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Rebecca Winthrop
Board Member
Dr. Winthrop is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Universal Education. Her research focuses on education in the developing world, with special attention to the skills children need to succeed in life, and improving quality learning for the most marginalized children and youth, including girls and children affected by extreme violence. Prior to joining Brookings in June 2009, Dr. Winthrop spent 15 years working in the field of education for displaced and migrant communities, most recently as the head of education for the International Rescue Committee. She is the co-author of What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment.

Our People

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.  

Contributing Editor

Amie Ferris-Rotman is a Contributing Editor at The Fuller Project. A seasoned foreign correspondent, Amie has spent much of her 15-year career exposing injustices and raising awareness of underreported stories surrounding women and their communities. 

She has dedicated years of coverage to Russia and the surrounding region, most recently as the Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post. Before, she led coverage on the country for Foreign Policy and was a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal and Reuters.  

Secretary, Board Member
Ana Reyes is a partner at William & Connelly LLP. She Co-Chairs the firm’s International Disputes practice group and is a member of its Executive Committee. She focuses her practice on complex litigation and international arbitration, representing clients throughout the world. In 2017, Ana was named as the D.C. Women’s Bar Association’s Woman Lawyer of the Year in recognition of her international litigation practice and for her efforts in representing the rights of those seeking asylum in the United States. She has devoted a substantial portion of her practice to pro bono work, representing refugee organizations and refugees seeking asylum in the United States. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has retained Ana for representation in numerous appellate matters and commissioned her to draft a comprehensive report on asylum law in the United States. Ana is a Clinical Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School, where she co-teaches Advocacy in International Arbitration. Ana was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2000. In 2014, Ana also received a Master’s in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.
Journalist

Corinne Redfern is a multi-award winning foreign correspondent focused on investigative reporting that raises awareness of issues impacting women and their communities, exposes injustice and leads to accountability.

In 2019, Corinne won an Amnesty Media Award for her feature for ELLE magazine (UK), which followed the story of a 19 year-old whose husband had sold her to one of Bangladesh’s numerous ‘brothel villages’. The feature was also shortlisted for a One World Media Award.

Journalist

Erica Hellerstein is a journalist covering gender for The Fuller Project, where she is focused on raising awareness of issues impacting women and their communities. 

Erica has written extensively about gender and human rights issues throughout the United States and Latin America, from reproductive rights in Argentina and Chile, the black market for abortion pills on the U.S.-Mexico border, Colombian survivors of sexual violence during the civil war, criminal justice, immigration, and the environment in North Carolina, and poverty and inequality in California.

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.
Journalist

Jenna Krajeski is a journalist with The Fuller Project, where her groundbreaking reporting on women raises awareness and exposes injustice. Jenna’s work on female trafficking and exploitation has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Foreign Policy, and has been featured onThe Leonard Lopate Show, On The Media and the Slate podcast “What Next”. Other work has appeared in Slate magazine, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the World Policy Journal, the Atlantic, and the Smithsonian Magazine, among other publications.

Jenna’s piece on trafficking and immigration under the Trump administration for The New Yorker Radio Hour was nominated for a Dart Award and a Gracie Award. She was a 2016 Knight-Wallace fellow in journalism at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and in 2019 became a visiting lecturer in the Global Affairs department of Yale University.

Journalist

Jessica Washington is a journalist with The Fuller Project focused on women and health, especially as it relates to the coronavirus. She raises awareness of issues impacting women and their communities to expose injustice.

Before joining The Fuller Project, Jessica covered reproductive health for Mother Jones, publishing over 50 articles with a focus on access to care, the judiciary and state policies. Prior to working at Mother Jones, she worked for “All in With Chris Hayes” as a production assistant and digital content producer.

Board Member
Jodi Rudoren, a reporter and editor at The New York Times since 1998, is the Associate Managing Editor for Audience. 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.
Interim Editor in Chief

Khushbu Shah is the Interim Editor in Chief of The Fuller Project, overseeing and implementing the editorial agenda and the newsroom’s groundbreaking reporting on women to expose injustice and spur accountability. She also leads partnerships with a myriad of prestigious U.S. and international outlets.

Khushbu brings deep expertise on the interconnected issues impacting women and their communities to the Interim Editor in Chief role, where she upholds the highest standards of The Fuller Project’s unbiased, non-partisan, rigorous journalism.

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.

Chief Operating Officer

Lilian Tan is the Chief Operating Officer of The Fuller Project — focused on strategy, operations, institution building and culture —  ensuring the organization’s groundbreaking reporting on women reaches diverse audiences around the world. Lilian collaborates closely with the internal Fuller team, along with editors and partners working on women and journalism to boost the success and impact of our reporting.

Lilian is an experienced strategy and operations professional with a focus on socially conscious organizations. She has worked across Fortune 500 companies, Forbes 100 largest non-profits, high growth startups, Corporate Social Responsibility departments, and educational institutions to help them grow in a financially sustainable manner and support their missions.  

Journalist

Louise Donovan is an award-winning journalist based in East Africa, where she works closely with the editorial team of Kenya’s largest newspaper, The Daily Nation, raising awareness of issues impacting women and exposing injustices. Louise manages The Fuller Project’s strategic partnership with The Daily 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.

Journalist

Malcolm Burnley is a multimedia journalist whose groundbreaking reporting focuses on women facing economic insecurity. Malcolm contributes to The Fuller Project’s coverage of race and gender, often reporting untold stories on topics such as maternal health, incarceration, and workplace discrimination to raise awareness of issues impacting women, expose injustice and promote accountability.

