Who We Are

Our Story

NewsBreak is the nation’s leading local news app, featuring thousands of trusted publishing partners and independent contributors. Our company started in Mountain View, California in 2015, founded by computer scientist and former Yahoo executive, Dr. Jeff Zheng. Today, we have offices in Mountain View (HQ), Seattle, and New York, as well as support teams in Shanghai and Beijing.

We strive to help people across the country rediscover the connection that comes when we collectively focus on news that’s happening in the local communities where we live, work, and play.

Some people we'd like you to meet

Wynston Alberts
Wynston
Alberts
Trust & Safety
“The trust and safety of our users is foundational, and we are focused on it 24/7.”

Wynston grew up in Roseburg, Oregon and has always been passionate about service and safety. He started his career as a teacher, went on to serve in the US Army, and eventually found his way to the tech industry where he became one of YouTube’s founding Trust and Safety members in 2006, working with Engineering and Moderation teams in a fast-changing landscape. He has also served as Director of E-commerce for Adidas Japan, and for Amazon Alexa in a Sr. Business Development position, before returning to roles in Trust & Safety with TikTok and Kuaishou. 

He received his BS from West Virginia University, where he was an All-American cross-country athlete. Wynston finished 3rd in the US national championship marathon in 2005, and speaks fluent Japanese. He relocated to the Seattle area after living in Tokyo and Singapore with his wife of 23 years, Minako and their dog-child, Luna.

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Yiyi Jin
Yiyi
Jin
Legal
“My team focuses on compliance and partnerships, ensuring NewsBreak is able to innovate and lean into our mission of helping people everywhere live safer, more vibrant, more truly connected local lives.”

Yiyi has practiced law for more than 19 years and has comprehensive experience in corporate governance and transactions, intellectual property, commercial agreements, data compliance, and risk management. 

Yiyi studied at Tongji University in Shanghai, where she was the founder of the university’s piano association and a journalist for the university newspaper. She has taken business courses at ESCP Paris, Solvay Brussels School and Manchester Metropolitan University, and has had training in commercial litigation and arbitration in Hong Kong and Frankfurt.

She lives in Foster City, California, with her husband Raphael, their two kids, and their two cats, Lola and Remy. She also serves as a PTA committee member at her local elementary school and as a senior member of the IEEE Smart Village program.

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Yiyi Jin
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Scott Kelliher
Scott
Kelliher
Revenue
"Giving brands of all sizes the chance to grow their businesses through truly local relevance is an enormous opportunity."

Scott grew up in Connecticut in a family of marketers, so it was no surprise when he got into advertising. He began his media career bringing some of the first ads onto mobile phones, Virgin Mobile’s pre-smartphone flip phones to be precise. Since then, he’s helped some of the largest brands and agencies on the planet—Yahoo, AOL, Time Inc., and retail media pioneer eBay—solve their biggest business challenges.

Scott’s worked on both the supply and demand sides of advertising, participating in wide-ranging content partnerships, developing new audience- and data-targeting strategies and driving new experiences with all types of ad-tech. Scott’s been on several industry boards and is a frequent speaker at media industry events. Scott received his BA in Music from Bates College in Lewiston, ME, and currently lives in NJ with his wife Sarah, their two kids, and their cat, Gus.

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Scott Kelliher
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Rongqing Lu
Rongqing
Lu
Technology
“I take NewsBreak’s mission to deliver timely, relevant local information personally, because our success means my family and I are better connected to our community.”

Rongqing Lu was a founding member of the NewsBreak team, originally serving as engineering lead. He currently oversees the company’s technology advisory team, providing planning, evaluation, and technical support for critical projects. He previously worked at Inktomi as a software engineer and at Yahoo! as a principal software engineer for the web-search team.

Rongqing studied at Nanjing University and has an MS in Computer Science and Engineering from Penn State University. He lives in Palo Alto, CA with his wife and two kids.

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Rongqing Lu
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Dr. Jeff Zheng
Dr. Jeff
Zheng
Founder
“NewsBreak is building the world’s first intelligent local-information platform, creating an entirely new ecosystem for users, publishers, creators and businesses.”

