2018 judges

The annual SND Best of Digital Design competition brought 13 professionals to Washington, D.C., to judge the best work of 2018. The judges are broken into four groups — News, Features, Graphics and World’s Best. There is also one conflict judge.


Libby Bawcombe, NPR

Libby works in Digital Media at NPR as the Manager of Design Research & Strategy. Libby practices user research, visual design, user experience, design thinking and agile methods. Libby was formerly design director at The Atlantic, a board member of AIGA DC, and the senior multimedia manager at the Newseum. Find Libby @lbawcombe on Medium and Twitter.

Emmet Smith, National Geographic

Emmet Smith is Creative Director for National Geographic Partners. As a senior vice president, he oversees National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines, which reach more than 30 million readers each month, as well as National Geographic Books. At National Geographic, Smith leads a team of world-class designers, cartographers and infographics artists in producing a suite of rich visual narratives through in-depth research and reporting, all working in concert with the magazine’s iconic photo department. Previously he was a senior designer at The Washington Post, he helped lead the company’s group of 30 designers, establishing the Post as a preeminent destination for visual journalism. Before that he worked as an editor, designer and—of all things—pop music critic at The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. At The Plain Dealer, Smith helped chronicle everything from Northeast Ohio’s unemployment crisis to LeBron James’ infamous “Decision” to the oft-perplexing selections for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s annual induction classes.

Moiz Syed, The Intercept

Moiz Syed is a data journalist and designer at The Intercept. He was previously at the Wikimedia Foundation where he led design efforts on projects supporting transparency and free knowledge.


Yue Qiu, Bloomberg

Yue Qiu is a graphics editor at Bloomberg. She spent the past two years in Hong Kong, running Bloomberg’s Asia and Europe graphics team. Her work has won awards from prestigious organizations including SND, IRE and SOPA. Before joining Bloomberg, she worked for investigative newsrooms ProPublica and Center for Public Integrity.

Renate Rognan, NRK

Renate is a visual and motion graphic designer at the Norwegian Public Broadcaster, NRK. She has worked in a variety of productions for both TV and online during her 12 years at Norway largest News and Sports broadcast. Lately she has worked mainly on information graphic, visual storytelling and art direction for web stories and social media.

Monica Ulmanu, The Washington Post

Monica Ulmanu is a graphics assignment editor for the Washington Post, where she leads and helps produce a wide range of projects, from breaking news and daily assignments to long-term newsroom-wide initiatives and live trackers. She previously worked for the Guardian in London, Reuters News and Boston Globe.


Sohail Al-Jamea, McClatchy

Sohail is an award-winning motion graphics artist and documentary filmmaker at The McClatchy Company, where he has worked since 2015. He has previously held design positions at NBC News, ABC News, CNN and The Washington Post. His recent documentary short “Hollywood’s Greatest Trick,” which examines the unsettling plight of visual effects artists has screened at six film festivals in North America.

Dawn Cai

Dawn is a Chinese-born designer, graphics journalist and visual storyteller. She spent the last two years in Singapore working as data visualization developer with Reuters, where she designed and developed interactive graphics covering stories in the Asia Pacific region such as the Rohingya crisis and North Korea. Previously she worked for The Washington Post where she designed newspaper pages as well as charts, maps and gifs.

Ryan Murphy, Texas Tribune

Ryan Murphy is the Deputy Data Visuals Editor at The Texas Tribune. He’s responsible for overseeing the team’s execution of longer-term stories and technical projects, often designing and developing these projects himself and editing other’s work in this area. He leads the projects that are the pillars of Tribune data coverage including election night results, the legislative session and campaign finance coverage.

World’s Best

Jason Chui, Globe and Mail

Jason Chiu is the Deputy Head of Visual Journalism at The Globe and Mail. He looks after the interactive, design, graphics, data, photo and video departments in the newsroom. It’s a 35 person team based in 3 timezones focused on telling visual stories not just stories with visuals.

Hannah Fairfield, The New York Times

Hannah Fairfield is the climate and environment editor at The New York Times. She joined the Times in 2000, as a graphics editor, and later helped to lead the Times’s award-winning graphics department. She received two master’s degrees from Columbia University and taught data visualization at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism for 6 years. Projects she has worked on have won Pulitzer, Peabody, Loeb and Polk awards.

Simon Scarr, Reuters

Simon Scarr is Deputy Head of Graphics for Thomson Reuters, the world’s largest international multimedia news provider. He is responsible for directing information graphic products, managing the graphics desk in Singapore and working closely with teams in London and New York on projects ranging from breaking news to investigative reports.
The Reuters Graphics team have recently been recognized with a number of prestigious information graphics, data visualization, and design awards, including a gold medal for their graphics portfolio at last year’s Best of Digital competition.


Shazna Nessa, Wall Street Journal

Shazna Nessa is the Chief Visuals Editor at The Wall Street Journal in New York. She leads teams of visual journalists, designers and developers dedicated to creating visual journalism and news experiences on all print and digital platforms. Prior roles include: director of the Journalism program at the Knight Foundation; DME/head of editorial products and innovation at the Associated Press; executive producer at Conde Nast Portfolio; adjunct professor for the inaugural “design for journalists” course at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; and a manager at a technology startup. Shazna is on the board of the Online New Association, an advisory board member of both the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and the Journalism + Design program at the New School. Shazna was born and raised in London and graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris. She was a 2008 Sulzberger fellow at Columbia University and a 2014 John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University.