On the cover of Time magazine in September 2019, Malcolm reported on the women in the tipped workforce, who haven’t received a raise in decades and make just $2.83 in Pennsylvania. The story was discussed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe by Senator Claire McCaskill and tweeted by Governor Tom Wolf and presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Several waitresses featured in the story received large unsolicited donations from readers. One of them got a job interview for a full-time position with benefits as a result of the story.

Contributing Editor for Audience Engagement

Marta Martinez is a multimedia journalist with The Fuller Project, working to raise awareness on issues impacting women and their communities.  

Marta specializes in long-form journalism and documentary, covering human rights, gender, migration and inequality mostly in developing and post-conflict countries. She has reported on how the economic crisis in Venezuela strangled women’s reproductive rights, why straight women are marrying each other in northern Tanzania, the reintegration of female child soldiers in Uganda and how the genocide trial came together in Guatemala.

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.
Board Member
As a Managing Director in the Development and Outreach Department at Human Rights Watch, Ms. Mahlow works with supporters in Europe and North America. She served as founding director of Human Rights Watch’s Germany Committee and helped to establish HRW offices in five countries. Formerly working from Istanbul, she is in charge of Human Rights Watch’s Development presence in North America, Germany and The Netherlands.  Formerly, Miriam worked as a journalist in Africa; a press officer for the United Nations, in Dili, East Timor; and an external staff member for the World Economic Forum. Miriam was born and raised in Berlin, Germany.
Contributing Data Journalist

Rachel Dissell is an investigative journalist with The Fuller Project. Her  groundbreaking reporting on women has changed laws, policies, hearts and minds. She has over two decades of experience reporting untold stories to drive awareness, expose injustice and spur impact, most recently with The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.  

In 2019, Case Closed, her series with Andrea Simakis, explored the systemic failures of the Cleveland police through the experience of a grandmother who had to solve her own rape. The series won the 2020 Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma. Rachel is the only reporter to be honored with the award twice, having first won it in 2008 for the series Johanna: Facing Forward, which chronicled the recovery of Johanna Orozco, a Cleveland teen who was shot in the face by her ex-boyfriend after reporting to police that he had raped her.  

Board Member
Dr. Winthrop is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Universal Education. Her research focuses on education in the developing world, with special attention to the skills children need to succeed in life, and improving quality learning for the most marginalized children and youth, including girls and children affected by extreme violence. Prior to joining Brookings in June 2009, Dr. Winthrop spent 15 years working in the field of education for displaced and migrant communities, most recently as the head of education for the International Rescue Committee. She is the co-author of What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment.
Contributing Editor

Rikha Sharma Rani is a journalist and contributing editor for The Fuller Project, where her   groundbreaking reporting raises awareness of  issues impacting women and their communities. She has reported extensively on immigration, human trafficking, and women’s health. She also edits The Fuller Project’s monthly column in Foreign Policy Magazine, which is dedicated to the impact of U.S. foreign policy on the world’s women. 

Rikha was awarded “Silver” in the Consumer Category by the Milwaukee Press Club for her co-reported investigation into the impact of Catholic hospital care on reproductive services in Wisconsin.

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.
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.
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

Managing Editor and Journalist

Sophia Jones is the Managing Editor of The Fuller Project, leading a global team of reporters dedicated to investigative and groundbreaking journalism on issues impacting women and their communities, raising awareness on under-reported stories, exposing injustice and sparking action. She is also the founding reporter on The Fuller Project team and plays a central and driving role in building the newsroom. 

Sophia is an award-winning journalist and editor who has reported extensively across the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States. Through Sophia’s reporting on the role of women in peace and conflict, she has explored how gender dynamics shape our world today.

Contributing Editor

Vauhini Vara is a Contributing Editor at The Fuller Project, where her groundbreaking journalism focuses on  raising awareness of issues impacting women and their communities.

Vauhini has won a Burns Prize from the International Journalists’ Programmes for an analysis in the Atlantic of how labor organizations influence German politics, and a National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association for a reported essay in Harper’s on the Indian-American spelling-bee culture. A year-long project for Businessweek, featuring interviews with workers all over the world in jobs newly created by globalization, was longlisted for a One World Media Award. Vauhini has also received fellowships from the McGraw Center for Business Journalism and the International Center for Journalists.

Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Scharff is the CEO and Cofounder of The Fuller Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to groundbreaking reporting on women worldwide that raises awareness, exposes injustice and spurs accountability.

Under her leadership, The Fuller Project has evolved from a grassroots start-up to the global newsroom dedicated to reporting on women and publishing with leading outlets. Since its cofounding in 2015 from Turkey, The Fuller Project newsroom has won various accolades including the Military Reporters & Editors Award, the One World Media Award, the Amnesty International Media Award, the Milwaukee Press Club Silver Award; reporting has also been shortlisted for the Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism, One World Media Award, South Asia Journalism Association Daniel Pearl Award, and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Award. 

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.

Amie Ferris-Rotman
Contributing Editor

Amie Ferris-Rotman is a Contributing Editor at The Fuller Project. A seasoned foreign correspondent, Amie has spent much of her 15-year career exposing injustices and raising awareness of underreported stories surrounding women and their communities. 

She has dedicated years of coverage to Russia and the surrounding region, most recently as the Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post. Before, she led coverage on the country for Foreign Policy and was a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal and Reuters.  

