Announcing IRP’s 2015 Fellows
May 14, 2015
The International Reporting Project (IRP) has selected 32 journalists to report on pressing issues around religion, nuclear security, and global health and development. Because applications for IRP's 2015 fellowships were accepted on a rolling basis, this announcement has been updated as new fellows were added.
Liana Aghajanian will report on health and development in Mongolia. Aghajanian, a 2013 IRP fellow to Germany, is a freelance journalist based between Southern California and the United Kingdom with an interest in issues, people and places on the fringes of society. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, BBC, Al Jazeera America and Los Angelesmagazine, among other publications. She authors “Intersections,” a column for L.A Times Community News that centers arounds immigration, displacement and identity and edits Ianyan magazine, an independent online publication about Armenia and occasionally the Greater Middle East.
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian will report on religion in China. Allen-Ebrahimian is an editorial fellow at Foreign Policy magazine’s China channel, Tea Leaf Nation, where she covers Chinese politics, society, and media censorship. Her work has also appeared in The Daily Beast, the Huffington Post and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and she has given radio and TV interviews for such outlets as CNN International and Voice of America. She lived in China for more than four years and speaks fluent Chinese. Allen-Ebrahimian holds a masters degree in East Asian studies from Yale University and a graduate certificate from the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies.
Anna Maria Barry-Jester
Anna Maria Barry-Jester will report on health and development in Peru. Barry-Jester, a 2011 IRP fellow to Indonesia, is a writer and documentary photographer for FiveThirtyEight, where she covers public health, food and culture. She is interested in the social determinants of health, and has reported on a mysterious epidemic of kidney disease for the Center for Public Integrity, and multiple health and environmental stories in India where she was based for two years. Barry-Jester previously worked as editorial health producer for Univision and an editorial producer at ABC News for a yearlong series on global health. She has received awards from the Sidney Hillman Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Overseas Press Club, and Society of Environmental Journalists. She has a BA from New York University in Latin American Studies and a MPH from Columbia University in Epidemiology and Global Health.
Lauren Bohn will report on health and development in South Africa. Bohn, a 2013 IRP fellow to Zambia, is the GroundTruth Project’s Middle East correspondent based in Istanbul. She is the co-founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted, an initiative dedicated to amplifying female voices in foreign policy, and the co-founder of SchoolCycle, a United Nations Foundation campaign in Malawi to provide bikes for adolescent girls to get to school. She was the founding assistant editor of the Cairo Review of Global Affairs in Egypt, where she was a Fulbright fellow and Pulitzer Center grantee. She’s reported from Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Syria, the U.A.E., Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Zambia, Malawi, and Nigeria for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC News, BusinessWeek, Marie Claire, TIME, Newsweek, Foreign Policy and others.
Katya Cengel will report on health and development in Guatemala. Cengel's writing has appeared in Newsweek, National Geographic News, Foreign Policy and Salon, among other publications. Her photos have been featured in National Geographic News, Salon and Al Jazeera America. Her University of Nebraska Press book, Bluegrass Baseball: A Year in the Minor League Life, was a finalist for the 2013 Kentucky Literary Award. Cengel spent five years reporting from the former Soviet Union, followed by eight years at the Louisville Courier-Journal. She launched her freelance career in 2012 by reporting from Haiti for USA Weekend Magazine.
Rob Chaney will report on religion in Nepal. Chaney reports on science, the environment and the outdoors for the Missoulian newspaper in Montana. He has produced multimedia projects about Native American culture, wilderness evolution, and international business and social issues in the Mountain West, Japan, Jamaica, Europe and Canada. His photography has been published in the New York Times, Seattle Times, Orion magazine and throughout the Lee Enterprises chain of newspapers. Chaney has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Macalester College.
Jeff Chu will report on religion in Uganda. Chu, the author of Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America, graduated magna cum laude from Princeton, earned a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and received French-American Foundation and Harvard Divinity School fellowships. He has written for Time, Condé Nast Portfolio, The New York Times Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, winning Deadline Club and German Marshall Fund awards for his work. Jeff is currently an editor-at-large at Fast Company and an elder at Old First Reformed Church.
