Meet Our Team
Thomas Brennan is the Founder of and Executive Director for The War Horse. Prior to studying journalism at Columbia University, he was a sergeant in the Marine Corps and served as an infantryman in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thomas is the co-author of Shooting Ghosts—A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War. His bylines have appeared in Vanity Fair, Center for Investigative Reporting, and The New York Times.
Samantha Daniels is the Director of Operations for The War Horse. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Samantha received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from American University in Washington, DC. As a Marine spouse, she has successfully navigated three military moves and supported two deployments. In 2017, Samantha completed a Master’s of Science in Finance at the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently a 2018 FINRA Military Spouse Fellow and is passionate about personal finance and wealth-building in the military community. When she is not at her computer she can be found trying to convince her garden to grow. She and her husband live in Jacksonville, North Carolina with their beloved dogs Clara and Eleanor.
Vivi Nguyen (she/they) is the Director of Development for The War Horse. Prior to this role, she led development operations at Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, conducted program evaluation research at MDRC, a national policy research firm, and provided direct service education support to underserved student populations. Vivi was raised in Westminster, California, a Vietnamese diasporic community in Orange County, and has worked and lived across the state in the San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay metropolitan areas. She also writes poetry and is an avid scholar of critical theory. Vivi holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley and currently resides in Oakland, California with her Boston Terrier, Henny.
Kelly Kennedy is the Managing Editor for The War Horse. Kelly is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist who served in the U.S. Army from 1987 to 1993, including tours in the Middle East during Desert Storm, and in Mogadishu, Somalia. She has worked as a health policy reporter for USA TODAY, spent five years covering military health at Military Times, and is the author of “They Fought for Each Other: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq,” and the co-author of “Fight Like a Girl: The Truth About How Female Marines are Trained,” with Kate Germano. As a journalist, she was embedded in both Iraq and Afghanistan. She is the only U.S. female journalist to both serve in combat and cover it as a civilian journalist, and she is the first female president of Military Reporters and Editors.
Daniel Langhorne is the Engagement Editor for The War Horse, managing social media, newsletters, and membership development. He started his journalism career at the Orange County Register as a staff writer covering city government, the Nixon Presidential Library, housing, education, and water. Since 2015, Daniel has reported on military affairs and many other topics for Military.com, Law360, and the Los Angeles Times. Daniel earned his B.A. in English and Political Science from Chapman University. He and his wife live in Long Beach, Calif.
David Chrisinger leads writing seminars at The War Horse and directs the Harris Writing Program at the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Harris, David worked at the U.S. Government Accountability Office as a Strategic Planning and Foresight Analyst and as a Communications Specialist. In 2016, David edited a collection of essays–See Me for Who I Am–written by veterans he taught in a first-of-its-kind writing seminar at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He graduated from the University of Chicago’s MA Program in the Social Sciences in 2010.
Mitchell Hansen-Dewar is a freelance copy editor and managing editor for DigBoston. He lives in Massachusetts with his spouse and daughter. Mitchell holds an associate’s degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he worked on the student newspaper, The Mass Media. He also works restoring antique furniture.
Ben Kalin is the Research Editor for The War Horse. He worked as a fact-checker for 15 years at Vanity Fair magazine, before starting a full-service fact-checking agency, Fact-Check Pros working with a range of writers such as Ken Auletta, William Langewiesche, Craig Unger, Ezra Klein and former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe. Originally from San Francisco, he graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Journalism from SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two young children.
Robert J. Rosenthal is a former member and the former executive director of The Center for Investigative Reporting and an award-winning journalist who has worked with The New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosenthal worked for 22 years at the Inquirer, starting as a reporter and eventually becoming its executive editor in 1998. Robert worked as an editorial assistant on the Pulitzer-Prize winning Pentagon Papers Project, and has also won the Overseas Press Club Award for magazine writing, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for distinguished foreign correspondence, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in international reporting. Robert was a Pulitzer Prize judge four times and has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate Schools of Journalism.
Michèle Flournoy is currently the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors, a strategic advisory firm. She served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from February 2009 to February 2012 where she was the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense in the formulation of national security and defense policy. Michèle began her career as a reporter and has dedicated her life to public service. In 2007, Michèle co-founded the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where she served as President and later CEO. She now serves on the boards of CNAS, CARE, The Mission Continues, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Amida Technology Solutions. Michèle is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Strategy Group, and has received awards from several awards from the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the American Red Cross.
Sue Hoppin is an expert on military spouse and family issues working to bridge the cultural gap between government, private and public groups and military communities. She is an advocate, published author and consultant with more than 20 years of experience and expertise in military community programs. She has a proven record of developing award winning programs focusing on military issues, serving as spokesperson for various organizations and committees, and training top tier military-affiliated groups and organizations. In 2012, Sue was appointed to the Board of Visitors of the United States Air Force Academy and completed her tenure as the board’s Vice Chairman. In 2010, Sue founded the National Military Spouse Network, a professional development and networking membership organization supporting the professional career goals of military spouses. Before founding the NMSN, Sue served as the first deputy director for spouse outreach for the Military Officers Association of America. In 2007, Sue co-authored, “A Family’s Guide to the Military” for the popular Dummies series; the book was selected for First Lady of the Marine Corps’s Recommended Reading List in 2012. Sue volunteers on the Veterans Advisory Committee on Education (2020 – present), as a member of the Madeira School Board of Trustees (2020 – present), the President of the Madeira School Alumnae Council (2017 – present), Board of Directors for Blue Star Families (2010 – 2013) and as Military Family Liaison to Fairfax County School Superintendent’s Business and Community Advisory Council (2009-2012). Sue holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Denver, a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Oklahoma and a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University.