In 2020, she was honored by the Human Rights Press Awards for her investigation into the sexual violations of ethnic Kazakh women by Chinese authorities at the so-called “re-education camps” in Xinjiang. In a series of articles on the Russian women battling President Vladimir Putin’s macho populism, she trailed the lawyers and survivors of abuse fighting for a #MeToo reckoning in Russia. In 2019, after reporting on the covert activists campaigning for the conviction of policemen in a gang rape in central Russia, the Kremlin broke its silence on the case and the accused were later given jail sentences, setting a precedent. Her story on Russia’s decriminalization of domestic violence was part of a multi-award winning series in 2018 for ELLE UK

Between 2011-2013, Amie lived in Kabul, Afghanistan, as senior correspondent for Reuters during the U.S. troop surge. Her reporting focused on Afghan women, examining Western efforts to build a female police force and the disproportionate toll of drug addiction on women. Her story on a woman’s public execution near Kabul by the Taliban spurred the government and NATO to conduct independent investigations into the killing. 

In 2015, frustrated with the dearth of Afghan women in the international news corps in Kabul, Amie founded Sahar Speaks, a program providing training, mentoring and publishing opportunities for Afghan female reporters. This won her the 2016 Georgina Henry Award for Digital Innovation, a British Press Award. To date, 23 women have undergone training and been published in The Huffington Post and The Guardian. A year after its founding, The New York Times Kabul bureau hired a Sahar Speaks alumna, indelibly altering the Afghan media landscape. 

Amie is a 2014 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, a 2013 Kiplinger Fellow at Ohio State University and a grantee of the International Women’s Media Foundation and the International Reporting Project, for reporting on Russia’s anti-abortion campaign and women’s health in Nepal.   

She has reported from over 15 countries and written op-eds for The New York Times and Haaretz, and reported for The Atlantic, Politico, and The Guardian, amongst others. 

Amie holds a bachelor and Masters degree in Russian studies from University College London. 

She currently lives in London with her husband and their son. 

Recent reporting by Amie: 

Her husband Chopped Off Her Hands. Now, She’s on Russian TV and Speaking out about Domestic Violence. – The Washington Post

Abortions, IUDs and Sexual Humiliation: Muslim Women who Fled China for Kazakhstan Recount Ordeals – The Washington Post

Her Husband’s Government has been Excluded from Peace talks. But Afghanistan’s First Lady is Rallying the Women. – The Washington Post

Ana Reyes
Secretary, Board Member
Ana Reyes is a partner at William & Connelly LLP. She Co-Chairs the firm’s International Disputes practice group and is a member of its Executive Committee. She focuses her practice on complex litigation and international arbitration, representing clients throughout the world. In 2017, Ana was named as the D.C. Women’s Bar Association’s Woman Lawyer of the Year in recognition of her international litigation practice and for her efforts in representing the rights of those seeking asylum in the United States. She has devoted a substantial portion of her practice to pro bono work, representing refugee organizations and refugees seeking asylum in the United States. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has retained Ana for representation in numerous appellate matters and commissioned her to draft a comprehensive report on asylum law in the United States. Ana is a Clinical Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School, where she co-teaches Advocacy in International Arbitration. Ana was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2000. In 2014, Ana also received a Master’s in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.
Corinne Redfern
Journalist

Corinne Redfern is a multi-award winning foreign correspondent focused on investigative reporting that raises awareness of issues impacting women and their communities, exposes injustice and leads to accountability.

In 2019, Corinne won an Amnesty Media Award for her feature for ELLE magazine (UK), which followed the story of a 19 year-old whose husband had sold her to one of Bangladesh’s numerous ‘brothel villages’. The feature was also shortlisted for a One World Media Award.

Corinne has also won a BSME Award for her reporting on the Syrian refugee crisis for Marie Claire (UK) magazine, and a PPA Award for her role at Time Inc (UK), where she headed up a team of journalists reporting on international issues affecting women, including the Israel-Palestine conflict and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. She has been a finalist for a UNHCR Award, a Devex Award and a PPA Award for Writer of the Year.

Corinne is based in Southeast Asia, reporting for The Fuller Project on untold stories around exploitation, trafficking and gender inequality. She has reported from over 20 countries in four continents, including investigating the links between child marriage and sex trafficking in Bangladesh, maternal health and malnutrition across West Africa, and exploring the impact of conflict on women during the Mosul siege in Iraq.

In 2017, Corinne’s reporting on underage girls in a Bangladeshi brothel assisted in the rescue and release of 20 adolescent girls, while her ongoing investigation into trafficking in the region has led non-governmental organizations to update their programming and factor child marriage into their country-wide trafficking response. Corinne’s reporting has also led to impact on the official level. Following her coverage on the high rate of suicide amongst girls and women working in brothels in Bangladesh, and a ban on their public burials, one local government began allowing sex workers to arrange formal funerals. In the Philippines, less than one month after Corinne reported (with The Fuller Project’s Sophia Jones) on sham virginity testing for Marie Claire magazine, local medical professionals said they had ended the practice.

Corinne’s reporting on trafficking and sexual exploitation — including exclusively revealing a more than two-fold surge in links to child sexual abuse materials during COVID-19 — has been featured on PBS News and ABC Australia.

Corinne is currently investigating the U.S. role in the exploitation of women and girls across Asia.
Prior to joining The Fuller Project in 2019, Corinne was Acting Features Director at Marie Claire (UK). Her reporting has been published in The Washington Post, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, BBC, The Daily Telegraph and many others.

Recent reporting by Corinne:

Bangladesh’s Child Marriage Problem Is the World’s Human Trafficking Crisis – Foreign Policy 

The living hell of young girls enslaved in Bangladesh’s brothels – The Guardian

‘I’m Too Tired To Cry’: The Laotian Girls Who Are Kidnapped To Become Child Brides – The Lily

Erica Hellerstein
Journalist

Erica Hellerstein is a journalist covering gender for The Fuller Project, where she is focused on raising awareness of issues impacting women and their communities. 