Karen Coates & Jerry Redfern
Karen Coates and Jerry Redfern will report on health and development in Timor-Leste. Coates is a journalist and author who has reported for The New York Times, Slate, NPR, Archaeology and Al Jazeera America. She is a senior fellow at Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, and she was a 2010-11 Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism, a 2013 International Center for Journalists Social Justice Reporting Fellow, and a 2015 International Women’s Media Foundation African Great Lakes Reporting Fellow. Redfern is a visual journalist covering environment, health and human rights, primarily in the developing world. Redfern is a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and was a 2012-2013 Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Coates' and Redfern's book, Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos, was a finalist for the Investigative Reporters & Editors Book Award, a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Montaigne and Grand Prize awards, and a finalist in the Indie Book Awards.
Cameron Conaway will report on health and development in Thailand. Conaway is the author of five books, including Malaria, Poems (Michigan State University Press), one of five poetry collections to make NPR’s “Best Books of 2014” list. He has served as a United Nations Social Good Fellow and as a Rotary International End Polio Now “HistoryMaker.” Conaway’s journalistic and creative works have appeared in Newsweek, The Guardian, ESPN, The Medical Journal of Australia, Juxtaposition Global Health magazine and STIR Journal, among others. He currently serves on the editorial board at Slavery Today: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Human Trafficking Solutions.
Caitlin Dickson and Laura Klairmont
Caitlin Dickson and Laura Klairmont will report on health and development in Bolivia. Dickson is a breaking news reporter at Yahoo. She previously reported on immigration, criminal justice, and domestic extremism at The Daily Beast. There, she also covered the 2012 presidential election and ran the site's "Election Beast" blog. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, The New Republic, and The Atlantic Wire. She’s been featured on CNN, MSNBC, Fusion, and SiriusXM Radio. Klairmont is an associate producer at CNN in New York City. She currently produces pieces about outstanding individuals from around the world who have made a demonstrable impact in human rights, the environment, education, and health care as part of the CNN Heroes campaign. She has been working at CNN’s New York bureau since 2011. Prior to that, she covered politics as a news assistant for CNN in Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Dunn will report on health and development in Colombia. Dunn, a 2006 IRP Fellow to China, is a freelance journalist with a background in public health research and anthropology. She worked in China for nearly a decade, most recently as the lead U.S. ethnographer on a HIV/STI risk and prevention study in Hainan and Guangxi Provinces. She has produced radio reports on many issues in China, including rural development tensions, ethnic minorities, and women’s rights. She has also reported from Colombia on the nation’s internal armed conflict, coffee production, and the environment. Dunn previously worked as production director at KTUH-FM Honolulu, assistant producer on Peabody Award-winning radio series "Crossing East," and as assistant managing editor for China Review International. She received a 2012 PRX Global Story Project Award.
Whitney Eulich will report on health and development in Central America. Eulich, a 2014 IRP Fellow to Brazil, is the Latin America correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and a freelance print and radio reporter based in Mexico City. She previously served as the Latin America editor for the Monitor, overseeing regional coverage for the website and weekly magazine. She holds a master's in international affairs from Columbia University.
Jill Filipovic will report on health and development in India. Filipovic, a 2014 IRP Fellow to Brazil, is a journalist based in New York City. Her work on law, politics, gender and foreign affairs has appeared in Cosmopolitan, The Guardian, Al Jazeera America, New York Magazine, the Nation, Foreign Policy, GOOD magazine, Marie Claire, the Columbia Journalism Review, Salon, and others. She was an editor at NYU Law's Journal of Law and Social Change, and a contributor to the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism and the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, named one of the best books of the year by Publisher's Weekly.
Mandakini Gahlot and Vidya Krishnan
Mandakini Gahlot and Vidya Krishnan will report on health and development in South Africa. Gahlot is the India Correspondent of France 24 – an international television channel broadcasted in English, French and Arabic. She covers news and features from across India and neighbouring South Asian countries, particularly on issues related to health, development, gender and politics. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, GlobalPost,USA Today, Religion News Service, Indian Express, Caravan magazine, Arte TV, and France Televisions. Krishnan is a New Delhi-based journalist with 13 years of experience in covering public health in India. She has consulted with the Indian health ministry’s thinktank, Public Health Foundation of India, and in 2013 she authored India’s National Health Profile for the India office of the World Health Organization. She has writtend for national dailies like The Indian Express and The Hindustan Times. She also contributes to the British Medical Journal, Mint, and Caravan magazine.
