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Leadership

Eva Rodriguez
Editor-in-Chief

Eva Rodriguez is the award-winning editor-in-chief of The Fuller Project, focused on global coverage to raise awareness of the myriad of important, interconnected issues impacting women and girls, and spark action through storytelling. 

Eva joins the Fuller Project after 14 years at The Washington Post, where she served as the deputy foreign editor and oversaw riveting coverage of Ukraine, Afghanistan, the global Covid-19 pandemic, as well as other global news stories. Eva was a lead editor of the “Losing Control” series that won a 2021 Overseas Press Club Award that judges praised as revealing “the shocking truths of how pervasive corruption and violence had become” in Mexico.

She was also a supervising editor for the “Africa’s Rising Cities” project, which was awarded a 2022 Overseas Press Club award for its “creative and dynamic” multimedia storytelling that spotlighted how and why Africa would become the center of the world’s urban future.

As founding editor and head of the Washington Post’s highly-successful Talent Network, Eva oversaw a network of freelancers around the United States and world to diversify and enrich the outlet’s reporting and extend the reach and impact of news coverage. At the Post, Eva was also a writer on the editorial board and the deputy of The Post’s Style section where she led a team covering politics, media and culture.

Prior to The Washington Post, Eva was the legal affairs editor in The New York Times’ Washington bureau. There she organized and shepherded The Times’ rigorous coverage of Judge Samuel A. Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court and Judge John Roberts’ nomination to succeed Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Eva worked closely with The Times’ congressional, political and legal affairs correspondents, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse, to produce analysis and enterprise pieces, as well as daily gavel-to-gavel coverage of the hearings. She also directed coverage on immigration reform on Capitol Hill and landmark legislation to ban the use of torture by U.S. interrogators.

At The Wall Street Journal, Eva was a Justice Department reporter, where she landed high-profile, market-moving scoops and crafted A1 stories on the alleged fraudulent activities of Columbia/HCA HealthCare — the largest for-profit hospital chain in the country. 

Her work at The Wall Street Journal was bookended by positions at Legal Times, first as a reporter covering the Supreme Court, and, later, as its executive editor and then its editor-in-chief. Eva was lead editor on a series that revealed the impact of legal and global machinations on trade that was a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious award in business and financial journalism. As part of the top leadership team, Eva directed coverage of the courts, the Justice Department, the Supreme Court, the business of law and lobbying, sentencing policy and general justice issues, winning dozens of local and regional awards and exposing the often-sloppy way in which justice was meted out in the nation’s capital. 

Eva started her career at the Miami Herald and at the impactful Miami Review, where her work was recognized as a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award. Eva’s career has also included time at Politico Magazine as a senior editor, and as Washington bureau chief for Businessweek.

Kimberly Abbott
Chief Communications Officer

Kimberly Abbott is the Chief Communications Officer of The Fuller Project, where she amplifies the organization’s strategic priorities including public relations and events, ensuring the newsroom’s groundbreaking reporting on women reaches diverse audiences worldwide.  

Kimberly draws on her deep experience of expanding the impact of mission-driven organizations. She has 25 years of success overseeing global communications, media training, public relations, foreign policy, and journalism with a particular focus on underreported humanitarian issues in post-conflict situations.

Kimberly started her career as a broadcast journalist and has worked as a booker, writer, producer and reporter. During Kimberly’s seven-year tenure at CNN, she covered breaking news around the country from  the 2000 Presidential Election and recount to 9/11, and was an on-air reporter for “CNN Newsroom”, filing stories from D.C., Bosnia, and Germany. Her first job was reporting for local radio covering education and government. Her journalism has also included France 3 television, Radio France, and BFM Radio in Paris. 

Prior to joining The Fuller Project, Kimberly was Vice President of Marketing and Communications for World Learning, a global development, exchange and education nonprofit. There, Kimberly established a rigorous digital media strategy that included the overhaul of multiple websites and the tripling of social media traffic to drive business growth. She also conducted media training for women around the world and created journalism fellowship programs in South Africa and India that enabled young journalists to gain international reporting experience.   

At World Learning, Kimberly launched a communications department and led a team of 18 to drive brand awareness and elevate the importance of individual programs, including that of The Fulbright Specialist. Her work drove recognition of a range of development programs, from teaching Syrian refugees in Lebanon to STEM education in Egypt. She produced professional videos that won several awards, including four Gold, one Silver, and three Bronze Telly Awards. Her robust content production resulted in earned media placements in PBS NewsHour, Christian Science Monitor, Inside Higher Ed, US News & World Report, AARP, and many local outlets.