Erica has written extensively about gender and human rights issues throughout the United States and Latin America, from reproductive rights in Argentina and Chile, the black market for abortion pills on the U.S.-Mexico border, Colombian survivors of sexual violence during the civil war, criminal justice, immigration, and the environment in North Carolina, and poverty and inequality in California.

In 2018, Erica’s investigation into the civil rights and environmental impacts of North Carolina’s commercial hog farming industry won several honors, including the Reed Award for Environmental Writing and the Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists. It was also a finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Award for Investigative Reporting. In 2017, Erica traveled to Honduras with the support of the International Women’s Media Foundation to retrace the journey of a young woman seeking asylum from domestic violence, spending a year following her case as it wound through the U.S. immigration court system. As a follow-up, in 2018, she spent months investigating the impacts of a decision to eliminate domestic violence as a basis for asylum on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Previously, Erica covered poverty and inequality in the Bay Area with the San Jose Mercury News and Report for America, was an investigative reporter with INDY Week in North Carolina, and worked on the award-winning PBS/Frontline documentary, “Rape in the Fields”, about sexual assault in the agricultural industry.

Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Marie Claire, The Lily, USA Today, Elle, and the San Jose Mercury News, among others, and her investigations have been highlighted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more. She has a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Oakland, California. 

Recent reporting by Erica:

Health Clinics Struggle to Stay Open – Daily Democrat

Meet Universal Basic Income’s Unlikely Bay Area Evangelist – East Bay Times

Childcare Costs Rise in Bay Area as Supply Declines – The Mercury News

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.
Jenna Krajeski
Journalist

Jenna Krajeski is a journalist with The Fuller Project, where her groundbreaking reporting on women raises awareness and exposes injustice. Jenna’s work on female trafficking and exploitation has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Foreign Policy, and has been featured onThe Leonard Lopate Show, On The Media and the Slate podcast “What Next”. Other work has appeared in Slate magazine, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the World Policy Journal, the Atlantic, and the Smithsonian Magazine, among other publications.

Jenna’s piece on trafficking and immigration under the Trump administration for The New Yorker Radio Hour was nominated for a Dart Award and a Gracie Award. She was a 2016 Knight-Wallace fellow in journalism at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and in 2019 became a visiting lecturer in the Global Affairs department of Yale University.

Jenna is the author, with Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad, of Ms. Murad’s memoir “The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State” and the co-author of a forthcoming book about Congo, Rwanda, and the refugee crisis.

Prior to joining The Fuller Project, Jenna was based in Cairo, Egypt where she was the Arts and Culture Editor of the English-language version of Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm,  where she reported on art, politics, and the Egyptian revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak. In late 2011, she moved to Istanbul, Turkey where for four years with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, she focused on the Kurdish minority in southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, and northeastern Syria, as well as the shifting politics and growing authoritarianism in Turkey.

 She is currently based in Queens, New York.

Recent reporting by Jenna:

What the World Loses if Turkey Destroys the Syrian Kurds – The New York Times

Trump’s Human Trafficking Record Is Fake News – Foreign Policy

The Hypocrisy of Trump’s Anti-Trafficking Argument for a Border Wall – The New Yorker

Jessica Washington
Journalist

Jessica Washington is a journalist with The Fuller Project focused on women and health, especially as it relates to the coronavirus. She raises awareness of issues impacting women and their communities to expose injustice.

Before joining The Fuller Project, Jessica covered reproductive health for Mother Jones, publishing over 50 articles with a focus on access to care, the judiciary and state policies. Prior to working at Mother Jones, she worked for “All in With Chris Hayes” as a production assistant and digital content producer.

Her work has appeared in Mother Jones, NBC News,MSNBC, NBC News.com, and in The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Jessica graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where she was a staff writer for The Daily Pennsylvanian covering the diversity beat and focusing on race, religion, gender, and sexuality in relation to politics and campus dynamics. She is now based in Washington, D.C.

Recent reporting by Jessica:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting—During a Pandemic – Mother Jones 

House Republicans Tried to Capitalize on Coronavirus to Sneak Anti-Abortion Language Into Law – Mother Jones

Jodi Rudoren
Board Member
Jodi Rudoren, a reporter and editor at The New York Times since 1998, is the Associate Managing Editor for Audience. 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.
Khushbu Shah
Interim Editor in Chief

Khushbu Shah is the Interim Editor in Chief of The Fuller Project, overseeing and implementing the editorial agenda and the newsroom’s groundbreaking reporting on women to expose injustice and spur accountability. She also leads partnerships with a myriad of prestigious U.S. and international outlets.

Khushbu brings deep expertise on the interconnected issues impacting women and their communities to the Interim Editor in Chief role, where she upholds the highest standards of The Fuller Project’s unbiased, non-partisan, rigorous journalism.

In 2016 Khushbu was the producer for CNN Correspondent Ed Lavandera covering the Charlotte, North Carolina protests after police shot a Black man sitting in his car, reporting which won the  Murrow Award in 2017. As the sole producer on site  for the investigative team  reporting on the undercounted deaths and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria in 2017, her team won the 2018 Murrow Award, and was  nominated for the Peabody award. She was editor and producer for three CNN Emmy-nominated teams for breaking news coverage in Ukraine in 2014, Typhoon Haiyan in 2015 and network-wide Hurricane coverage in 2018.

