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The Defender Staff

Katherine Paul

Katherine Paul

Katherine Paul is acting editor-in-chief and senior director of publishing. She has a B.A. in French and education from Kent State University and an M.A. in French from the University of Minnesota. She has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and a public relations professional, specializing in marketing communications. For the past 20 years, she has worked in the nonprofit space as associate director of Common Dreams, an online news site, and associate director of the Organic Consumers Association, where she managed communications, online fundraising, and grant writing. Katherine joined The Defender when it launched in October 2020. She lives in Freeport, Maine.

Brenda Baletti

Brenda Baletti

Brenda Baletti, Ph.D., is a senior reporter for The Defender. She researches and writes articles for The Defender. She earned a B.A. in psychology and anthropology from New York University, an M.A. in geography from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brenda wrote and taught about capitalism and politics for 10 years in the writing program at Duke University. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She joined The Defender in October 2022.

Claudia D. Wheeler

Claudia D. Wheeler

Claudia D. Wheeler is the NewsWatch editor for The Defender. She curates top headlines related to Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Brother, COVID-19 and other topics of interest to Defender readers and publishes them in digest form. She earned a B.A. in philosophy from Fordham University and an M.A. in English from Adelphi University. She has worked as a writer and editor for 25-plus years, including for many medical and scientific journals. Claudia lives in Huntington, New York, and has two children. She joined The Defender in September 2021.

Christina Gursslin

Christina Gursslin

Christina Gursslin is a content coordinator for The Defender. She oversees image creation/production and formats and posts content to the website. She has a B.S. in journalism with a minor in English and an M.A. in communication from SUNY Brockport. Christina has more than 17 years of experience in communication and public relations at K-12 and higher education, including managing school communications for public school districts in Rochester, New York, where she lives with her husband and two children. She joined The Defender in April 2022.

Jennifer O’Brien

Jennifer O’Brien

Jennifer O’Brien is a senior fellow at Children’s Health Defense and a content coordinator for The Defender, assisting with image creation and Defender content on Substack. She earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences in 2008. For 10 years, she owned and operated a natural health and wellness practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She joined the health freedom movement after her daughter was injured by the DTaP vaccine more than 11 years ago. Jennifer lives in Niceville, Florida, with her husband and two children.

John-Michael Dumais

John-Michael Dumais

John-Michael Dumais is a reporter and editor with The Defender. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Harvard, where he studied the relationship between consciousness, brainwave states, and psychological, emotional and physical health. He pursued this work as a trainer and program manager at The Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped end the death penalty in New Hampshire and worked on issues related to the sustainability of human communities, alternative education and economics, nonviolence and anti-war efforts. He co-founded Rise Up New Hampshire in response to government mandates and suppression of therapeutics during the pandemic and in 2020, wrote and self-published “Challenging the Pandemic Narrative and Mask-Wearing Mandate.” John-Michael is a singer/songwriter and a sound circle and inner-work facilitator. He lives in Keene, New Hampshire. He joined The Defender in July 2023.

John Stone

John Stone

John Stone is the comment moderator for The Defender and Community. He has been the British and European editor of AgeofAutism.com since 2010 and is an autism parent and vaccine safety campaigner. In the United Kingdom, he has worked with JABS and UK Medical. He has a background in music journalism and historical research, with a focus on the misrepresentation of events and science surrounding the autism crisis and vaccines, notably defending Andrew Wakefield against the British establishment. He has authored hundreds of articles and thousands of published letters on related topics. John lives in the U.K. He Joined The Defender in March 2021.

Karen Rizkallah

Karen Rizkallah

Karen Rizkallah is a content coordinator for The Defender. She earned a B.A. in communications with an emphasis on professional writing from Southern New Hampshire University and is working toward an M.S. in English/professional writing. She has 10 years of experience in online content management and SEO research and strategy. Before working in content management, she taught early childhood students at a Waldorf-style school in Florida, where she was editor of the school newsletter. Karen lives in Richmond, Michigan. She joined The Defender in March 2022.

Lisa Pacheco

Lisa Pacheco

Lisa Pacheco is the copy editor for The Defender. She earned a B.A. in English from the University of Central Florida and an M.A. in cultural anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Before coming to The Defender, she was a freelance copy editor and project manager. She has over 20 years of experience including in the book publishing industry as editorial director of a museum press, managing editor for a scholarly press, and acquisitions editor at a university press; and as a writer/editor/content manager for a music and culture website. Lisa lives in Florida. She joined The Defender in April 2022.

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D.

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D.

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., is a senior reporter for The Defender and host of the weekly "Defender In-Depth" interview program on CHD.TV and Spotify. He earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in public policy from Stony Brook University, and a Ph.D. in media studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught communication, media and journalism in the U.S. and Greece. Prior to joining The Defender, Michael contributed to outlets such as the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Truthout, Mint Press News and The Guardian. For 10 years, he also produced and hosted the "Dialogos" radio program and podcast, broadcast on 20+ radio stations across several countries. Michael lives in Athens, Greece. He joined The Defender full-time in September 2022.

Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D.

Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D.

Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., is a reporter for The Defender. She has a B.A. in social justice from Hamline University, an M.A. in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University, and a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Texas at Austin. While completing her Ph.D., Suzanne served as assistant director of the University of Texas Project on Conflict Resolution. She has certificates in advanced conflict mediation, group facilitation and dialogue training. Her scholarship has been published in the journal Health Communication. She has taught at various academic institutions, including the University of Portland. Suzanne is based in Fairfield, Iowa. She joined The Defender in May 2022.