While Communications Director for North America at the International Crisis Group, an independent, nongovernmental organization, Kimberly was responsible for developing strategic approaches for communicating its policy prescriptions. This included partnering to create news reports with legacy media outlets such as “60 Minutes”, “Nightline” and “PBS NewsHour” to cover underreported stories in Darfur, DRC and Northern Uganda, and producing multimedia that enhanced the visibility of the organization as a highly recognized, go-to source for news and analysis on conflict situations.  Her podcasts and stories about Crisis Group reports appeared in Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN Global Public Square and Huffington Post. She produced over a dozen documentaries about Crisis Group’s impact, including “Crisis Group On the Frontlines”, which was a finalist for the CINE Golden Eagle Award, and interviewed global leaders including U.S. President Bill Clinton, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, and U.S. General Colin Powell.

At InterAction, an alliance of international development and humanitarian NGOs, Kimberly served as Acting Communications Director and successfully brought attention to lesser known humanitarian and development stories, while collaborating with InterAction’s 160 member organizations to develop media and advocacy campaigns on collective humanitarian and development priorities. 

She has been a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is the recipient of numerous fellowships in journalism and international affairs, from the Radio Television News Directors Foundation, German Marshall Fund, Atlantik-Brucke German-American Foundation, French American Foundation, and others. Her career has also included time on Capitol Hill, in U.S. presidential politics, and as an envoy and translator for the Centennial Olympic Games.

A French speaker, Kimberly earned a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism from Boston University and studied French media at the Ecole Française des Attachés de Presse in Paris. She now lives in Maryland with her husband and son.

Xanthe Scharff, PhD
Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer

[ZAN-thee SHARRF]

Dr. Scharff is the Cofounder and CEO of The Fuller Project, the global newsroom dedicated to groundbreaking reporting that catalyzes positive change for women. 

The founder of two acclaimed nonprofit organizations and a gender expert, Scharff launched The Fuller Project from Turkey while reporting in Istanbul and on the Syrian border. She has built the project to be the go-to source for exclusive, in-depth global reporting about women that would otherwise be untold. The journalism is relied on by decision-makers and published in renowned outlets, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. 

Scharff has led The Fuller Project through steady growth and oversees a staff that includes several dozen editors, reporters, contributors and senior business leaders. Under her leadership, The Fuller Project newsroom and communications team have won 24 industry awards and citations. The newsroom’s reporting has spurred federal funding for maternal care in the United States, the hiring of hundreds of policewomen in India, and the banning of virginity testing in state hospitals in the Philippines. 

Together with Foreign Policy, Scharff launched the global monthly column on women and global affairs, The Full Story, covering women amid violence, authoritarianism and extremism. For Foreign Affairs, she reported on issues facing Syrian refugee students, and on Turkish policies driven by religion that impacted children and women’s choices. 

During the coronavirus pandemic Scharff called for a federal release of data to better inform policies in The Boston Globe. Her reporting in TIME, among the first to call attention to the disproportionate impact of COVID on women in early March 2020, received a citation from the Society for Professional Journalists. She and her colleagues discovered that women were disproportionately claiming unemployment insurance immediately after COVID shutdowns. Federal data releases would not show the trend until weeks later. Their exclusive data findings were cited by a dozen news outlets including The New York Times just as policymakers were legislating trillions of dollars of emergency aid. Based on a partnership Scharff built with the largest media company in East Africa, Scharff commissioned evaluative research to advance the field of collaborative journalism. 

In 2005, Scharff wrote an article for The Christian Science Monitor about a family living in Malawi. When readers learned that the daughter had dropped out of school, they asked how to help. Scharff worked with Malawian leaders to found AGE Africa, which has served 3,000 girls. Harvard’s Africa Policy Journal published the research that Scharff conducted to underpin scholarship provision. CBS, Voice of America, The Christian Science Monitor and MSNBC have featured the scholars in their reporting. The Malawi Government honored Scharff with a certificate of appreciation for her work. 

Scharff led research on girls’ education at the Center for Universal Education where she edited and wrote extensively, led fellowship programs, hosted policy meetings with heads of state and ministries and facilitated a network of 60 global foundations. She edited a volume on girls’ education which was the basis for large-scale policy change. While a scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, she investigated donor failures in Uganda after a devastating 20-year war and published findings to inform local government responses and international aid organizations. 

Scharff began her career working for The World Bank in Peru, later returning to investigate whistleblower claims of government and corporate collusion, exposing illegal environmental abuses in Indigenous communities in a leading Peruvian legal journal. After working for the UN in Sudan and observing military posts in South Sudan, she published research in Ploughshares Journal that probed the efficacy of international enforcement of child and adult disarmament.

A lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Scharff is a Gender Advisor to The War Horse and is on the Board of Advisors of the Henry Leir Institute for Human Security at The Fletcher School. She is a member of the Meridian Center Rising Leadership Council and has worked with organizations including the Arabella Advisors, CARE, and Save the Children and was an Education Pioneers Fellow. She is a frequent moderator, keynote speaker and guest lecturer about journalism, women, global affairs and leadership. 

