Meet the 2016 Fellows

The International Reporting Project (IRP) has selected eight international journalists for its 2016 fellowships.

Fellows 2016


April 04, 2016

The International Reporting Project (IRP) is pleased to announce the selection of eight international journalists for its 2016 fellowship program. These talented journalists will report on pressing issues around religion and global health in a variety of media.

Beenish Ahmed & Meghan Dhaliwal

Beenish Ahmed and Meghan Dhaliwal will report on religion in Haiti. Ahmed is a world reporter for the news site ThinkProgress, based Washington, D.C., and the founding editor of The Alignist, a new media platform that connects current events to literary works. Her work has been featured online and on air for outlets including NPR, PRI’s The World, Sky News, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and Vice. Dhaliwal is a freelance photojournalist and multimedia producer based in Mexico City. Her work has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Global Post and the Huffington Post.


Ryan Lenora Brown

Ryan Lenora Brown will report on health in Sierra Leone. Brown is a freelance print reporter based in Johannesburg, covering southern Africa for The Christian Science Monitor and other publications. Her work focuses on migration, urbanization, and culture across the continent, with a particular passion for writing about African cities and the lives of the people who inhabit them. In addition to the Monitor, her reporting from sub-Saharan Africa has appeared in The New York Times magazine,,, Politico,The Daily Beast and Al Jazeera America. She is a fellow with the International Women's Media Foundation, a 2011/12 Fulbright fellow, and the author if A Native of Nowhere: The Life of Nat Nakasa, a biography of an apartheid-era South African protest writer.


Kathryn Joyce

Kathryn Joyce will report on religion in Uganda. Joyce is a freelance journalist and author of The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption and Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement. A contributing editor at The New Republic, her work has also appeared in Pacific Standard, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, The American Prospect and many others.


Lucy Kafanov

Lucy Kafanov will report on religion in Myanmar. Kafanov is an independent print and television journalist who covers the Middle East, Afghanistan and Russia. Prior to moving abroad to work as a foreign correspondent, Kafanov spent several years reporting on politics and policy in Washington. As a political reporter for the PBS show “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” Kafanov covered the 2008 presidential election and the U.S. Congress. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Vice, Al Jazeera English and more.


Azmat Khan & Rabia Mehmood

Azmat Khan and Rabia Mehmood will report on religion in Pakistan. Khan, a 2014 IRP fellow to Brazil, is a New York-based investigative journalist. Her reporting for BuzzFeed’s Investigative Unit, Al Jazeera, and the PBS series FRONTLINE has taken her to Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other conflict zones. Her work has earned an Emmy nomination in New Approaches to Documentary Film, shared the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism, and the Online News Association award for General Excellence in Online Journalism. Mehmood is a multimedia and television journalist from Lahore. She produced two short documentaries on rights violation of Pakistan’s religious minorities. Her work has appeared in Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera America, PBS, The New York Times, AFP, France 24, Channel News Asia, Headlines Today, Dawn, The News and The Friday Times.

Ari Ratner

Ari Ratner will report on religion in South Korea. Ratner is a freelance writer whose commentary has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Reuters, Huffington Post, Slate, CNN, Quartz, and Mashable. He regularly appears on international media outlets such as the BBC, NPR, The Wall Street Journal Radio, CCTV, and Al Jazeera. He served as special political correspondent for Vice News during the 2014 midterm elections and as a correspondent for Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest newspaper, from 2003 to 2006. 

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The reporting fellowships will take place at different times over the course of the year, with trips lasting from two to seven weeks.

"We're very pleased to send these eight reporters around the world to dive into complex, important topics as part of our fellowship program," said John Schidlovsky, founding director of the International Reporting Project (IRP). 

These grants provide journalists with opportunities to do in-depth international stories, which have appeared in scores of newspapers, magazines, on television, radio and online in various media organizations with which the IRP collaborates. The IRP, now in its 18th year, is based in Washington, D.C. at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University.