Katherine Paul

Katherine Paul

Katherine Paul is acting editor-in-chief and senior director of publishing. She has a B.A. in French and education from Kent State University and an M.A. in French from the University of Minnesota. She has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and a public relations professional, specializing in marketing communications. For the past 20 years, she has worked in the nonprofit space as associate director of Common Dreams, an online news site, and associate director of the Organic Consumers Association, where she managed communications, online fundraising, and grant writing. Katherine joined The Defender when it launched in October 2020. She lives in Freeport, Maine.

Brenda Baletti

Brenda Baletti

Brenda Baletti, Ph.D., is a senior reporter for The Defender. She researches and writes articles for The Defender. She earned a B.A. in psychology and anthropology from New York University, an M.A. in geography from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brenda wrote and taught about capitalism and politics for 10 years in the writing program at Duke University. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She joined The Defender in October 2022.

Claudia D. Wheeler

Claudia D. Wheeler

Claudia D. Wheeler is the NewsWatch editor for The Defender. She curates top headlines related to Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Brother, COVID-19 and other topics of interest to Defender readers and publishes them in digest form. She earned a B.A. in philosophy from Fordham University and an M.A. in English from Adelphi University. She has worked as a writer and editor for 25-plus years, including for many medical and scientific journals. Claudia lives in Huntington, New York, and has two children. She joined The Defender in September 2021.

Christina Gursslin

Christina Gursslin

Christina Gursslin is a content coordinator for The Defender. She oversees image creation/production and formats and posts content to the website. She has a B.S. in journalism with a minor in English and an M.A. in communication from SUNY Brockport. Christina has more than 17 years of experience in communication and public relations at K-12 and higher education, including managing school communications for public school districts in Rochester, New York, where she lives with her husband and two children. She joined The Defender in April 2022.

Jennifer O’Brien

Jennifer O’Brien

Jennifer O’Brien is a senior fellow at Children’s Health Defense and a content coordinator for The Defender, assisting with image creation and Defender content on Substack. She earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences in 2008. For 10 years, she owned and operated a natural health and wellness practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She joined the health freedom movement after her daughter was injured by the DTaP vaccine more than 11 years ago. Jennifer lives in Niceville, Florida, with her husband and two children.

John-Michael Dumais

John-Michael Dumais

John-Michael Dumais is a reporter and editor with The Defender. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Harvard, where he studied the relationship between consciousness, brainwave states, and psychological, emotional and physical health. He pursued this work as a trainer and program manager at The Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped end the death penalty in New Hampshire and worked on issues related to the sustainability of human communities, alternative education and economics, nonviolence and anti-war efforts. He co-founded Rise Up New Hampshire in response to government mandates and suppression of therapeutics during the pandemic and in 2020, wrote and self-published “Challenging the Pandemic Narrative and Mask-Wearing Mandate.” John-Michael is a singer/songwriter and a sound circle and inner-work facilitator. He lives in Keene, New Hampshire. He joined The Defender in July 2023.

John Stone

John Stone

John Stone is the comment moderator for The Defender and Community. He has been the British and European editor of AgeofAutism.com since 2010 and is an autism parent and vaccine safety campaigner. In the United Kingdom, he has worked with JABS and UK Medical. He has a background in music journalism and historical research, with a focus on the misrepresentation of events and science surrounding the autism crisis and vaccines, notably defending Andrew Wakefield against the British establishment. He has authored hundreds of articles and thousands of published letters on related topics. John lives in the U.K. He Joined The Defender in March 2021.

Karen Rizkallah

Karen Rizkallah

Karen Rizkallah is a content coordinator for The Defender. She earned a B.A. in communications with an emphasis on professional writing from Southern New Hampshire University and is working toward an M.S. in English/professional writing. She has 10 years of experience in online content management and SEO research and strategy. Before working in content management, she taught early childhood students at a Waldorf-style school in Florida, where she was editor of the school newsletter. Karen lives in Richmond, Michigan. She joined The Defender in March 2022.

Lisa Pacheco

Lisa Pacheco

Lisa Pacheco is the copy editor for The Defender. She earned a B.A. in English from the University of Central Florida and an M.A. in cultural anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Before coming to The Defender, she was a freelance copy editor and project manager. She has over 20 years of experience including in the book publishing industry as editorial director of a museum press, managing editor for a scholarly press, and acquisitions editor at a university press; and as a writer/editor/content manager for a music and culture website. Lisa lives in Florida. She joined The Defender in April 2022.

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D.

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D.

Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., is a senior reporter for The Defender and host of the weekly "Defender In-Depth" interview program on CHD.TV and Spotify. He earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in public policy from Stony Brook University, and a Ph.D. in media studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught communication, media and journalism in the U.S. and Greece. Prior to joining The Defender, Michael contributed to outlets such as the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Truthout, Mint Press News and The Guardian. For 10 years, he also produced and hosted the "Dialogos" radio program and podcast, broadcast on 20+ radio stations across several countries. Michael lives in Athens, Greece. He joined The Defender full-time in September 2022.

Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D.

Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D.

Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., is a reporter for The Defender. She has a B.A. in social justice from Hamline University, an M.A. in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University, and a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Texas at Austin. While completing her Ph.D., Suzanne served as assistant director of the University of Texas Project on Conflict Resolution. She has certificates in advanced conflict mediation, group facilitation and dialogue training. Her scholarship has been published in the journal Health Communication. She has taught at various academic institutions, including the University of Portland. Suzanne is based in Fairfield, Iowa. She joined The Defender in May 2022.