The Fletcher School awarded Scharff a doctorate in International Relations for research on post-conflict education, during which time she was named Minear Fellow, Earhart Fellow, Henry Leir Fellow, and was a Tisch Active Citizenship Fellow. Scharff graduated with honors from New York University and completed executive education courses at Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School at Harvard. She attended the Sulzberger program for news leaders at Columbia Journalism School. 

Scharff was named Distinguished Alumna of Tufts University in 2020 and of the National Cathedral School in 2017. In 2021, she was awarded the Helen Gurley Brown Genius Grant for her visionary leadership on climate journalism and was named among Top 40 under 40 by the Leadership Center for Excellence. She is Board Chair Emeritus of AGE Africa, where an apprenticeship program was named in her honor.

Avid dancer, runner, hockey/soccer mom, Scharff lives in hometown Washington D.C. with her two kids.

In the News:

Foreign Policy live: Scharff on women’s voices missing from news.

Madam Policy: Scharff & The Fuller Project.

PBS Newshour: Scharff on investigation into sexual abuse online during COVID.

Foreign Policy: Ukrainian Women on the Front Lines but Not in the Headlines

Impact Video:

The Fuller Project 2022


Team

Alison Anderson
Head of Finance

Alison Anderson is the Head of Finance for The Fuller Project, where she helps ensure the organization delivers on its mission of breaking new ground in journalism to   raise awareness and expose the injustices surrounding women and their communities. Alison works closely with members of The Fuller team around the world to efficiently manage the organization’s finances and budget, and to assist the COO in strategic efforts to boost the success and impact of reporting.

Alison is a highly-skilled finance professional with over fifteen years of experience.  Her speciality is helping nonprofit mission-driven organizations thrive. As a consultant, Alison’s financial expertise has assisted in growing numerous international, women-focused nonprofits, including Nadia’s Initiative, Komera, Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa, and Free to Run.  Previously, Alison was the General Manager of New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, MA and the Manager of Operations at Grantmakers for Organizations in Washington, D.C.  

She is an alumna of Davidson College and Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Management. She currently lives in Chattanooga, TN with her husband, three children, and two cats. She enjoys gardening, podcasts, and very rare moments of peace.

Arnold Hawkins
HR Business Partner

Arnold Hawkins is The Fuller Project’s Human Resource Business Partner. He joins us as part of JLM HR Consulting where he serves as Director of Client Services. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) as an EEO Investigator, Counselor and Mediator.  He has managed numerous federal, state, local government and private industry EEO projects. Arnold has extensive project management experience applying applicable knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to meet the demands of project activities and requirements, with proven accomplishments. 

Arnold earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rockford (formerly known as Rockford College) Rockford, Illinois.  He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, Maryland.  Prior to earning his Jurist Doctorate Degree, he received a Certificate of Law from the William & Mary/Marshall-Wythe School of Law, International & Business Law Study Abroad Program, University of Exeter, Exeter, England.  He has earned the following certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP); EEO Investigator; EEO Counselor and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).  He also received his training as a Mediator from the Maryland office of Administrative Hearings. 

Outside of work hours, Arnold enjoys spending time with his family, pursuing his passion as a BBQ Pit Master, sports and his ministerial calling as an ordained minister.

Claire Cozens
Managing Editor

Claire Cozens is managing editor of The Fuller Project, focused on developing international coverage of issues involving and affecting women and girls. She has extensive experience in international journalism, both as a reporter and as an editor, and a deep interest in shining a light on underreported issues.

As senior editor with the Thomson Reuters Foundation for nearly four years, Claire commissioned and edited enterprise and investigative stories on issues that disproportionately affect marginalised communities around the world, from modern slavery to climate change.

Before that, she worked for more than a decade for the AFP newswire, taking in postings in New Delhi, Beijing, Hong Kong and Kathmandu. As AFP’s news editor for South Asia, she led a multimedia team of journalists, driving coverage of stories ranging from the rise of Hindu nationalism in India to China’s growing regional influence. She also led on-the-ground coverage of the Nepal earthquake and the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh.

Claire speaks fluent French and has an M.A. in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a B.A. in Modern Languages from the University of Cambridge. She lives in London and enjoys hiking, yoga and attempting to grow as many different plants as she can fit in her postage stamp-sized garden.

Disha Shetty
Reporter

Disha Shetty is a reporter with The Fuller Project where she writes on environment and health issues. Her science reporting combines data, latest research and human stories.

Before joining The Fuller Project, Disha spent a decade working across print, digital and television platforms in India in both full-time and freelance roles. At her most recent full-time job with the data journalism initiative IndiaSpend, Disha travelled across India for six months to document how climate change was affecting communities. She also worked on a collaborative investigative series ‘Environment Undone’ that looked at how India was systematically opening up its protected areas like national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to infrastructure projects at great costs to the environment. The work received an honorary mention at the 2021 SEJ awards

Disha has extensively covered infectious diseases like Tuberculosis as well as stories on maternal and child health. She is the winner of ICFJ’s 2018 Global Health Reporting Contest Award, and has been a 2019 RAF fellow to the UN. She has received reporting grants from the Pulitzer CenterEarth Journalism Network and International Women’s Media Fund, among others. 