Khushbu reports on the intersection of race, politics and social justice, writing regularly for outlets such as The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Lily, Pacific Standard and Columbia Journalism Review, amongst others. Her in-depth reporting on police brutality in the U.S. has brought light to the stories of families and mothers of Black men and women killed by police. In her reported series on the killing of Ahmaud Arbery for The Guardian, she obtained 911 calls and the resignation letter of a district attorney assigned to the case, and examined in-depth the breakdown of the criminal justice system following Arbery’s death  in Brunswick, Georgia.

Her reporting exposes injustices impacting women, ranging from abortion access in the South to and immigration and inequality across Latin America. She spent months after the November 2016 election crisscrossing the United States interviewing Americans who had voted for President Trump from Washington to Wyoming for CNN. In 2018, Khushbu profiled a pregnant mother and her children and the transgender women making their way to the U.S. amid the migrant caravan traveling via Tijuana on the border with Mexico.

Prior to joining The Fuller Project, Khushbu spent over a decade at prominent media outlets including CNN, BBC, NPR/PBS-licensed stations and multiple networks. She began her career as an editor at age 24 in Afghanistan where she led a team of 25 researchers for Moby Group, a news and entertainment group that now reaches 300 million. A member of both the South American Journalists Association and the Asian American Journalists Association, she has worked from Afghanistan, India, the West Bank, Venezuela, Mexico and across the United States and now resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a grantee of The International Women’s Media Fund for reporting on undocumented South Asian female immigrants in the U.S.

Khushbu speaks Spanish, Gujarati and basic Arabic. She has a B.A. from The University of California, Berkeley and was awarded a Masters of Science from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Recent reporting by Khushbu:

Mothers of Black Americans killed by police speak out – The Guardian

Reported series on police brutality and Ahmaud Arbery – The Guardian

Our dad is dead: the families left behind after police shootings – The Guardian

Motel Industry Turmoil Blocks Indian-American Path to Prosperity – Bloomberg Businessweek

How racism and poverty made Detroit a new coronavirus hot spot – Vox

When Your Family Spreads Misinformation – The Atlantic

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.

Lilian Tan
Chief Operating Officer

Lilian Tan is the Chief Operating Officer of The Fuller Project — focused on strategy, operations, institution building and culture —  ensuring the organization’s groundbreaking reporting on women reaches diverse audiences around the world. Lilian collaborates closely with the internal Fuller team, along with editors and partners working on women and journalism to boost the success and impact of our reporting.

Lilian is an experienced strategy and operations professional with a focus on socially conscious organizations. She has worked across Fortune 500 companies, Forbes 100 largest non-profits, high growth startups, Corporate Social Responsibility departments, and educational institutions to help them grow in a financially sustainable manner and support their missions.  

Before joining The Fuller Project, Lilian worked as a management consultant for Grant Thornton’s Not-for-Profit & Higher Education Advisory practice, one of the largest in the country. There, she advised a range of organizations focused on humanitarian needs, social services, foundations, health, and education as they sought to revise their long-term strategies to ensure maximum impact. She also directed them in how to best evaluate investments in new programs and services to meet their beneficiaries’ needs and assess and improve their fundraising, operations, human relations, finance, and technology practices to promote sustainable and effective growth.

Most recently, Lilian lived and worked in Kampala, Uganda for an organization focused on providing renewable energy and financially inclusive products to more than 600,000 low-income rural households in Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mozambique. She has worked with organizations including USAID, Save the Children, Open Society Foundation, Rotary International, National Marrow Donor Program, World Bank, Signify Foundation, and UNICEF.

Lilian received her Master of Business Administration from New York University, where she was a Forté Foundation Fellow, and her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. She is now based at The Fuller Project headquarters in Washington, D.C., and, when not working, Lilian enjoys hiking, camping, running, and relaxing behind her piano or a good book. 

Louise Donovan
Journalist

Louise Donovan is an award-winning journalist based in East Africa, where she works closely with the editorial team of Kenya’s largest newspaper, The Daily Nation, raising awareness of issues impacting women and exposing injustices. Louise manages The Fuller Project’s strategic partnership with The Daily 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.

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.

Recent reporting by Louise: 

A Transport Ban in Uganda Means Women are Trapped at Home With Their Abusers – CNN

Sex Workers’ Dilemma amid Covid-19 – The Daily Nation

‘You Are Beautiful’: the Kenyan Beauty Parlour Serving Female Heroin Users – The Guardian

Malcolm Burnley
Journalist

Malcolm Burnley is a multimedia journalist whose groundbreaking reporting focuses on women facing economic insecurity. Malcolm contributes to The Fuller Project’s coverage of race and gender, often reporting untold stories on topics such as maternal health, incarceration, and workplace discrimination to raise awareness of issues impacting women, expose injustice and promote accountability.

On the cover of Time magazine in September 2019, Malcolm reported on the women in the tipped workforce, who haven’t received a raise in decades and make just $2.83 in Pennsylvania. The story was discussed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe by Senator Claire McCaskill and tweeted by Governor Tom Wolf and presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Several waitresses featured in the story received large unsolicited donations from readers. One of them got a job interview for a full-time position with benefits as a result of the story.

His interview with Brittney Cooper, a professor of gender and Africana studies and the author of Eloquent Rage, was featured in the New York Times and generated a robust discussion on social media. The conversation focused on black feminist themes related to COVID-19 and the recent nationwide protests.

Prior to joining The Fuller Project, Malcolm was a seasoned freelancer working for outlets like WURD radio, Philadelphia magazine, WHYY, and POLITICO magazine. His extensive reporting on public space and equity was widely read by policymakers at the state and local level. He investigated the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, and allegations of corruption at an EPA Superfund site. Malcolm launched two podcasts, including an eight-part series called The Missionary, which focused on the story of Renee Bach, an American woman accused of killing children while posing as a fake doctor in Uganda. As a college student, Malcolm’s reporting led to the discovery of a long lost unknown Malcolm X tape (All Things Considered). He’s a former editorial fellow at The Atlantic and a 2012 graduate of Brown University.

