STAFF

KARINA MIROCHNIK

Co-founder and Executive Editor

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Karina Mirochnik is an Argentine-born journalist, researcher, and producer based in New York City. She holds an MA in Communication from Universidad de Buenos Aires and an MS in International Relations from New York University. She has worked as a producer and writer at VME Media, Dow Jones of Americas, and MTV News Latino. Previously, she was a reporter and congressional correspondent in Argentina, and also served as a South America analyst for Freedom House. Karina is a founding member of the CGA Women’s Initiative at NYU Center for Global Affairs, a forum for discussion on global issues and women’s empowerment: subjects she is passionate about. Her volunteer work included three years at the Clinton Global Initiative as well as internships at CNN, WABC, and NY1 News.

SYLVIA MAIER

Co-founder and Deputy Executive Editor

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Sylvia Maier is on the faculty of the Center for Global Affairs at New York University, where she directs the Global Gender Studies concentration and teaches courses on gender in international relations, women’s rights in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and the politics of immigration. Her life passions are education, women’s empowerment, and the struggle against honor murders and gender-based violence in the Global South, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She has taught at the American University of Afghanistan, Kabul, and has volunteered, co-run workshops, and conducted field research in Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates over the past several years. She is also the Director of Education Programs at The Peace Project, Inc., a New York–based NGO. An avid traveler and backpacker, Sylvia escapes to the great outdoors and the farthest corners of the world as often as she can. Originally from Vienna, Austria, Sylvia received her PhD in political science in 2001 from the University of Southern California.

IGNACIA SIMONETTI

Deputy Editor and Director of Digital Media and Development

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Ignacia Simonetti is a Fulbright Scholar and a master’s candidate at New York University focusing on international development and gender studies. She worked as a consultant for the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation and as an intern for the Humanitarian Unit at UN Women. Prior to graduate school, she worked at the Center of Public Policy at Universidad Católica de Chile, where she participated in research projects on topics such as education, health, urban development, and social innovation. She has led different nonprofit projects in her home country, Chile, and continues to be passionate about data analysis, women’s empowerment, and fighting inequality.

AILI PIANO

Senior Editor

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Aili Piano is a senior editor for Women Across Frontiers. From 1998 to 2014, she served as the project director and managing editor of Freedom in the World, Freedom House’s flagship publication assessing the state of global human rights. She was also a country report analyst for several Freedom House publications, with a focus on Eurasia and the Baltic States. Prior to her work with Freedom House, she represented Estonia as a delegate to the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Affairs) of the United Nations General Assembly. She has also been a country specialist volunteer with Amnesty International and a UN election observer in Mozambique. Ms. Piano holds a master’s degree in international relations from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in Russian language and literature from Bryn Mawr College.

MAGDALENA MEDLEY 

Development and Social Media Associate

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Magdalena holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from New York University with a human rights concentration and a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Universidad Católica Pontificia de Buenos Aires. Originally from Argentina, she is based in New York. She has worked for Amnesty International USA and held several internships positions at different organizations such as the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, and Outward Bound Peacebuilding. Her main focus is researching and writing about Latin America, especially about women’s rights and discrimination issues. Magdalena is an avid literature lover.

CONTRIBUTORS

HANENE ZBISS

 Baghdad, Iraq

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Hanene Zbiss began her career in journalism 13 years ago. Originally from Tunisia, she lives in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and is the editor in chief of Iraqiyat, an online magazine that cover the interests of Iraqi women and is financed by International Media Support (IMS). She has received several journalism awards, including the Samir Kassir Award for freedom of the press in June 2014.

MARIANA MARTÍNEZ ESTÉNS

Tijuana, México

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Mariana Martínez Esténs (Columbia School of Journalism-Honors ’06) is a bicultural journalist with 13 years of experience covering the Tijuana-San Diego border region, one of the most contrasting and dangerous borders in the world and a fertile lab for human rights, justice, and crime reporting. She has also worked as the News Director for Milenio Baja California; an on-camera reporter for Telemundo and Univisión; and a correspondent for the AP, CNN, and W Radio. She is currently reporting independently, covering border stories for the weekly edition of the San Diego Union-Tribune as well as CNNExpansión and other international media outlets.

