Husker grad named CEO, executive director of Online News Association

Friday, March 3, 2023 - 8:45am

LaSharah Bunting was named CEO and executive director of the Online News Association on Feb. 6. Bunting is a 2000 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications with a major in journalism. 

Before joining ONA, Bunting served as a vice president and executive editor at Simon & Schuster. Before that, she was the director of journalism at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation where she managed grants and initiatives that accelerated digital and organizational transformation in newsrooms, advanced equity and inclusion and boosted the development of new skills and expertise.

“Following a thorough and comprehensive search process, LaSharah emerged as the clear choice to lead ONA into its next era,” said David Smydra, ONA board president when announcing her hire. “The search committee was deeply impressed with LaSharah’s appreciation for ONA’s role in the industry, her vision for how ONA can best serve the journalism community and her executive leadership abilities to get the job done. We are excited to begin working with her.”

Bunting previously worked at The New York Times for 13 years, holding roles such as senior editor for Digital Transition. She also worked as an editor on the Times’ National Desk, where she directed breaking news and oversaw the department’s daily report, multimedia projects and audience engagement. She was an assignment editor on the Metro and Arts and Culture desks as well as editor for Frank Rich’s Sunday Op-Ed column. Before coming to The Times, LaSharah was an editor at The Dallas Morning News. She serves on the board of directors for Outlier Media, Open Campus and Dow Jones News Fund.

Bunting has been an active member of the CoJMC alumni community. She served on the Dean’s Advisory Board during the terms of Interim Dean James O’Hanlon, 2013-2014, and Dean Maria Marron, 2014-2018. In 2021, she joined the University of Nebraska Foundation Comprehensive Campaign Committee. 

“I cannot think of a more qualified and passionate person to lead the Online News Association,” said Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. “LaSharah has built an incredible career in journalism. We are so proud of her and know she will do great things in this role.” 

To learn more about the Online News Association, please visit

LaSharah Bunting Headshot
LaSharah Bunting, (2000), CEO and executive director, Online News Association