Disha has a Bachelors in Mass Media from Mumbai University, a PG Diploma in TV journalism from Asian College of Journalism and holds an MA in Science, Environment and Medicine Journalism from Columbia University. She currently lives in Pune, India.
 
Her work has appeared in publications such as Undark, Hakai, Forbes, IndiaSpend, and Scroll, among others. 

Recent reporting by Disha:

The Struggle to Keep Track of India’s Dead – UNDARK

In Goa, the Water Runs Black – Hakai

Interactive: Unravelling air pollution in Asia – The Third Pole

Environment Undone – IndiaSpend

India’s climate change hotspots – IndiaSpend

Erica Hensley
Reporter

Erica Hensley is a public health and data reporter based in and covering the South, with a particular focus on reproductive health and equity.

Before joining The Fuller Project, she freelanced and worked as an investigative reporter focusing on public health for one of the first Southern non-profit digital outlets, Mississippi Today, where she was a Knight Foundation fellow and her COVID-19 work helped put national attention on Mississippi’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was the inaugural recipient of the Doris O’Donnell Innovations in Investigative Journalism Fellowship and won Atlanta Press Club’s investigative reporting award for her work on lead exposure in Georgia.

Erica received a bachelor’s in print journalism and political science from the University of Southern California and a master’s in health and medical journalism from the University of Georgia. She now splits her time between Mississippi and Georgia.

Jessica Klein
Contributing Reporter

Jessica Klein is a journalist covering intimate partner and domestic violence, blockchain technology, and sex work (among other things). Outlets including The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Fortune have published her work, and she writes a monthly column for the National Bulletin on Domestic Violence Prevention.

In 2016, she coauthored Abetting Batterers: What Police, Prosecutors, and Courts Aren’t Doing to Protect America’s Women, updated in 2020. With The Fuller Project, she’s reported on how intimate partner abusers weaponize the U.S. court system and the obstacles Indigenous abuse survivors face when it comes to voting confidentially in U.S. elections.

Recent reporting by Jessica:

How a little-known legal loophole punishes girls who don’t behave – The Fuller Project

‘Women are routinely discredited’: How courts fail mothers and children who have survived abuse – The Guardian

‘We Need To Study Women’: Traumatic Brain Injury in Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence – The Fuller Project

Jodi Enda
Senior Correspondent & Washington Bureau Chief

Jodi Enda is the senior correspondent and Washington bureau chief for The Fuller Project, where she focuses on the effects of U.S. policies and politics on women and girls in America and around the world.

Jodi is an award-winning journalist who has covered government and politics at every level, from city hall to the statehouse to the White House and presidential campaigns. Throughout her career, she has paid particular attention to women’s rights, challenges and emerging power, with special emphases on the battle over abortion rights and the influence of female voters.

Prior to joining The Fuller Project, Jodi served as editor in chief of ThinkProgress; spearheaded CNN’s 2016 election book, Unprecedented: The Election That Changed Everything; and covered the White House, Congress, presidential campaigns and national news for Knight Ridder newspapers. As a Washington correspondent for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jodi covered national news, reporting in depth on political lobbying and health care, and crisscrossing the country to report on major events and to unearth interesting stories that otherwise were overlooked. Jodi started her career covering public housing for The St. Louis Globe-Democrat and education and city hall for The Rocky Mountain News. Her work has been published in numerous national outlets, including Vanity Fair, USA Today, CNN.comNBCnews.com, American Journalism Review and the American Prospect.

Jodi has won awards for investigative reporting, deadline reporting, White House coverage and media coverage, including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Merriman Smith Award (twice) and the John M. Higgins Award for best in-depth/enterprise reporting on the media industry, the most prestigious of Syracuse University’s Mirror Awards.

She is a former president of the Journalism & Women Symposium, which advocates for the empowerment of women in journalism and for inclusive coverage in the media, and a former member of the White House Correspondents’ Association board of directors.

Starting in January 2023, in addition to her work at The Fuller Project, Jodi will be teaching a political journalism course at Cornell University’s Washington Program.

Karoline Gonzalez
Communications and Marketing Fellow

Karoline Gonzalez is the Communications and Marketing Fellow at The Fuller Project. She recently graduated from Rutgers University-Newark with a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies and a concentration in Social Justice. While at Rutgers, Karoline was the copy editor of the university’s student-led newspaper, The Observer, winning the Journalism Excellence Award for her department. She also conducted in-depth research under the mentorship of Gaiutra Bahadur, who teaches writing and journalism as an assistant professor in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media, with the goal of empowering the narratives of the victims of the 1980s Hinduphobic hate group, The Dotbusters.