ANDREW GREEN

Kampala, Uganda

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Andrew Green is a print and radio reporter (and occasional photographer) based in East Africa. He writes often from the region—as well as from Central and Southern Africa—on issues of health and human rights.

ALICIA VERGILI

Buenos Aires, Argentina 

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Alicia Vergili is an Argentine journalist, working for several national print media outlets covering culture and society. Currently, she hosts a radio show in Buenos Aires in which human rights are a central theme.

PRIYALI SUR

Washington, USA

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Priyali Sur is an award-winning journalist reporting on human rights violations and women rights. She is a 2014 Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey fellow and is currently based in Washington, D.C.

KARLA PESANTES

Guayaquil, Ecuador 

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Karla Pesantes is a 34-year-old journalist from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She has six years of experience in radio and print media. Currently, she works at the newspaper Telégrafo de Guayaquil. She is passionate about gender and environmental issues.

LARRY JAFFEE

New York, USA

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Larry Jaffee writes from New York about culture and entertainment for numerous publications including Huffington Post UK; Wax Poetics; Wire; The Audiophile Voice; and rocksbackpages.com. He also teaches communications arts at the New York Institute of Technology.

TERESA CANTERO

Madrid, Spain 

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Teresa Cantero is a freelance journalist based in Spain. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, with a minor in Political Communication, from the University of Navarra. In 2013, as a Fulbright scholar, she received her Master of Science in Global Affairs from New York University, with a concentration in International Law and Human Rights and a specialization in Gender in International Affairs. In 2013, Teresa also won the prestigious Brussels Forum Young Writers Award from the German Marshall Fund of the United States for an essay on combatting modern slavery. Upon graduation from NYU, Teresa worked as an Associate for the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch. She has also continued her work as a journalist, writing for such publications as The Telegraph-Calcutta, Jane’s Intelligence Review, and El Español.

AYELET VARDI

New York, USA

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Ayelet Vardi is an Israeli-born journalist, filmmaker, and social entrepreneur based in New York City. Following the completion of her masters in International Affairs, she co-founded Global Video Letters (GVL), a nonprofit that utilizes films to inspire social change. GVL became a Clinton Global Initiative commitment and was featured at the Nobel Peace Center in 2012. In 2014, after years of reporting and creating feature stories, profile interviews, and documentaries for print and broadcast media outlets such as Fox News, I24news, Channel2, YNET, and Whitewall Magazine, she founded Cinema Tribu, a media production company, which creates films, multimedia stories, and short videos.

ALISON KAHLER

New York, USA

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Alison Kahler is pursuing a masters degree in social work at Columbia University. She currently serves as editor in chief of the Columbia Social Work Review.

IVET GONZALEZ

Havana, Cuba

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Ivet González Lemes is a journalist, professor and researcher from Habana, Cuba. She works on issues related to gender, social inclusion and local development for both Cuban and Latin American media. Between 2006 and 2013, she served on the Faculty of the Department of Journalism at the University of Havana from which she holds a Master of Science in Communications. She is currently the Habana correspondent for the Inter Press Service Agency.

SAFIYE EMBEL

Baghdad, Iraq

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Safiye Embel is a student of Masters of Science in Global Affairs at New York University. Her concentration is gender studies and her research area has been the Middle East and Central Asia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media, with a minor in Political Science from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

BELINDA COOPER

New York, USA

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Belinda Cooper is a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute and an adjunct professor at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. She has taught human rights, international and transitional justice, and women’s rights, and co-teaches NYU’s field intensive on war crimes prosecutions in The Hague and former Yugoslavia. Her experience has included working with East German dissidents before the fall of communism, assisting the lawyers for German-Turkish Guantanamo detainee Murat Kurnaz,organizing a project on memorialization of the past in Turkey, and coauthoring reports on domestic violence in Tanzania, Armenia and Uzbekistan. Cooper holds a law degree from Yale.

MAUREEN GERAWA

Papua, New Guinea

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Maureen is a journalist based in Papua, New Guinea. She works at the local Post-Courier newspaper covering education and health. She was recipient of two awards from the Australian Government for her coverage of the HIV plight in PNG. In 2006, Maureen participated in the PNG Parliamentary delegation’ tour to Africa and Asia for a HIV/AIDS study tour, funded by the Australian Government.