Jeff’s career has been defined by his passion to develop technology that makes information more accessible. He started at Yahoo! in Sunnyvale, CA, where he spent seven years as an executive, leading technical teams, advancing the fields of web search quality, relevance, and recommendation-science for the company and the industry at large. He founded Yahoo! Labs in China, a science-driven product innovation group, which brought new mobile search and discovery products to U.S. and global markets. But Jeff wanted to have a bigger impact, so he made the leap to the mobile entrepreneurial world in China where he founded and grew a unicorn start-up. With key learnings in hand, Jeff saw a unique opportunity to reinvent local news and information, and moved back to the US to found NewsBreak. 

Jeff received his Bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University, his M.S. from the Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo. A technologist at heart, Jeff has authored many academic publications and holds U.S. patents in machine learning, information retrieval, personalized recommendation, and natural language processing.

Jeff lives in the Bay Area with his wife and daughter, Xuan and Bella and their Shiba Inu, Kubo.

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Dr. Jeff Zheng
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Dr. Jeff
Zheng

A two-time AI/ML unicorn founder over the past decade; Founder of Yahoo Labs China; Former Yahoo executive in charge of web search & news recommendation sciences; multi-patent holder in AI/ML. Jeff received his Bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University, his M.S. from the Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo.

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Dr. Jeff Zheng
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Dr. Harry
Shum

Harry Shum is an emeritus researcher at Microsoft Research, a professor-at-large at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and advises companies globally on their business and technology strategies. Harry was the executive vice president of AI and Research at Microsoft, spending over 23 years at the company, leading both research and product groups. Harry has a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Alan
Ni

Alan Ni is a Partner at Francisco Partners. Based in San Francisco, he joined the firm in 2013. Alan currently serves on the boards of Glorious, MyHeritage, NewsBreak, NZXT, Renaissance, RugsUSA, and iconectiv. He also previously served on the boards of Aesynt and Sectigo. Alan has both B.S. and B.A. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Jim
Bell

Jim grew up in Branford, CT and wrote for The Branford Review in high school. After graduating from Harvard, he lived in Spain where he coached football, and launched a 30-year career at NBCUniversal working on the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. At NBC, Jim successfully led some of the most iconic brands in media, including the Today Show, Tonight Show, and the Olympics. He is a 24-time Emmy award winner and has a Peabody Award for coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Jim received his BA in Political Science & Government from Harvard University. He lives in Greenwich, CT with his wife Angelique and their three dogs, Apollo, Hercules, and Athena.

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Michael
Callahan

Mike Callahan is the Executive Director of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance and Professor of the Practice of Law, both at Stanford University. Before entering academia, he held roles including Senior Vice President and General Counsel at LinkedIn, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Ten-X, as well as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Yahoo! Inc.

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Michael Callahan
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Sandford R.
Climan

Sandy Climan is CEO of Entertainment Media Ventures, which he founded in 1999. He previously served as part of the senior management at Creative Artists Agency, representing such talent as Robert Redford, Robert De Niro, Kevin Costner, Danny DeVito, and director Michael Mann. In addition, he was the founding head of CAA’s corporate practice.Throughout his career, Sandy has held senior executive roles across the entertainment industry, including Corporate Executive Vice President and President of Worldwide Business Development for Universal Studios, leadership positions in production and distribution for MGM, and serving as CEO of 3D filmmaking pioneer 3ality Digital. His productions include “U2 3D,” the first digital live-action 3D film, and “The Aviator,” starring Leonard DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, for which he was awarded a Golden Globe and a British Academy Award. He serves on several charitable boards, including the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and the American Cinematheque.

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Eric
Feng

Eric Feng is the co-founder of Web3 startup Cymbal, and a General Partner at Gold House Ventures, a multi-stage fund that supports Asian entrepreneurs. He previously led ecommerce incubations at Facebook, where he joined after leading early stage consumer investments at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Before Kleiner Perkins, Eric was the founding CTO and head of product at Hulu.

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Eric Feng
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Jerry
Yang

Jerry Yang co-founded Yahoo! in 1995 with fellow Stanford graduate student David Filo and served on its board and as a member of its executive team until 2012, including as CEO from 2007 to 2009. In 2012, he founded AME Cloud Ventures, a venture innovation firm that invests in seed-stage to later-stage tech companies. Mr. Yang serves as a director on the boards of Workday Inc., Lenovo Group, and Alibaba Group. Mr. Yang serves on the Stanford University’s Board of Trustees and is the current Chair of the Board. He’s also a board member for the National Committee of US-China Relations, a member of the Brookings China Advisory Council, a member of the Committee of 100, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In May 2021 Mr. Yang joined the board of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), one of the largest philanthropic efforts to support the AAPI community.

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Jerry Yang
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