Andrew Green will report on health and development in Mozambique. Green, a 2012 IRP Fellow to South Sudan, is based in East Africa, where he reports primarily on human rights, health, politics and historical memory. He has written for Foreign Policy, The New Republic, The Washington Post and many other outlets, and also served as Voice of America’s bureau chief in South Sudan.
Michael Holtz will report on religion in Japan. Holtz is the inaugural Saikowski Fellow at The Christian Science Monitor, where he reports on a wide range of international news from Boston. He previously reported on human rights, development, and environmental issues in Southeast Asia as a freelance reporter based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Michael has also worked for The Chicago Tribune, PRI’s The World, and the Associated Press in its Jakarta bureau. Among the biggest stories he covered were Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and the Boston Marathon bombing trial in early 2015. He graduated from the University of Kansas with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science.
Sarah Jones will report on health and development in the Philippines. Jones, a 2014 IRP fellow to Mozambique, is a New York-based journalist with a passion for attracting young audiences to hard news. In 2014, Jones was named Best Journalist in Social Media by a panel of news industry leaders at the 6th Annual Shorty Awards. Jones has worked with VICE; Al Jazeera America; CNN; ITN's Channel 4 News; Gulf News; BBC World Service; BBC Arabic; Brook Lapping Productions on the documentary "9/11: The Day That Changed the World"; and ABC 7 News.
Laura Kasinof will report on health and development in Lesotho. Kasinof is a freelance print journalist and author of Don't Be Afraid of the Bullets: An Accidental War Correspondent in Yemen, a memoir of her time in Yemen reporting for The New York Times. Her writing also has appeared inHarper's, Newsweek, The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, Guernica, and more. She strives to tell stories of average people around the world marginalized by war, politics and the global market.
Miranda Kennedy will report on religion in Ireland. Kennedy, a 2009 IRP fellow to India, is writing a book about religious belief and how it is changing. She is the author of the 2011 reported memoir Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India, which investigates women’s lives in India. She was an India-based reporter for NPR and Marketplace India for five years until 2007, covering war, conflict and economic change all across South Asia. She has worked as an editor at NPR in Washington, D.C. on and off since returning to the States. Kennedy has a MFA in nonfiction writing from Bennington College and teaches narrative nonfiction at the University of Maryland’s journalism school. She received her undergraduate degree from the Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.
Chris Kenning will report on religion in Thailand and Cambodia. Kenning is an enterprise reporter at The Courier-Journal in Louisville and the Kentucky correspondent for USA Today. Over the last decade, Kenning has reported from a dozen countries in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East, writing about curable blindness in Syria, music in Mali, landmines in Cambodia, coffee farming in Guatemala, refugees in Myanmar, deforestation in Tanzania and shark research in Brazil. He also covered the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2013 super typhoon in the Philippines. Kenning has won reporting and writing awards from the Kentucky Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Olga Khazan will report on health and development in Brazil. Khazan, a 2014 IRP fellow to Brazil, is a staff writer at The Atlantic covering health and gender issues. Prior to that, she was a producer and blogger covering international issues, health, technology and business for The Washington Post. She has also worked for Physicians for Human Rights. Khazan has a master's in online journalism from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s in political science from American University.
Sam Loewenberg and Allison Shelley
Sam Loewenberg and Allison Shelley will report on health and development in Cuba. Loewenberg is a fellow at the Project on Public Narrative at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard Law School. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian,Time, Newsweek, Mother Jones, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic.com and The Lancet, and on PBS. Shelley is an independent documentary photographer and multimedia journalist. She is co-director of the Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW) and recent adjunct faculty at the graduate programs of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Her photography has been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, Time, National Geographic News, The New York Times, NPR, Al Jazeera, and The Guardian, among others.
David Montero will report on health and development in China. Montero is a documentary producer and journalist whose work appears regularly on the PBS series FRONTLINE. Between 2004 and 2011, Montero was a foreign correspondent in South Asia for The Christian Science Monitorand PBS FRONTLINE/World. He is writing a book about the devastating consequences of Western corporate bribery in the developing world, highlighting how bribes undermine human rights and fuel conflict and political instability. Entitled Black Money, it will be published by Viking/Penguin.