JOANNE PILGRIM

New York, USA 

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Joanne Pilgrim is an associate editor at The East Hampton Star newspaper in Long Island where she lives and writes about community affairs. She reports on everything from the arts to politics, government, public policy, education, and the environment. A poet and former early childhood educator, writing and photography teacher, and curriculum developer, Joanne has been a recipient of numerous New York Press Association awards,

LAURA RODRIGUEZ CLAROS

Buenos Aires, Argentina 

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Laura Rodriguez Claros is an Argentine-born journalist based in Buenos Aires. She holds an MA in Communication from Universidad de Buenos Aires. Laura works in Communications and Press at INADI (National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism). Her area of expertise is corporate communications, content writing and management of social media for different corporations such as the National Technological University. She was a producer for Radio Del Plata and Radio America among others.

OLIVIA ALABASTER

Beirut, Lebanon

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Olivia Alabaster is a freelance journalist based in Beirut, and originally from Edinburgh, Scotland. She is interested in the rights of women and children, as well as health and environment issues and has a Masters in Newspaper Journalism from City University, London.

LINDA FORSELL

Stockholm, Sweden 

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Linda Forsell is a freelance photojournalist based in New York. Her work has been published at the Guardian, Washington Post, Vice Magazine, the New Yorker’s photo booth, la Repubblica and most major Scandinavian publications. For the past five years she has worked extensively on worldwide women’s issues. Her project Children having Children, showcased the lives of young mothers below 15 in Guatemala. This work has received recognition from the Visura Grant. Between 2010 and 2012 Linda traveled to ten countries documenting violence against women in the project called Cause of Death: Woman. Her project, Life’s a Blast, about Israel and Palestine, became a book in 2012 and was one of the finalists of Magnum Expression Award in 2010. It was also shown at the Noorderlicht photo festival in 2009. She has received recognition from the Swedish Arts Foundation, the Lead Awards, Flash Magenta Award and a nomination to the Magnum Emergency Fund among others. Her work has been exhibited internationally in Beijing, Sweden, London, Holland and the US.

MAAB BLEIBEL

Baghdad, Iraq

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Maab is a journalist based in Iraq where she works as a freelancer for different local newspapers such as “Assabah” and Iraqiyat. She received two awards by the Iraqi Women Journalists Forum for best investigation in 2015. She is currently studying Journalism at the University of Baghdad.

CLARISSA SOSIN

New York, USA

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Clarissa Sosin is a photographer and documentarian. A graduate of Tufts University, she now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

TANIA MENAI

New York, USA

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Tania Menai is Brazilian journalist based in New York. She is the author of a book in Portuguese that collects stories of 23 Brazilians living in the city. This book is a result of a career in journalism, which made her known for her ability in interviewing one-on-one dignitaries and ordinary people of our time: from Israeli Shimon Peres and Italian Renzo Piano to Americans Larry King, Rudy Giuliani, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone, the list includes CEOs, Nobel Prize Winners, actors, writers, doctors, and historians, among many others. She had also co-wrote a book with Rabbi Nilton Bonder, in a travel diary format, and edited a guide to New York City. Her career started at the Wall Street Journal Americas, and continued as correspondent to relevant magazines, radio stations, TV and websites in Brazil, including Veja and Exame (the local equivalent to Time and Business Week). For three years she was also in charge of communications for Lily Safra, the widow of banker Edmond J. Safra.

GAYATRI PARAMESWARAN

Berlin, Germany 

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Gayatri Parameswaran is a freelance journalist who specializes in conflict, social justice, sexual & reproductive health and rights. Her work has appeared in international media outlets such as Al Jazeera English, The Caravan, Weekendavisen among others. She has reported from over 25 countries in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Gayatri is a German Chancellor Fellow based in Berlin.

COLETTE MAZZUCELLI

New York, USA 

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Colette Mazzucelli is Professor (Part-Time) of International Relations at NYU New York, LIU Global, and Pioneer Academics. The Conflict Resolution graduate course she teaches represents New York University in the Peer 2 Peer (P2P) program via the #7TrainStop campaign. Peer 2 Peer (P2P) is organized under the auspices of the US Department of State and other federal government agencies in cooperation with EdVenture Partners. During the fall 2015 semester, 45 universities worldwide are engaged in the design and implementation of civil society initiatives that counter radicalization.

