The Stanley Foundation
Seeking a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on global citizenship and effective global governance.
Devon Terrill
Program Officer
Journalism & Media

Devon Terrill is a program officer for media at the Stanley Foundation in the Policy Programming Department. She is an award-winning media professional with 18 years of experience working in the television and film industry, from cable and broadcast series to feature films, documentaries, and branded media. In recent years, she has concentrated on issue-focused media projects that emotionally engage the public around critical issues and inform and shape policies that can ultimately create a better world. In 2014, she was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy as a producer on the HBO documentary "American Winter." Her contributions to that film’s nationwide outreach and engagement campaign led to hundreds of screenings and events in partnership with nonprofits and advocacy groups and inspired a US Senate hearing featuring testimony from four of the film’s subjects.

Devon earned a B.A. in comparative literature from the University of Iowa and has traveled around the world, backpacking, studying, teaching, volunteering, and working in Europe, Central America, Australia, Southeast Asia, India, and Zimbabwe. 

What do you do at the foundation and how long have you been here?

I joined the Stanley Foundation in November 2015.  As a policy program officer for media, my role stretches across the foundation’s three issue areas (nuclear security, genocide prevention, and climate change) with a focus on identifying opportunities to engage media and implementing high-impact media programming to advance our policy goals and broad mission.  

What do you like most about your job?

An ambitious vision and a collaborative spirit drives the work of everyone at the Stanley Foundation, and I love being a part of that. Media engagement can create many different channels to amplify and advance the foundation’s core advocacy goals, and I am happy to be in a role where I can tap into these shared ideals and use my experience as a mediamaker to help move the needle forward each day.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa. I spent my third year of college overseas in Vienna, Austria, where I studied diligently and never ever enjoyed the bars or food or music or art that fills that city. I quickly caught the travel bug and hopped onto a train to explore other parts of Western and Eastern Europe at every opportunity. Several years later, wanderlust crept back in and I took off on a round-the-world backpacking trip that lasted 15 months. An internship through the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Hollywood led me to Los Angeles, where I ended up living and working for 18 years before recently moving back to Iowa with my husband and two young kids.

What are your hobbies?

I have two young daughters, so I’m not allowed to have hobbies right now. But while multitasking, I love having a good craft beer in a cozy bar, participating in community activities with the kiddos, and watching Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” (and Game of Thrones and House of Cards, and any documentary film that was lucky enough to get broadcast distribution) with my husband.

Media Programming

The Stanley Foundation’s media programming promotes quality, in-depth, and timely reporting on topics related to the foundation’s three program areas:  climate change, nuclear weapons policy, and mass violence and atrocities. Media programs are often produced in collaboration with trusted media organizations, with strict adherence to principles of editorial independence. In addition, the foundation is exploring the role and impact of new media and technology (social platforms, content distributors, new media formats, and information systems) within the larger media ecosystem. As a private nonpartisan operating foundation, the Stanley Foundation does not receive or give grants. 

Media programming includes:

  • Media workshops, trainings, and forums
  • Engaging journalists and other media actors at policy convenings 
  • Facilitating topical, regional/global, and investigative reporting fellowships

Current Work

The foundation collaborates with a variety of media partners and other organizations to strengthen understanding of the issues we are focused on and to provide useful tools, expertise, and resources to support rigorous reporting. Partners have included Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Center for Public Integrity, the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, Atomic ReportersGroundTruth Project, Earth Journalism Network, the World Conference of Science Journalists, and others.

The foundation also looks for opportunities to include journalists and other media actors in policy discussions and other global events/conferences related to our three issue areas, often in partnership with the foundation’s policy team.

Climate Tracker | Climate Journalists | Youth Empowerment
The Stanley Foundation is partnering with Climate Tracker and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit Team to organize a fellowship of eight young journalists to attend and report from the Global Climate Strike, UN Youth Climate Summit, UN Climate Action Summit, and other related events taking place during Climate Week NYC. Early-career climate journalists from around the world will travel to New York to report on climate action and the efforts of young people who are pressing for more ambition from world leaders and others to combat the climate crisis. Learn More.

Planetary Security Conference 
Together with Amsterdam-based Free Press Unlimited, the Stanley Foundation organized a four-day media fellowship for fifteen journalists to attend the fourth annual Planetary Security Conference in The Hague, Netherlands, February 18–21, 2019. The conference explored how effective climate policy can be preventative to conflict and how peace can be secured in regions affected by global warming. Journalists from Mali, Iraq, the Lake Chad Basin, and the Caribbean—the spotlight regions at the conference—participated in workshops with seasoned journalism trainers. Activities were programmed to facilitate reporting opportunities and quality interaction with conference attendees. The journalism resulting from those opportunities and interactions may be found here.

Past work of the foundation at the intersection of climate, security, and the media includes film screenings and discussions of the ABC News Nightline documentary “A Climate for Conflict” and a policy analysis brief "Putting Environmental Stress Back on the Mass Atrocities Agenda."

This is Not a Drill Journalism Workshop
From January 8-12, 2019, the Stanley Foundation and Atomic Reporters hosted the four-day "This Is Not a Drill" Journalism Workshop in Hawaii, just ahead of the one-year anniversary of the false ballistic missile alert that occurred there in January 2018. Workshop participants revisited that incident and explored new dimensions of nuclear risk in the digital age. Learn More

"Independent Journalism as a Pillar of Peace"
Learn more about the foundation’s strategy and priorities in supporting independent media in this interview with Program Officer Devon Terrill, conducted by Central European University’s Center for Media, Data and Society. 

Climate Vulnerable Forum Summit
Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine has announced the first ever carbon-free, online summit of world leaders on November 22, 2018. In this video, which the Stanley Foundation produced in collaboration with Principle Pictures, President Heine explains the intent and goals of the Climate Vulnerable Forum Summit—cooperative action for a sustainable climate future where all can survive and thrive.

Climate Change Media Partnership Fellowships
Twenty journalists have been awarded fellowships to cover key climate change meetings in San Francisco, California, and Katowice, Poland. The journalists, from 18 developing countries, will "learn how cities, countries, communities, companies, and individuals are working to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement – or are perhaps lagging in their commitments." Learn more.