Benedict Moran will report on health and development in South Sudan. Moran, a 2014 IRP fellow to the Cental African Republic, is a freelance reporter and filmmaker currently based in New York City. Prior to becoming a journalist, he worked as an aid worker in Costa Rica, Tanzania, Kenya, and Sudan. He was a Peace Corps volunteer stationed in Benin, where he produced a radio show at a solar-powered community station. His reporting has taken him to Brazil, Mali, South Africa, Kuwait, Qatar, Ethiopia and Haiti. He has traveled to more than 75 countries for work and professional reasons.
Ruth Morris and Carey Wagner
Ruth Morris and Carey Wagner will report on religion in Indonesia. Morris is a freelance radio and print journalist based in Washington, DC. Previously, she covered immigration for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, served as the paper’s interim Havana bureau chief, and worked as a producer at NPR’s Miami affiliate, WLRN. Wagner, a 2012 IRP fellow to Papua New Guinea, is a photojournalist and cinematographer based in Brooklyn. After 10 years as a staff photographer at the Sun Sentinel, Fresno Bee, Desert Sun and Auburn Journal, she went independent in 2011 to pursue work about women around the world for CARE, The New York Times, NBC News, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and Sports Illustrated.
Dalia Mortada will report on health and development in Burma. Mortada, a 2014 IRP fellow to Ethiopia, is an Istanbul-based freelance radio and print journalist reporting feature stories from the Middle East and beyond. She regularly reports for PRI’s The World and her work has appeared on the CBC, Deutsche Welle Radio, Global Post, Al Jazeera America and more.
Tom Murphy will report on health and development in Ghana. Murphy, a 2013 IRP fellow to Tanzania, is a reporter for Humanosphere. He is also the founder of the aid and development blog "A View From the Cave" and co-founder of the Development and World News Service, a humanitarian news and grantmaking enterprise. His use and abuse of Twitter for development news has garnered recognition from Foreign Policy and quite a few unfollows. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, Global Post and other outlets.
Paul Raymond and Jack Watling will report on religion in Mali. Raymond, a freelance journalist based in London and a fluent Arabic speaker, spent years studying and working in the Middle East and North Africa before becoming a journalist. He worked for an NGO in Jerusalem for 3 years prior to joining McClatchy Newspapers to report on Syria. Since then, he has reported from Turkey, Morocco and the UK for The Economist, Al Jazeera, Daily Beast, BBC World Service and others. He was a founding member of the editorial team at NewsFixed, a pitching and commissioning hub linking freelance journalists with editors in need of content.
Armin Rosen will rpeort on nuclear security in Niger. Rosen is Business Insider's military and defense editor. A former editorial fellow with The Atlantic, he has reported from Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East for a number of publications, including The New Republic, The American Interest, City Journal, Tablet, and World Affairs Journal. Rosen is a member of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' National Security Network, and writes frequently on topics related to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and international security. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary's joint degree program.
Ariel Schwartz will report on health and development in Brazil. Schwartz, a 2014 fellow to Brazil, is a senior editor at Co.Exist, Fast Company's website focusing on world-changing ideas and innovation. Previously, she was the technology editor at Inhabitat, a green design site, as well as the site editor at Cleantechnica.com. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, Modern Farmer, and GOOD Magazine, where she wrote a weekly online column about energy innovation. Schwartz also reported on health and development in Brazil on a 2014 IRP fellowship.
Catherine Woodiwiss will report on religion in Kenya. Woodiwiss is a writer and editor for Sojourners, where she looks for voices to contribute to conversations on faith, spirituality, justice, policy, culture, innovation, and daily life. Her favorite postures are ethnographer and producer — reporting on the spread of subcultures, ideas, objects, and beliefs through time and place; and creating the conditions for others' voices and talents to thrive.
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These grants will provide the journalists with the opportunity to tell under-covered stories in innovative and exciting ways. The health and development fellowships are supported with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the religion fellowships are supported with a grant from the Henry R. Luce Foundation.