Malcolm is now based in Philadelphia and takes being named after Malcolm X seriously. But not too seriously. In addition to reporting on inequity and injustice, he likes writing features on oddballs, iconoclasts, and fringe characters, maybe because he is one himself.

Recent reporting by Malcolm:

Author Brittney Cooper on Harnessing Rage, Right Now – The New York Times 

This Financial Coaching Pilot is Helping Cash-Strapped Women During COVID-19 – The Philadelphia Citizen 

Low Wages, Sexual Harassment and Unreliable Tips. This Is Life in America’s Booming Service Industry – TIME Magazine 

Marta Martinez
Contributing Editor for Audience Engagement

Marta Martinez is a multimedia journalist with The Fuller Project, working to raise awareness on issues impacting women and their communities.  

Marta specializes in long-form journalism and documentary, covering human rights, gender, migration and inequality mostly in developing and post-conflict countries. She has reported on how the economic crisis in Venezuela strangled women’s reproductive rights, why straight women are marrying each other in northern Tanzania, the reintegration of female child soldiers in Uganda and how the genocide trial came together in Guatemala.

Marta’s work has appeared on CNN, VICE, The New Humanitarian, Le Monde and El País, among other media. She is also the audience engagement editor at Dromómanos, a journalistic production company reporting on regional and systemic issues in Latin America that uses new narratives and audience-centered approaches.

Prior to joining The Fuller Project, Marta worked as a fact-checker for The New York Times, as a researcher for The New Yorker and a translation editor for The Wall Street Journal. She has also led digital teams and developed content and social media strategies for non-profit organizations like the United Nations, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Drug Policy Alliance.  

Marta is a grantee of the  International Women in Media Foundation and the European Journalism Centre and holds a master’s degree from New York University in narrative journalism. She is currently based in New York, and is originally from Spain. 

Recent reporting by Marta:

Inside the Colombian ‘War Hospital’ Treating Venezuela’s Pregnancy Crisis – The New Humanitarian

Straight Women Are Marrying Each Other for Safety in Tanzania – VICE

Kony’s Legacy Persists for Children Born From His Army’s Sexual Violence – The Atlantic

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.
Miriam Mahlow
Board Member
As a Managing Director in the Development and Outreach Department at Human Rights Watch, Ms. Mahlow works with supporters in Europe and North America. She served as founding director of Human Rights Watch’s Germany Committee and helped to establish HRW offices in five countries. Formerly working from Istanbul, she is in charge of Human Rights Watch’s Development presence in North America, Germany and The Netherlands.  Formerly, Miriam worked as a journalist in Africa; a press officer for the United Nations, in Dili, East Timor; and an external staff member for the World Economic Forum. Miriam was born and raised in Berlin, Germany.
Rachel Dissell
Contributing Data Journalist

Rachel Dissell is an investigative journalist with The Fuller Project. Her  groundbreaking reporting on women has changed laws, policies, hearts and minds. She has over two decades of experience reporting untold stories to drive awareness, expose injustice and spur impact, most recently with The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.  

In 2019, Case Closed, her series with Andrea Simakis, explored the systemic failures of the Cleveland police through the experience of a grandmother who had to solve her own rape. The series won the 2020 Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma. Rachel is the only reporter to be honored with the award twice, having first won it in 2008 for the series Johanna: Facing Forward, which chronicled the recovery of Johanna Orozco, a Cleveland teen who was shot in the face by her ex-boyfriend after reporting to police that he had raped her.  

Reinvestigating Rape, a series with reporter Leila Atassi, led to the testing of nearly 14,000 rape kits in Ohio. The new investigations that followed resulted in indictments in nearly 800 cold cases in Cleveland and solved several murders. Researchers built on the project’s early discoveries to redefine the understanding of serial rape in Ohio and beyond. 

Rachel’s reporting has been featured in two award-winning documentaries, “I am Evidence,” which details the stories of women whose rape kits were not tested and  “Roll Red Roll” which examines the seocial-media fueled ‘boys will be boys’ culture in the small Ohio town of Steubenville after a 16-year-old girl was raped by several of the town’s high school football players. 

Toxic Neglect, a series with public health reporter Brie Zeltner, exposed Cleveland’s poor track record when it  investigated children who were lead poisoned, a problem that caused the most harm among poor Black children living in segregated neighborhoods. The series sparked a community-wide effort to proactively protect children from the brain-damaging toxin, including a grassroots citizen petition drive and the formation of a coalition of more than 300 public, private and philanthropic partners who worked to pass a set of laws  requiring all rental homes in the Cleveland area to be inspected for lead hazards.
Rachel trains law enforcement, nurses, advocates and community groups for End Violence Against Women International and the National Center for Victims of Crime. She also has taught emerging journalists at her alma mater, Kent State University.

