Dr. Robert Fortner, Executive Director

Dr. Robert Fortner is Executive Director of the International Center for Media Studies. He comes to ICMS from a two-year post directing the Media Research Institute, which has been incorporated into ICMS. Dr. Fortner has been engaged in research in the international arena since 1985 and been Director of Research for InterSearch, a consortium of Christian international broadcasting organizations since its inception in 1992. He has also been a professor at several colleges and universities in the United States, most recently at Calvin College, where he served both as department chair and as Director of Graduate Studies.

He has done research for the BBC World Service, the European Union, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Voice of America, among others, and has written four books and over 100 essays and papers for professional journals and conferences. Currently he is co-editing three volumes on global communication ethics.

Dr. Fortner has done extensive international travel and lecturing and been a consultant to a variety of organizations including the Center for Foreign Journalists, the Academy for Educational Development, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Research Council. He has lectured in over twenty countries from Asia to Russia to sub-Saharan Africa, conducted workshops on radio programming, ethics, theory, research strategies, management and radio drama, and completed field work in the past two years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Sudan, the Kakuma refugee camps in northern Kenya, Uganda, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Indonesia.

In the next few months he will be conducting field work in Cambodia and Turkey. He has also conducted focus group or ethnographic studies in the Philippines, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Ecuador and Albania.

In addition, Dr. Fortner has written series of radio programs for use in Mongolia in the run up to presidential elections on the topic of leadership, and in Rwanda on peace and reconciliation. Now he devotes most of his time to data analysis and writing, tackling such issues as globalization, moral contexts, emerging technologies, the practice of journalism, and the problems of worldview clashes in a world increasingly connected through new means of connection. 

Dean Swartz, Director of Programs

Dean Swartz is the Director of Programs of the International Center for Media Studies. Mr. Swartz has been with FEBC since 2004.

Previously, he was owner and president of Archetype Media Group, a Los Angeles based design and marketing firm serving clients in business, entertainment and nonprofit. Major clients included the Walt Disney Company, Dreamworks, Prudential, Cushman & Wakefield, and UCLA.  

Prior to that, Mr. Swartz served for 10 years as vice president for the Foundation for American Communications, a journalism education foundation providing mid-career education for working journalists in business, public policy, economics, law and the environment for many of the world’s journalists and news organizations.

Brandi Lauber, Director of Marketing and Communications

Brandi Lauber is Director of Marketing and Communications of the International Center for Media Studies. Prior to her position at FEBC/ICMS, Ms. Lauber served as political assistant to the Mayor of Elkhart, Indiana.  

Ms. Lauber also worked for the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California Los Angeles and Master of Arts from California State University Long Beach, both in Political Science.

Timothy Dam, Field Supervisor & Data Analyst

Timothy Dam is a field supervisor and data analyst for ICMS. He grew up in Niagara Falls, Canada, and attended Calvin College where he graduated with an interdisciplinary major that included the disciplines of geography, sociology and international development studies. He spent a year with his wife, Rena, in Shanghai, China, teaching English and then four years with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee as a Program Advisor in Uganda, East Africa. For two years he lived in “the bush,” without electricity, running water or other amenities and then two years in Uganda’s capital city of Kampala.

Mr. Dam has been with ICMS since January 1, 2009, and has helped supervise field work in Togo and Cote d’Ivoire so far this year. He loves to travel and learn about new cultures and looks forward to working with ICMS and Christians from around the world.

Peter Fortner, Field Supervisor & Social Networking Coordinator

Peter Fortner is a field supervisor and social networking coordinator for ICMS. He grew up in Washington, DC, and Grand Rapids, MI and attended Calvin College before moving back to Washington and beginning a career in property management and real estate sales.

He has returned to Grand Rapids to complete his education at Grand Valley State University in communication and to work with ICMS. Mr. Fortner will be organizing much of ICMS’s presence on the web, especially its movement into intranet activity within the FEBC family and its efforts to initiate and coordinate community development within the non-profit world around ICMS’s work.

He has been in several parts of the world, including living a year in the United Kingdom, traveling with ICMS to China, and supervising field work in Indonesia, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo. 


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