Prior to joining The Fuller Project, Karoline was the gallery intern at Project for Empty Space; a women-led, non-profit arts organization dedicated to creating safe and equitable spaces for social discourse. Here, she collaborated with the gallery manager to plan events advocating for the unification of the Newark community through public art initiatives. She also helped curate and digitize the Project for Empty Space Feminist Library.

Through her passion for storytelling using written and photographic mediums, Karoline aims to create safe spaces for herself and her community to thrive in, as well as uplift the narratives of those with socially marginalized identities, including but not limited to race, class, gender and sexual orientation. She has been featured in NBC News “Stay Tuned” in a dialogue about the Latinx identity and “Faces & Voices of Rutgers” in a conversation with President Holloway.

Though born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Karoline moved to the United States when she was thirteen and has lived in New Jersey ever since. During her free time, she enjoys creating and consuming art, including creative writing, photography and music, as well as spending time with her two cats, Milo and Haiku.

Katie Hunt
Director of Development

Katie Hunt is Director of Development at The Fuller Project, responsible for securing funding for and enabling the organization to continue expanding in a sustainable manner. Before joining the team in 2022, Katie served as Development Manager for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), where she worked across teams to shape projects and proposals for funding. Her work at OCCRP supported their editorial expansion into multiple new regions as well as their development of industry-leading technology tools. Prior to that, she worked on the development team for the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution. She has also worked in development for the Society of Professional Journalists and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. Katie holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Indiana University as well as degrees in economics and international studies from Wittenberg University. She currently lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband and her cat and dog. In her free time, she enjoys reading and visiting bookstores.

Louise Donovan
Reporter

Louise Donovan is an award-winning reporter, working closely with the editorial team of Kenya’s largest newspaper, The Nation, raising awareness of issues impacting women and exposing injustices. Louise manages The Fuller Project’s strategic partnership with The Nation and teams up with Kenyan journalists to cross-publish stories in both African and international outlets.

A European Journalism Centre grantee in 2017 and 2018, Louise was named a ‘30 Under 30’ rising star by the Professional Publishers Association in 2019. That year, she also won the One World Media award for her India reporting. In 2020, Louise’s work examining the deadly consequences of curbing reproductive rights in Kenya was shortlisted for the Anthony Shahid Award for Journalism Ethics.

Louise’s groundbreaking reporting has taken her across the globe. In Kenya, she investigated the issue of dumped foetuses and how restricted access to prenatal care, contraception and reproductive services is leaving women in increasingly desperate situations. Her reporting shone a light on an often overlooked but growing problem.

She embedded with an all-female biker squad who fight sexual violence in Jaipur, North India for a story with ELLE UK. One year after the story’s publication, the local government rolled out seven further women-only police units, created over 400 jobs for female officers and dedicated nearly three-quarters of a million dollars to buy extra equipment. More recently, she reported on a Ugandan woman’s experience of domestic violence during Covid-19 restrictions, which led to a women’s organisation reaching out to offer the single mother support.

She reported on global migrant domestic workers in Saudi Arabia who were kicked out of employers’ homes during COVID-19 and detained unlawfully without regular access to food and water. The reporting, which was published on the front page of The New York Times International Edition, led to a raid on the agency and the women were repatriated Several of the women in the story told Louise that this reporting – and its subsequent impact – had saved their lives. She also reported on the collapse of the global garment industry during the pandemic, directly linking two women on each end of this crumbling supply chain: One in America and another some 10,000 miles away in Lesotho, both laid off when J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy and closed 150 stores in the U.S. and limited orders from its global factories. The story was published by the Associated Press and picked up by more than 100 news outlets globally.

Previously the Deputy Digital Editor of ELLE UK, Louise edited the multiple award-winning Warrior series published in partnership with The Fuller Project. Louise’s work appears in outlets such as CNN, Guardian, Foreign Policy and The Telegraph.

Maher Sattar
Senior Editor

Maher Sattar is an award-winning journalist and senior editor at The Fuller Project. Maher’s career has spanned broadcast, print, and digital reporting, with a decade covering South and Southeast Asia for outlets such as The New York Times, Al Jazeera, and The Washington Post. He has reported extensively on the climate crisis, migration and refugees, politics, and the international labor movement, with a particular focus on how women – such as Bangladeshi garment workers – organize for their rights in these arenas.

Before moving to New York, Maher was a lead reporter on the Washington Post’s Ivanka Inc project, taking a sweeping look at the women being exploited throughout the Ivanka Trump brand’s global supply chain. Since then he has covered the 2020 US primaries and general election for CBS News, and won a Webby for a documentary investigating organ traffickers targeting refugees in the Middle East. He began his journalism career as a local fixer on Water World, PBS NOW’s Headliner award-winning documentary on the impact of climate change in Bangladesh.