ANNA VISVIZI

Athens, Greece 

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Anna Visvizi, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at DEREE-The American College of Greece and a senior analyst with Institute of East-Central Europe (IESW) in Poland. Former Marie Curie and DAAD Fellow, editor, reviewer and research consultant, Dr. Visvizi published and presented her work across Europe and the US. Dr. Visvizi’s expertise includes global safety and security, incl. Transatlantic relations and the post-Soviet space; the political economy of the crisis in Greece; as well as theoretical dimensions of these processes, incl. ethics in international affairs.

GRAHAM LAND

Stockholm, Sweden 

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Graham grew up outside Washington, DC, where he became involved in the local music scene and grass roots anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. First as a musician and then as a writer, his work has taken him all over the world. Previously, Graham was editor-in-chief at environmental news site greenfudge.org and the History section of madefrom.com. He now contributes regularly to latincorrespondent.com and asiancorrespondent.com.

AMANDA PESKIN

Kathmandu, Nepal  

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Amanda Peskin was a Fulbright-Clinton public policy fellow at Nepal’s Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2015. She holds a master’s degree in international human rights from the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She previously worked at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, taught English as a second language and worked as a professional photographer. She has lived in New York, Denver, Japan and Australia, and currently resides in Nepal. At the time of the earthquake she was reheating leftovers for lunch in her Kathmandu apartment, which thankfully held up quite well.

AYESHA SHAKYA

Kathmandu, Nepal 

 

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Ayesha Shakya is the Online Producer for the Nepali Times newspaper in Kathmandu. With her background in engineering and media, she combines technical expertise and reporting skills to produce multimedia packages for their online platform www.nepalitimes.com. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Engineering and Media from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and has always been interested in the convergence of technology and media. Keeping digital storytelling in mind, Ayesha has produced multimedia packages and interactive visualizations for stories ranging from the April 25 earthquake, the 2014 Everest Avalanche and the water crisis in remote villages in Upper Mustang, Nepal.

KARA SANTOS

Manila, Phillipines   

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Kara Santos is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Manila, Philippines. She holds an MA in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines and a Diploma in Photojournalism from the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University. Kara was formerly a correspondent of Women’s Feature Service (WFS) and Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency, where she won journalism awards for her work on women’s rights, environment and indigenous peoples culture. An avid traveler and biker, she currently writes and shoots for various magazines and her blog Travel Up.

PRAGYAA RAI

Kathmandu, Nepal

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Pragyaa Rai is the Executive Director of Apeiron, a women-led Nepali non-governmental organization based in Kathmandu. She has worked at Apeiron for over a decade and currently oversees women’s empowerment programming in three districts of Nepal. She is actively involved in women-centered projects.

SIAN COWMAN

Cochabamba, Bolivia   

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Sian Cowman is an Irish feminist and environmental activist and writer. Her background is in permaculture and sustainable food production. She holds a degree in International Development and Food Policy from the University College Cork, where she revived the university’s Feminist Society. Sian lives in Bolivia, where she works on issues related to the drivers and impacts of climate change.

NAFEEZ AHMED

London, UK

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Dr Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. A former Guardian writer, he writes the ‘System Shift’ column for VICE’s Motherboard, and is a weekly columnist for Middle East Eye.

He is the winner of a 2015 Project Censored Award, known as the ‘Alternative Pulitzer Prize’, for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian work, and was twice selected in the Evening Standard’s ‘Power 1,000’ most globally influential Londoners, in 2014 and 2015.

Nafeez has also written and reported for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New Statesman, Le Monde diplomatique, New Internationalist, Counterpunch, Truthout, among others. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Anglia Ruskin University, where he is researching the link between global systemic crises and civil unrest for Springer Energy Briefs.

Nafeez is the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (2010), and the scifi thriller novel ZERO POINT, among other books. His work on the root causes and covert operations linked to international terrorism officially contributed to the 9/11 Commission and the 7/7 Coroner’s Inquest.

