Fellows & Editors


Joanna Kakissis

Fellows Fall 2009
Freelance writer
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Joanna Kakissis spent the 2008-2009 academic year studying climate change-related migration and environmental justice issues as a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Before her fellowship, she worked as a freelance journalist based in Athens, Greece, from 2004 to 2008, writing for outlets including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, USA Today and public radio. From 1998 to 2004, she was a staff writer at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., where she wrote about politics, immigration, urban development, arts and environmental issues. She has also taught journalism and essay writing at universities in North Carolina.

Her stories have received awards from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and the North Carolina Press Association. She also contributed to a News & Observer series on Hurricane Floyd-spawned flooding that was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news.

Joanna was born in Greece and raised in North and South Dakota. She is graduate of the University of Minnesota and earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism.

Post-IRP Stories


  • Environmental Refugees Unable to Return Home

    Ross Taylor Mahe Noor, left, and Nizam Hawladar with two of their children in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A cyclone two years ago uprooted them from a village where they had their livelihood. DHAKA,...

  • Bangladesh’s battle against climate change

    The effects of climate change are threatening to drown Bangladesh's fishing villages on the island of Kutubdia. International Reporting Project (IRP) Fellow, Joanna Kakissis reports from this remote region, and assesses the...

  • Challenges facing climate migrants

    Droughts, floods, and sea level rise caused by climate change could displace millions of people from their land. Where will these climate migrants go? The South Asian nation of Bangladesh is grappling...

  • Photo Gallery: Portraits of Southwestern Bangladesh

    Joanna Kakissis is a freelance journalist reporting from Bangladesh as part of her grant from the International Reporting Project (IRP). Accompanying Kakissis during her trip is American Photojournalist, Ross Taylor. In this...

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