Mariyah Espinoza
Communications & Marketing Officer

Mariyah Espinoza is the communications and marketing officer with The Fuller Project, providing administrative support to the communications team by handling multiple projects from managing content on the website to organizing and maintaining marketing materials. 

She conducts in-depth research to help measure and assess the impact of The Fuller Project’s work and helps with external communication development. 

She also builds media contact lists to reach target markets and communicates with external partners to assist in helping  The Fuller Project reach new audiences.  

Mariyah recently graduated from American University where she received her master’s degree in journalism and public affairs. Prior to that, she received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications at Bethune-Cookman University.

Before joining The Fuller Project, Mariyah interned at WNDB, a local news station in Daytona Beach and was a 2018 Bloomberg journalism fellow in San Francisco. In 2019, Mariyah became a top undergraduate researcher in the state of Florida after investigating how college students use social media to consume the news. In 2020, she worked as a communications assistant for the School of Communication’s Diversity and Inclusion Team at AU.

Mariyah specializes in multimedia projects, with some of her most recent work consisting of a documentary that focused on health care inequality and covering stories that dealt with social justice issues.

She’s originally from Las Vegas, Nevada; however, she prefers to live on the East Coast. In her free time, Mariyah loves to travel, read mystery novels and try new food.

Melissa Thompson
Finance & Operations Specialist

Melissa Thompson is a Finance & Operations specialist with The Fuller Project, where she liaises between the editorial and finance teams, contractors, and vendors. Her responsibilities include processing payment requests, contract drafting and amendments, tax compliance, and administrative support.

Her twenty years of experience in the financial and accounting sector includes managing the financial operations for the largest female-owned logistics company in the world, as well as overseeing the day-to-day operations and compliance requirements of small and mid-size businesses.

She is a University of Tennessee alumna. As a mother of a child with a rare genetic disease, she is also a passionate disability advocate and a peer advisor to other newly diagnosed families through the National MPS Society. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband, son, daughter, and two dogs.

Samantha Santhanam
Digital Marketing Associate

Samantha Santhanam is a Digital Marketing Associate with The Fuller Project, where she works on developing and executing web, social, and digital marketing strategies. She specializes in digital advertising, data analytics, and SEO. Sam works closely with the CCO in strategic efforts to increase the impact and reach of The Fuller Project.

Sam is an experienced professional who started her digital marketing career with a media start-up, working with clients from a broad set of industries encompassing higher education, technology, healthcare, and hospitality. 

Prior to joining The Fuller Project, Sam worked as a Digital Marketing Manager at World Learning, a non-profit focused on education and international development. There, she developed strategies and executed campaigns that bolstered the company’s digital and online presence, increasing enrollment, and providing data-driven solutions. 

Sam has a Bachelor’s degree in Science from India and received her Master’s degree in Digital Media Technology from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. When not working, Sam loves to tackle DIY projects at home or attempts to learn a new language. 


Board of Directors

Deneen Howell
Board Member

Deneen Howell is a partner at Williams & Connolly LLP. She is Co-Chair of both Williams & Connolly’s Transactions and Business Counseling practice group as well as its Employment Counseling and Litigation practice group, and also serves as Chair of the firm’s Budget Committee. 

A transactional lawyer, Deneen is a highly skilled negotiator with broad experience helping memoirists, non-fiction authors, thriller writers and illustrated children’s book authors secure book deals; advising senior executives, fiduciary and advisory board members of public and privately-held companies in matters related to executive compensation and corporate governance; assisting former government officials, public speakers, broadcasters and journalists in their professional, academic, media and publishing pursuits; and counseling privately held businesses and non-profit organizations in employment, corporate governance and publishing-related matters. 

Recognized by Chambers USA a member of Williams & Connolly’s “renowned” media and entertainment practice, Deneen also has been honored as one of Savoy magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers and frequently has been selected as one of the top 500 lawyers overall(Lawdragon magazine).

Deneen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  She received her J.D. from Stanford Law School, where she also served as President of the Stanford Law Review, and her B.A. from Yale University. Deneen joined Williams & Connolly in 1998 and has been a partner since 2006. She has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library (2010-20), and recently was elected to the Board of Directors of the White House Historical Association.