Recent reporting by Rachel:

Lead Exposure Sets More Cleveland Children On A Poisoned-To-Prison Path – Ideastream

Cleveland’s ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Police Case Happened Four Years Ago – Cleveland.com

Coronavirus In Ohio: Families Weigh Risks Of Sending Loved Ones To Nursing Homes – WOSU Radio

Rebecca Winthrop
Board Member
Dr. Winthrop is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Universal Education. Her research focuses on education in the developing world, with special attention to the skills children need to succeed in life, and improving quality learning for the most marginalized children and youth, including girls and children affected by extreme violence. Prior to joining Brookings in June 2009, Dr. Winthrop spent 15 years working in the field of education for displaced and migrant communities, most recently as the head of education for the International Rescue Committee. She is the co-author of What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment.
Rikha Sharma Rani
Contributing Editor

Rikha Sharma Rani is a journalist and contributing editor for The Fuller Project, where her   groundbreaking reporting raises awareness of  issues impacting women and their communities. She has reported extensively on immigration, human trafficking, and women’s health. She also edits The Fuller Project’s monthly column in Foreign Policy Magazine, which is dedicated to the impact of U.S. foreign policy on the world’s women. 

Rikha was awarded “Silver” in the Consumer Category by the Milwaukee Press Club for her co-reported investigation into the impact of Catholic hospital care on reproductive services in Wisconsin.

Her reporting on the homeschooling challenges facing non-English speaking families during Covid-19 was widely read among educators and featured as a “Lesson of the Day” in The New York Times. Her profile of the first Latina head of America’s largest union of registered nurses helped raise awareness of the administration’s failure to secure personal protective equipment for hospital nurses.  

Rikha’s reporting for The Fuller Project from the US-Mexico border in the fall of 2017 about the devastating toll of family separation, provided some of the earliest first-hand accounts from parents whose children had been taken by U.S. immigration authorities. 

Prior to joining The Fuller Project, Rikha profiled five formerly incarcerated people who were casting their ballots in the 2016 presidential election for the first time, in Politico Magazine. Rikha has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Montgomery Advertiser, The Cap Times, and the Columbia Journalism Review.

From 2014 to 2017, Rikha was Intelligence Director at the Solutions Journalism Network. She has worked extensively in the global health space, including as part of a team in New Delhi, India that negotiated drug prices for the treatment of HIV/AIDS in low-income settings. 

Rikha hails from Toronto, Canada and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she studied economic and political development. She is a former editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Affairs. Rikha is now based in Oakland, California. 

Recent reporting by Rikha:

This Nurse is Leading the Fight for Safer Hospitals – The New York Times

Imagine Online School in a Language You Don’t Understand – The New York Times

Worried About Abortion Laws? Catholic Hospital Mergers Also Seen as Threat to Women’s Health Care – USA TODAY

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
Sophia Jones
Managing Editor and Journalist

Sophia Jones is the Managing Editor of The Fuller Project, leading a global team of reporters dedicated to investigative and groundbreaking journalism on issues impacting women and their communities, raising awareness on under-reported stories, exposing injustice and sparking action. She is also the founding reporter on The Fuller Project team and plays a central and driving role in building the newsroom. 

Sophia is an award-winning journalist and editor who has reported extensively across the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States. Through Sophia’s reporting on the role of women in peace and conflict, she has explored how gender dynamics shape our world today.

In 2019, Sophia received an award from the Military Reporters and Editors Association for her reporting in The New York Times Magazine on Afghan women in the security forces, examining the complicated, expensive, and controversial U.S.-led NATO effort to recruit, train and keep them alive. This reporting spurred the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Ministry of Defense to advance their sexual harassment policies, and the NATO-led Resolute Support mission announced it was reassessing its recruitment approach of Afghan women to ensure their safety.

Sophia’s journalism routinely breaks new ground in media coverage, highlighting critical gender dimensions, from how climate change in Afghanistan is leading to child marriage and threatening future prospects for peace, to the lack of justice for the wives of ISIS fighters and their children in Iraq. 

Sophia’s four-part series on sham virginity testing in the U.S. and globally for Marie Claire, which included a New York doctor admitting on record to performing the abusive practice despite there being no medical basis, led to immediate impact. The week after her investigation, the rapper T.I. addressed the issue on a podcast, saying he forced his daughter to undergo virginity tests. Sophia’s rigorous reporting underpinned subsequent coverage by dozens of news outlets, and contributed to a reckoning in social media and within the medical community. In response, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a first-ever statement about the sham practices, and New York State and California introduced legislation to ban hymen exams. Shortly after publication, medical professionals in the Philippines told The Fuller Project they officially halted the practice of hymen exams, an invasive procedure that previously allowed doctors in government-funded clinics to issue phony virginity cards to women in the sex trade so pimps could charge more.

She conceived and edited a multi-award winning series in 2018 with ELLE UK on women fighting for rights around the world. One of the articles she edited focused on a squad of policewomen in India investigating and responding to rape. Following publication, the police chief running the program petitioned for more funding and the program expanded to several other Indian states, reportedly employing some 400 policewomen.  

Sophia’s reporting from Afghanistan was shortlisted for the Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism and the South Asian Journalists Association’s Daniel Pearl Award for outstanding reporting from South Asia. She was a 2017 grantee of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, European Journalism Centre, and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and a 2019 grantee with the National Geographic Society. 

Sophia has written and reported for The New York Times Magazine, Marie Claire Magazine, Politico, Foreign Policy, TIME, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, NPR, Public Radio International, Elle, Glamour Magazine, SIERRA Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Beast, The New Republic, Reuters, and others. Prior to joining The Fuller Project in 2017, Sophia served as HuffPost’s Middle East correspondent from 2013-2016. Before that, she worked as a freelance journalist. 

Sophia is certified in battlefield medical aid and trained to safely and responsibly report from conflict zones. She has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, South Africa, Ghana, Greece, Russia, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Germany, and the United States.

She currently lives in Barcelona with her husband and their rescue dog, Carmelo.