 

FIONA HARVEY

London, UK

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Fiona Harvey is an award-winning environment journalist for the Guardian. Prior to this, she worked for the Financial Times for more than a decade. She has reported on every major environmental issue, from as far afield as the Arctic and the Amazon, and her wide range of interviewees include Ban Ki-moon, Tony Blair, Al Gore and Jeff Immelt.

MALAIKA ELIAS

Washington DC, USA

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Malaika Elias is a first year Global Affairs Masters student at NYU. Through her social activism, feminism and writing, she seeks to address issues pertaining to human and civil rights as well as the intersections of social and environmental justice. Malaika has a passion for grassroots organizing and pursues her activism outside of her academic career. Malaika was first introduced to storytelling and writing for social justice through her undergraduate work at the University of Maryland, College Park where she studied anthropology. Malaika wishes to use her intersectionality as a tool for social change and uses her writing to inspire and mobilize others fighting for the same causes.

CLARE BUSCH

New York, USA

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Clare Busch is a master’s candidate at New York University’s joint Near East Studies and Journalism program. Prior to attending NYU, she worked as a writer and editor for a number of Turkish papers in Istanbul. Clare’s research focuses on women, Turkish politics, and Islamist social movements.

VIERKA VASQUEZ

New York, USA

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Vierka Vasquez and her family migrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when she was 12 years old. In 2008, Vierka earned her Bachelor’s in Political Science from the City University of New York. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Italy and participated in the American Political Science Association Ralph Bunche Summer Institute at Duke University. Subsequently, she volunteered abroad in Ghana and interned with the U.S. House of Representatives. Vierka completed her Master’s at NYU Center for Global Affairs on December 2015. Her focus included human rights and international development with a particular interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

DAKSHAYANI ATHALYE

Pune, India

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Dakshayani Athalye is the author of Marathi novel, Pi- Premachi Kimmat Kay. She is a law graduate and post graduate student in Education with FIVE years of experience working in the field of education and social work. Her experience has been varied from being a School Teacher, HR Associate To working as a freelance professor/trainer to a CSR Manager. Her work ethics is based in Indian philosophy as she has been trained to perform Kirtan’s and Pravachan’s (traditional Indian art of story telling) and is an avid reader of Indian Mythology, philosophy and Indian Classical Music.

ELLIOT SMITH

Accra, Ghana

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Elliot Smith is a British freelance journalist based in Accra, Ghana. Previously a staff reporter for the Evening Telegraph newspaper in Dundee, Scotland, he has also contributed work for Mancunian Matters, the Manchester Evening News Group and The Definitive Guide sporting magazine series. His work has covered the refugee crisis, foreign policy, health, education, business and human rights. He holds a BA Honours degree in Philosophy from the University of Warwick and a Gold Standard NCTJ Multimedia Journalism Diploma from News Associates. Twitter: @ElliotMarcSmith

YARA NAHLE

Beirut, Lebanon

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Yara Nahle is a journalist and translator based in Lebanon. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University. She writes for local Lebanese publications, covering social issues related to the underprivileged, women and LGBT rights, the refugees’ crisis, and environmental and health problems.

ROTHNA BEGUM

London, UK

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Rothna Begum is the women’s rights researcher for the Middle East and North Africa region at Human Rights Watch. While at Human Rights Watch, she is, among other work, leading the research and advocacy against the abuse and exploitation of migrant domestic workers in the Gulf states including the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Rothna previously worked for Amnesty International for five and a half years’ researching human rights violations in the Gulf region. She holds a LLB in Law and a LLM in Legal Theory from the London School Economics and Political Science. Follow her on Twitter @Rothna_Begum

NICOLE HASHMAN

Sydney, Australia

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Nicole Hasham is a federal political reporter for Australia’s Fairfax Media. She is based in Canberra and covers immigration and the environment for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Canberra Times. Nicole has also covered urban affairs, New South Wales politics and general news for Fairfax. In 2010 she won a Walkley Award, which recognises excellence in Australian journalism. Contact her at nicole.hasham@fairfaxmedia.com.au and on Twitter at @nicole_hasham

FRANCISCO YOFRE

Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Yofre is a lawyer, journalist and professor of Social Communications specialized in social issues and gender. He has extensive experience working at local newspapers, television and radio stations from Argentina as well as other Latin American countries such as Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay.

