worldwide facing a situation of distress and developing new interventions to improve the safety of journalists. She holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Studies & Human Rights and worked on the rights of refugees before joining Free Press Unlimited. Emma recently relocated back to Amsterdam after being based in Nairobi, Kenya for the past few years to expand FPU’s safety work in East Africa.


The Assistance working group is focused on developing emergency response strategies to support journalists subjected to online hate and harassment and to inform the public about the considerable negative impact of these actions on press freedom. The immediate focus of this year’s working group is to analyze response plans currently in place with various CAOV members and to determine how the coalition can act to support journalists in times of crisis.  

Brent Jolly

Brent Jolly is a Canadian journalist, who currently serves as the president of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and is also the managing director of the National News Media Council of Canada. In addition to these roles, he also serves as the chair of the Investigative Journalism Foundation, represents the CAJ on the board of governors of Canada’s National Newspaper Awards, and is a director with the Canada Press Freedom Project. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Ottawa’s Carleton University and a graduate degree in political science from the University of Toronto. He is an alumni junior fellow at Massey College.

CAOV Founding Organization

IWMF – Juanita Islas, Director of Programs

As the Director of Programs, Juanita Islas oversees the IWMF’s global fellowships, grant-making initiatives, safety training, and emergency funds. She also supports the work of the Coalition Against Online Violence, a collection of global organizations collaborating to find better solutions for journalists facing digital attacks. Juanita joined the IWMF in 2015 to launch their $5 million multi-year reporting initiative in Latin America, where she worked with international and local journalists in Colombia, Mexico, and the Northern Triangle. In the past seven years, she has led the design and implementation of national and international programs, totaling over $12 million and reaching journalists in 124 countries. Juanita holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.