Gina Maya
Board Member
Gina Maya joined Human Rights Watch in January 2016 as the director of the newly opened Silicon Valley office. Since the office has opened, Gina has helped to significantly increase the engagement of the local community and has overseen the growth of the office into one of the largest fundraising centers for Human Rights Watch. She was previously a member of the Executive Committee of HRW’s California North Committee and traveled to Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo with Human Rights Watch. She attended Indiana University and Columbia Law School. After graduating law school, Gina worked at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and then at JP Morgan Securities, Inc. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Gina took a pause in her career to raise three children but continued to be actively involved in various organizations and local boards in the community.
Jodi Rudoren
Board Member
Jodi Rudoren became Editor-in-Chief of The Forward, the nation’s oldest independent Jewish news organization, in September 2019 after more than two decades as a reporter and editor at The New York Times. She is helping lead a transformation of the storied 123-year-old institution, a nonprofit that went digital-only in early 2019. A longtime newsroom innovator and collaborative leader, Jodi was an author of the 2020 report on newsroom structure and vision. As Jerusalem bureau chief from 2012 to 2016, Ms. Rudoren covered two wars between Israel and the Gaza Strip, two Israeli elections, innumerable terror attacks and Secretary of State John Kerry’s failed nine-month peace talks. She also wrote extensively about the Iran deal, struggles over Israeli identity and the collapse of Palestinian politics. Ms. Rudoren was previously bureau chief in Chicago and national education correspondent, as well as Education editor, deputy International editor and deputy Metropolitan editor. She covered the 2004 presidential campaign, created the print Sunday Metropolitan section, and was executive producer of the multimedia series ““One in 8 Million” which won NYTimes.com’s first Emmy Award, for “new approaches to documentary,” in 2009. A 1992 graduate of Yale University, the former Jodi Wilgoren and her husband, the former Gary Ruderman, combined their surnames in 2006. They live in Montclair, N.J., with their twins, who were born in 2007.
Mary G. Berner
Board Member
Mary G. Berner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus Media Inc., the country’s second largest radio company, has led some of the world’s top media organizations and brands, building and directing companies to deliver strong value, financial performance and growth. Before joining Cumulus, Berner serves as President and CEO of MPA– The Association of Magazine Media. Previously, Berner was Chief Executive Officer of media giant Reader’s Digest Association and formerly led Fairchild Publications, Inc., first as President and CEO, then as President and as an Officer of Condé Nast. Among her many distinctions, in 2016, Berner was named one of the most powerful women in entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter, the only radio executive to be selected for that annual list.
Ritu Sharma
Treasurer, Board Member
Ms. Sharma is the co-founder and former president of Women Thrive Worldwide, a leading advocacy organization bringing the voices of women and girls to Washington’s highest-level decision makers. Ritu’s advocacy was instrumental in the creation of the White House Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally. Women Thrive was the driving force behind the US Agency International Development’s establishment of the Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy. Ritu now trains groups around the world in advocacy and is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She is author of Teach a Woman to Fish: Overcoming Poverty Around the Globe.
Robert “Rosey” Rosenthal
Board Member
Robert J. Rosenthal is a board member and an executive producer at The Center for Investigative Reporting. An award-winning journalist, Rosenthal has worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country, including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosenthal worked for 22 years at the Inquirer, starting as a reporter and eventually becoming its executive editor in 1998. He became managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in late 2002, and joined CIR as executive director in 2008. Before joining the Inquirer in 1979, Rosenthal worked as a reporter for six years at The Boston Globe and three-and-a-half years at The New York Times, where he was a news assistant on the foreign desk and an editorial assistant on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pentagon Papers project. As a reporter, Rosenthal won numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award for magazine writing, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for distinguished foreign correspondence, and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for Third World Reporting. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in international reporting. Rosenthal was a Pulitzer Prize judge four times. He has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Sarah O’Hagan
Chair, Board of Directors

Sarah is a former journalist and a long-time strategic advisor in the fields of refugee and women’s rights. Sarah is a trustee of Johns Hopkins University; and former Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (JHU-SAIS), where she and others built SAIS Women Lead. As co-Chair of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) from 2010-2016, Sarah has traveled frequently to visit programs. She also serves on the board of the Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation for the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University, and on the Board of Directors of America Media, the leading provider of editorial content for thinking Catholics.

Recent reporting by Sarah:

Why Trump’s Immigration Policy Will Hurt All Americans, The New Republic

How Immigration Reporting Overlooks Women, Columbia Journalism Review

Tim Isgitt
Secretary, Board Member

Tim Isgitt is an independent consultant, an Executive in Residence with the Rita Allen Foundation, and a long-time supporter of journalists and media organizations around the world.

Tim was most recently Managing Director at Humanity United, a human rights-focused philanthropic organization for almost nine years. Under his leadership, Tim helped the organization focus and redevelop its mission, values, and strategic direction. He also built a public engagement portfolio aimed at cultivating greater levels of understanding, accountability, and action from key stakeholders, including lawmakers, corporations, investors, and civil society organizations. The portfolio includes an Independent Journalism and Media program that supports a variety of journalists and newsrooms in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. 

Humanity United has supported the Fuller Project since 2017.

Previously, Tim served as Senior Vice President of Communications and Government Affairs at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and in leadership and service roles at the U.S. State Department, and at the public affairs firms Burson-Marsteller and Meyers & Associates. Tim began his career as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives. He received his BA in political science from Texas A&M University, and his MA in government from The Johns Hopkins University. Tim serves as treasurer on the board of Media Impact Funders, a membership organization that advances the work of a broad range of funders committed to effective use and support of media in the public interest.