ANA LORENA DELGADILLO

Mexico City, Mexico

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Ana Lorena Delgadillo is the founding Executive Director of the Fundación para la Justicia (Justice Foundation), an organization that helped to establish the Forensic Commission and the Transnational Mechanism for Access to Justice for Migrants in the Federal Prosecutor’s Office. She has experience in the field of human rights, with a focus on gender issues. Previously, she worked with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team to identify women victims of genocide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, as well as with the Forensic Bank Project in Central America. She has written law proposals for the regulation of the use of force by police and was involved with the drafting of the general law for victims rights in México.

BINA EMANVEL

Berlin, Germany

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Bina is an intersectional feminist from India and is a campaigning, communications and advocacy professional. She has worked extensively in South Asia, Europe and East Africa in inspiring civil society, social enterprise, social change and human rights issues with the UN, non-profit organizations and the private sector. She currently lives in Berlin, where she manages global campaigns for Transparency International

CLAIRE THOMAS

New York, USA

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Claire R. Thomas is an attorney with the Safe Passage Project in New York. She has trained over 4,000 attorneys, law students, immigration officials, judges, academics, and social services professionals on representing children in immigration proceedings. As an adjunct professor at New York Law School, Claire co-teaches a year-long clinical course focusing on family law and immigration remedies for unaccompanied children facing removal from the United States, an introductory immigration law course, and an advanced seminar. Previously, Claire worked for African Services Committee representing survivors of gender-based violence in immigration, family law, public benefits, and advanced directives cases.

MICHELLE CASTANEDA

New York, USA

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Michelle Castaneda is a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Brown University. Her research focuses on theorizing the intersection of theatrical performance and the law. Her dissertation adopts an anthropological approach to study issues of performance in Guatemalans’ legal struggles for immigration status in the U.S. Contact Michelle at michelle_castaneda@brown.edu.

HANNAH MCNEISH

Nairobi, Kenya

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Hannah McNeish is a British freelance journalist based in East Africa for over five years, and prior to that lived in and reported from Madagascar, the UK and Chile. She has reported extensively on conflict across the continent and focuses on human rights stories across a range of topics for a variety of publications including The Guardian, BBC and Al Jazeera.

YASMIN HARIRI

Baltimore, USA

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Yasmin Hariri is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) and Hispanic Studies. She is passionate about intersectional feminism and hopes to use her writing as a form of activism to address important human rights issues related to identity.  Yasmin has experience working with non-profit organizations, women’s reproductive health, and missions related to diversity and social justice.

AIHAN JAMAL

Duhok, Iraq

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Aihan Jamal holds a MA degree in Planning and Social Sciences from the University of Duhok in Kurdistan, Iraq, where she also teaches as an assistant lecturer in the Spatial Planning Department. She is currently pursuing a PhD in gender studies with a dissertation on “Women’s Political Representation: Spatial Inequalities and Gender Quotas. The Case of the Kurdistan Region” through a split-site program between the University of Duhok and New York University in the United States. Aihan has over 11 years of experience working and volunteering with local and international NGOs. Aihan’s main fields of interest are women’s rights, development, planning, academic debate, and educating citizens in rural areas on women and children’s rights.

ALI MOKDAD

Washington, USA

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Ali Mokdad, PhD, is Director of Middle Eastern Initiatives and Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. In this role, he is building IHME’s presence in the Middle East through new research projects, dissemination and uptake of IHME’s methods and results, and consultation with regional leaders in population health. Prior to this, Dr. Mokdad worked at the CDC, serving in numerous positions with the International Health Program; the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity; the National Immunization Program; and the National Center for Chronic Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion.

ANNI IRISH

Brooklyn, USA

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Anni Irish is a Brooklyn based writer and cultural critic whose work has been featured in Timeout New York, Bomb Magazine, Flavorwire, and Vice among other publications. Irish holds an MA from New York University in Performance Studies, MA in Gender and Cultural Studies, and a BFA from Tufts University. When she’s not writing, Anni enjoys spending time with her pet mini lop rabbit Isabella.