Recent reporting by Sophia:

In Afghanistan, Climate Change Threatens Future Prospects for Peace – National Geographic

A Test With No Answer – Marie Claire

Vauhini Vara
Contributing Editor

Vauhini Vara is a Contributing Editor at The Fuller Project, where her groundbreaking journalism focuses on  raising awareness of issues impacting women and their communities.

Vauhini has won a Burns Prize from the International Journalists’ Programmes for an analysis in the Atlantic of how labor organizations influence German politics, and a National Journalism Award from the Asian American Journalists Association for a reported essay in Harper’s on the Indian-American spelling-bee culture. A year-long project for Businessweek, featuring interviews with workers all over the world in jobs newly created by globalization, was longlisted for a One World Media Award. Vauhini has also received fellowships from the McGraw Center for Business Journalism and the International Center for Journalists.

Vauhini’s reporting on globalization, capitalism, labor, and migration has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Businessweek, and elsewhere.

Vauhini is also an O. Henry Prize-winning writer of fiction, and her stories have appeared in journals including McSweeney’s, Tin House, and Zyzzyva. Her fiction has won honors from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Yaddo Corporation. W.W. Norton will publish her debut novel, The Immortal King Rao, in 2021, followed by her story collection, This is Salvaged, in 2022. 

For nine years, Vauhini was a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, where she originated the Facebook beat. Afterwards, she launched the business section of The New Yorker’s website, where she also became an editor and contributing writer. She has edited for the website of the Atlantic and worked as a staff writer for the California Sunday Magazine. Vauhini teaches creative writing and journalism and is a  mentor for the Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s Book Project. She was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, and also grew up in Oklahoma and the Seattle suburbs. She now resides in Colorado. 

Recent reporting by Vauhini:

Workers of the World – Bloomberg Businessweek

Small World: How the Tiny-House Trend Has Rebranded Affordable Housing into Design Chic – Believer Magazine

Bee-Brained: Inside the Competitive Indian-American Spelling Community – Harper’s Magazine

Xanthe Scharff, PhD
Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Scharff is the CEO and Cofounder of The Fuller Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to groundbreaking reporting on women worldwide that raises awareness, exposes injustice and spurs accountability.

Under her leadership, The Fuller Project has evolved from a grassroots start-up to the global newsroom dedicated to reporting on women and publishing with leading outlets. Since its cofounding in 2015 from Turkey, The Fuller Project newsroom has won various accolades including the Military Reporters & Editors Award, the One World Media Award, the Amnesty International Media Award, the Milwaukee Press Club Silver Award; reporting has also been shortlisted for the Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism, One World Media Award, South Asia Journalism Association Daniel Pearl Award, and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Award. 

At The Fuller Project, Xanthe heads an organization that includes several dozen editors, reporters, global contributors, and senior business leaders. The team’s reporting has spurred the introduction of new legislation to protect women and girls in the U.S., the hiring of hundreds of policewomen in India, the banning of virginity testing in state hospitals in The Philippines, and much more. She has raised nearly $25 million for The Fuller Project and other nonprofits that raise the voices of women and girls, and she has led The Fuller Project through year-on growth, more than tripling organizational resources between 2019 and 2020.  

Xanthe is an award-winning nonprofit founder and journalist whose reporting has been featured in Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and beyond. During the coronavirus pandemic, she was among the first to write about the disproportionate impact of the economic crisis on women in a major U.S. news outlet (TIME). Xanthe then called for a federal release of data to better inform policies in The Boston Globe. She and her team reported based on exclusive statistics received from 17 state agencies to show women as the majority of unemployment seekers in all states. Over a dozen journalism outlets including The New York Times sourced The Fuller Project’s data reporting, which led the national news cycle three weeks ahead of federal data releases.

In 2019, Xanthe was named among the top 40 under 40 by the Leadership Center for Excellence for outstanding public service. Xanthe is the Founder and Board Chair Emeritus of Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa, a thriving nonprofit in East Africa which has served 3,000 girls with secondary school opportunities. The UN gave AGE Africa a good practice award, and Michelle Obama endorsed the organization’s work. CBS’s The Early Show, Voice of AmericaThe Christian Science Monitor, and several African media outlets. The nonprofit named the Xanthe Scharff Workplace Experience project in her honor.  

Formerly, Xanthe was the Associate Director at the Center for Universal Education at Brookings where she led research and programming on girls’ education. There, she published extensively and edited a volume on girls’ education, built a partnership with Brookings India, and facilitated a network of 60 global foundations. She was an Education Pioneers Fellow and a Peace Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace during her investigation into government and donor failures to support the survivors of a devastating 20-year war in Northern Uganda.

The Fletcher School awarded Xanthe her doctorate in International Relations for research on post-conflict education, during which she was named Minear Fellow, Earhart Fellow, Henry Leir Fellow, and was an Active Citizenship Fellow. She was also a D.C. Education Fellow and worked at the District of Columbia Public Schools. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and she has worked with organizations including The World Bank, United Nations, Arabella Advisors, CARE, and Save the Children. Xanthe graduated with honors from New York University and completed executive education courses at Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School at Harvard.  

Xanthe serves on the Board of Advisors of The War Horse, an award-winning nonprofit newsroom that supports military spouses and educates the public on military service, having herself been a military spouse during numerous 9/11 deployments. Having lived in Argentina and Peru, Xanthe speaks Spanish. She has also lived and worked in Turkey, Uganda, Sudan, and Malawi and now leads The Fuller Project’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she lives with her two children. If not working, you can find her running, reading, or heading to the woods. 

Recent Reporting by Xanthe:

Federal Government Needs to Change How it Releases Unemployment Data – Boston Globe

Why the Coronavirus Outbreak Could Hit Women Hardest – TIME


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