Xanthe Scharff, PhD
Board Member

[ZAN-thee SHARRF]

Dr. Scharff is the Cofounder and CEO of The Fuller Project, the global newsroom dedicated to groundbreaking reporting that catalyzes positive change for women. 

The founder of two acclaimed nonprofit organizations and a gender expert, Scharff launched The Fuller Project from Turkey while reporting in Istanbul and on the Syrian border. She has built the project to be the go-to source for exclusive, in-depth global reporting about women that would otherwise be untold. The journalism is relied on by decision-makers and published in renowned outlets, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. 

Scharff has led The Fuller Project through steady growth and oversees a staff that includes several dozen editors, reporters, contributors and senior business leaders. Under her leadership, The Fuller Project newsroom and communications team have won 24 industry awards and citations. The newsroom’s reporting has spurred federal funding for maternal care in the United States, the hiring of hundreds of policewomen in India, and the banning of virginity testing in state hospitals in the Philippines. 

Together with Foreign Policy, Scharff launched the global monthly column on women and global affairs, The Full Story, covering women amid violence, authoritarianism and extremism. For Foreign Affairs, she reported on issues facing Syrian refugee students, and on Turkish policies driven by religion that impacted children and women’s choices. 

During the coronavirus pandemic Scharff called for a federal release of data to better inform policies in The Boston Globe. Her reporting in TIME, among the first to call attention to the disproportionate impact of COVID on women in early March 2020, received a citation from the Society for Professional Journalists. She and her colleagues discovered that women were disproportionately claiming unemployment insurance immediately after COVID shutdowns. Federal data releases would not show the trend until weeks later. Their exclusive data findings were cited by a dozen news outlets including The New York Times just as policymakers were legislating trillions of dollars of emergency aid. Based on a partnership Scharff built with the largest media company in East Africa, Scharff commissioned evaluative research to advance the field of collaborative journalism. 

In 2005, Scharff wrote an article for The Christian Science Monitor about a family living in Malawi. When readers learned that the daughter had dropped out of school, they asked how to help. Scharff worked with Malawian leaders to found AGE Africa, which has served 3,000 girls. Harvard’s Africa Policy Journal published the research that Scharff conducted to underpin scholarship provision. CBS, Voice of America, The Christian Science Monitor and MSNBC have featured the scholars in their reporting. The Malawi Government honored Scharff with a certificate of appreciation for her work. 

Scharff led research on girls’ education at the Center for Universal Education where she edited and wrote extensively, led fellowship programs, hosted policy meetings with heads of state and ministries and facilitated a network of 60 global foundations. She edited a volume on girls’ education which was the basis for large-scale policy change. While a scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, she investigated donor failures in Uganda after a devastating 20-year war and published findings to inform local government responses and international aid organizations. 

Scharff began her career working for The World Bank in Peru, later returning to investigate whistleblower claims of government and corporate collusion, exposing illegal environmental abuses in Indigenous communities in a leading Peruvian legal journal. After working for the UN in Sudan and observing military posts in South Sudan, she published research in Ploughshares Journal that probed the efficacy of international enforcement of child and adult disarmament.

A lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Scharff is a Gender Advisor to The War Horse and is on the Board of Advisors of the Henry Leir Institute for Human Security at The Fletcher School. She is a member of the Meridian Center Rising Leadership Council and has worked with organizations including the Arabella Advisors, CARE, and Save the Children and was an Education Pioneers Fellow. She is a frequent moderator, keynote speaker and guest lecturer about journalism, women, global affairs and leadership. 

The Fletcher School awarded Scharff a doctorate in International Relations for research on post-conflict education, during which time she was named Minear Fellow, Earhart Fellow, Henry Leir Fellow, and was a Tisch Active Citizenship Fellow. Scharff graduated with honors from New York University and completed executive education courses at Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School at Harvard. She attended the Sulzberger program for news leaders at Columbia Journalism School. 

Scharff was named Distinguished Alumna of Tufts University in 2020 and of the National Cathedral School in 2017. In 2021, she was awarded the Helen Gurley Brown Genius Grant for her visionary leadership on climate journalism and was named among Top 40 under 40 by the Leadership Center for Excellence. She is Board Chair Emeritus of AGE Africa, where an apprenticeship program was named in her honor.

Avid dancer, runner, hockey/soccer mom, Scharff lives in hometown Washington D.C. with her two kids.

In the News:

Foreign Policy live: Scharff on women’s voices missing from news.

Madam Policy: Scharff & The Fuller Project.

PBS Newshour: Scharff on investigation into sexual abuse online during COVID.

Foreign Policy: Ukrainian Women on the Front Lines but Not in the Headlines

Impact Video:

The Fuller Project 2022


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