JAMBALLY MOHAMMED

Duhok, Iraq

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Jambally Mohammed holds a master’s degree in multi-disciplinary studies with a focus on GIS and Community Planning from Texas Tech University where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and currently works as a lecturer at the Spatial Planning Department of the University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. He has over 15 years of experience in humanitarian and development work with international organizations, especially in community development, monitoring and evaluation, data collection, GIS, and translation. He has received support for his work from the US Embassy in Iraq, USAID, ACDI/VOCA, and the Fulbright program.

MATILDA KOMMA

Sere Kunda, Gambia

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Matida Komma has almost six years of experience in the nonprofit and voluntary sector. She co-founded a young women led organisation, The Girls’ Agenda, where she volunteers in campaigning for the rights of girls and young women in her community. Currently, she focuses her campaign mostly on harmful cultural practices such as advocating against the continuity of Female Genital Mutilation, arranged/forced marriages, and sexual and reproductive health education for young girls. Matida holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies with a minor in Economics from The University of The Gambia. Currently, Matida is an Administrative Officer at the University of The Gambia.

MATILDA MELKONIAN

New York, USA

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Matilda Melkonian is a high school student in New York City aiming to study peace and justice and journalism in the future. Her passions include writing and traveling. She spent a month of her summer between sophomore and junior year volunteering in a school for disadvantaged children in Cusco, Peru. Matilda’s goal is to travel to third world countries to learn about women’s rights all around the world and experience different cultures, while studying how they cross with feminism.

NEHA SHASTRY

New York, USA

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Neha Shastry is an award winning journalist living in Brooklyn, New York.  She writes, produces, reports on camera, and shoots. Neha was born in Mumbai, India, and grew up in Singapore, Indonesia, Washington D.C. She joined VICE News prior to its launch in the Fall of 2013, and helped produce over 100 news documentaries – focusing on the conflict in Ukraine. She has reported on camera in the U.S, India and Nepal and covered issues related to water contamination on the Navajo Nation, disparities within India’s mental health system, the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal and refugee resettlement in America. Prior to VICE News, she worked at CNN International in London and New York, and Al Jazeera English in Washington D.C.

OLIVER GEE

Paris, France

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Oliver Gee is an Australian journalist in Paris. Deputy Editor of The Local, France.

YOVITA IVANOVA

Lima, Peru

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Yovita Ivanova is a Bulgarian-born researcher based in Lima, Peru. She is an economist (MA in Economics from the Economic University in Sofia, Bulgaria) and a sustainable development specialist (MA in International Relations from the University of Miami) with an extensive professional background in Europe, North and South America in areas of public policy related to the inter-linkages between trade, poverty, environment and gender. She has held various government positions and worked as a consultant for UN agencies and international development cooperation. Currently, Yovita is a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and a leading member of the Consortium for Women Leaders in Public Service (CWLPS).

PAOLO PATRUNO

Bologna, Italy

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Paolo Patruno is a freelance documentary photographer and filmmaker. He traveled throughout Africa over the past ten years, documenting global topics, including health care, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment. Since 2011 he has been working on his long-term project, “BIRTH IS A DREAM” which aims to document and raise awareness about maternal health in Africa. His work has been featured and awarded on an international level.

LARA BENUSIS

New York, USA

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Lara Benusis is an International Advisor and visiting Instructor for Lohas/Studio Yoggy, the largest wellness company in Japan. In 2009, she was invited to become the first full time yoga instructor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In 2012, she was elevated as the Manager of the Exercise and Yoga Programs under the mentorship of Dr. Barrie Cassileth. During that appointment, Lara developed new clinical approaches for the in-patient and out-patient adult as well as the pediatric population. She also authored several research protocols. Lara is currently a MEd student in the Applied Physiology Program at Columbia University where she is studying under Dr. Carol Garber. 

MARÍA R. GONZÁLEZ

Washington, USA

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María works for the Latino Victory Project, an organization dedicated to increasing Latino political power in the United States. Previously, she worked for U.S. Rep. Henry Cuéllar, TX-28, and for the Rio Grande Guardian, an online border news publication that covers South Texas politics and U.S.-Mexico border issues.

