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Editorials and Debates

THE EDITORIAL BOARD: Meet the members of USA TODAY's board

USA TODAY's Editorial Board forms the opinions expressed in USA TODAY's editorials. Its members are selected by USA TODAY's opinion editor, with a goal of reflecting the diversity of the nation's conversation. The board operates by consensus and reaches its opinions independently from any other part of USA TODAY or its parent company, Gannett. It is not aligned with any political party. More broadly, the Editorial Board strives to present an opinion section online and in print that reflects the fullness of the national dialogue, offering commentary from columnists, readers and its own writers on a wide range of issues from many perspectives.

Michael McCarter

Michael McCarter is the vice president/group editor of the Opinion sections of Gannett, the parent company of USA TODAY.

Michael McCarter, interim editor-in-chief of USA TODAY, is the vice president/group editor of the Opinion sections of Gannett, the parent company of USA TODAY. He is also the director of Standards, Ethics and Belonging for the USA TODAY Network. Before joining USA TODAY, McCarter was the executive editor at the Evansville Courier & Press in Indiana and the senior news director at the Cincinnati Enquirer in Ohio.

Tim Swarens


Tim Swarens is deputy opinion editor. A former former opinion editor and columnist with The Indianapolis Star, he joined USA TODAY Opinion in 2018 as Hidden Common Ground editor. He was the editor or writer on projects that won national awards from Sigma Delta Chi, National Headliners, Scripps Howard, American Society of Newspaper Editors and Robert F. Kennedy Excellence in Journalism.

Tim Swarens

In 2018, he was the author of the EXPLOITED project, a 10-part series that investigated child sex trafficking in the United States and internationally. His work as editor of The Manual Project, a yearlong examination of conditions at an urban Indianapolis high school, led to creation of the Our City, Our Children initiative, which raised millions of dollars to aid youth in Central Indiana and inspired thousands of people to serve as mentors and tutors for at-risk children. Swarens is a graduate of Indiana University and Vincennes University with degrees in journalism. He and his wife live in Indianapolis. 

Louie Villalobos

9/10/19 3:04:22 PM -- Washington, DC  -- Photos of USA Today Washington Bureau staff --    Photo by  Matthew Sobocinski, USA TODAY staff ORG XMIT:   S 138105 Tim Ryan 06/19/2019 [Via MerlinFTP Drop]


Louie Villalobos became the audience development editor for USA TODAY Opinion in 2021, after working for more than two years as a politics editor for USA TODAY.  He was one of several editors to lead the political coverage of the 2020 presidential election and the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before joining USA TODAY in 2018, he worked for 14 years at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. He was an editor on the Republic team that was a Pulitzer finalist in 2014 for breaking news reporting and helped create the audience/social media plan for the border wall project that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. His first journalism job was in 1999, when he worked in the sports department of the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia. He is a first-generation American who grew up on the U.S. border with Mexico in California and went on to write about the border as a reporter in Arizona.  

Thuan Elston

Thuan Le Elston


Thuan Le Elston has been Opinion operations editor since 2005. Her responsibilities include page layout, copy editing, and print and online publishing. She also writes editorials, opinion columns, poetry and fiction. Previously, she was a news copy editor for The Salt Lake Tribune and USA TODAY, and a news reporter for the Greenwich (Connecticut) Time and the Los Angeles Times. She was born in South Vietnam and left a week before Saigon fell in 1975. She received a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. One of her few non-journalism jobs was a speaking role in Oliver Stone's movie “Heaven and Earth.” She's married with four children. Her historical fiction novel, "Rendezvous at the Altar: From Vietnam to Virginia," was published Sept. 14, 2021.

Ingrid Jacques

USA TODAY columnist Ingrid Jacques


Ingrid Jacques joined USA TODAY as an opinion columnist in May 2022. She has worked in journalism for nearly two decades, and prior to her current role, she served as a columnist and deputy editorial page editor at The Detroit News, where she spent 12 years as a member of the editorial board. She has written frequently on Michigan and national politics, with a focus on education and cultural issues. She has won numerous recognitions for her writing, including two first-place awards for editorial writing from the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors and a first place for editorial writing from the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She was also part of a three-member team that won a first-place National Headliner for editorial writing. In addition to USA TODAY and The Detroit News, her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Review (online), the Washington Examiner, Real Clear Politics and the Weekly Standard, among others. A native of Salem, Oregon, Jacques has a degree in English from Hillsdale College and a master’s in journalism from Michigan State University. She lives in Metro Detroit with her husband.

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