 

She was born in Port Washington, Wisconsin, to a family of Mexican migrant workers. María considers the border town of Laredo, Texas, her beloved hometown. She lives in Washington D.C. and is the proud mother of two black cats.

CAROL MATOS

Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Carol is an attorrney. She graduated summa cum laude from University Pontificia Católica Madre y Maestra, and was awarded a scholarship based on the academic excellence of the Dominican Republic’s Central Bank. She did an internship at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C. Carol is currently a Master’s candidate in Human Rights and Democratization for Latin America and the Caribbean at the University of Buenos Aires thanks to a scholarship from the European Union. Previously, she has taken courses on human rights at both the Université Catholique de Louvain and at Amnesty International, and on contract laws at Harvard University

NICK SCHONFELD

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Nick Schonfeld is a writer based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. With background in advertising, he now divides his time between writing screenplays and children’s books, and works to raise awareness for a range of social and environmental issues.

MAHAM JAVAID

Lahore, Pakistan

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Maham Javaid is an Assistant Editor at The News on Sunday and a Teaching Fellow at Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore. Her research and reporting focuses the violence surrounding ethnic, religious and gender minorities. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, Timeline, Refinery29, Women’s eNews and Herald. She holds a masters degree in Near Eastern Studies from NYU.

 

EMILY CRAIN

Mexico City, Mexico

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Emily Crain Lopez is a human rights activist and writer living in Mexico City. She is from California and has done research in Nicaragua, Cuba and Mexico. Her work focuses on the intersection of feminism, gender politics and development. She was a Program Manager at Social Accountability, an NGO in New York City that implements an international human rights standard for the workplace. She has a BA in Peace Studies and Sociology from Chapman University in Southern California, and an MS in International Development with a specialization in Gender from New York University.

 

LORNA TYCHOSTUP

Baghdad, Iraq

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With almost 20 years experience working as a journalist, editor, photographer, and international Communications consultant, Lorna Tychostup has focused on producing in-depth coverage of regional, national and international issues not covered by mass media. Traveling to Iraq in February 2003, Tychostup returned regularly reporting on the everyday realities facing Iraqis. Earning her MS from NYU’s Center for Global Affairs in 2009, Tychostup currently works as Communications Director for a USAID-funded project in Iraq aimed at supporting the Iraqi government’s mandate to decentralize.

Guest speaker and lecturer at over 100 universities and other venues, Tychostup has appeared extensively on radio, TV and in print media, including FOX, NBC, ABC affiliates and NPR. Her Iraq photos have been shown nationally and international, and branded the Americans Friends Service Committee’s Eyes Wide Open Exhibit on the Human Cost of War. Her Iraq work is the focus of Trish Dalton’s documentary film, Bordering on Treason, which premiered at DOC NYC 2013 and was awarded ‘Best Short Documentary 2013’ at the Big Apple Film Festival.

 

AYAKO MIE

Tokyo, Japan

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Ayako Mie covers Japanese politics and policies for the Japan Times. She started her career as a reporter at Tokyo Broadcasting System in 2001. In 2008, she went to journalism school at the University of California, Berkeley, as a Fulbright scholar. On returning to Japan in December 2010, she worked for the Washington Post as a special correspondent. Ayako was also awarded with the Wall Street Journal Asia Fellowship at NYU in 2014 and spent 18 months at the NYU’s Stern School of Business, and the Economic Reporting Program.

KEVIN BAIRD

Jakarta, Indonesia

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Professor J. Kevin Baird earned a B.Sc. in Microbiology and a M.Sc. in Biochemistry from University of Maryland in 1980 and 1983, and a Ph.D. in Medical Zoology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 1994. He began working on malaria at the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in 1981. He was commissioned into the US Navy Medical Service Corps in 1984 and over 22 years of active duty served four permanent assignments at US Naval Medical Research Unit #2 in Jakarta, Indonesia, along with assignments to Philippines, Ghana, Peru and Washington, DC. Since 2007 Prof. Baird has directed the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit in Jakarta on behalf of Oxford University, where he is Professor of Malariology, Nuffield Department of Medicine. An internationally acknowledged expert on Plasmodium vivax malaria, he serves on several committees, working groups, and review groups at the World Health Organization’s Global Malaria Program.

 

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