Jika González is a freelance journalist, photographer and multimedia producer from Mexico City. She is currently pursuing her master's degree at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. Jika has gained experience at Magnum Photos, BizBash Media, Conde Nast Traveler, and CNN's Mexico City bureau. For more information please visit www.jikagonzalez.com.
Joe Bigley is a multi-media visual artist who has shown work in the U.S., Europe, and China. He received his M.F.A. in sculpture from Alfred University in 2008 and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.
John Schellhase is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in the Philippines. During his twenty-seven month assignment, John taught English and education courses at the University of Antique, led HIV/AIDS prevention seminars, and conducted professional development trainings for Filipino teachers. He received a B.A. with a double-major in English and Classical Studies from the University of Arkansas in 2006. In the fall of 2011, he will begin an M.S. in Global Affairs at New York University.
JoJo Brisendine is a former student of continental philosophy and a PhD candidate in biochemistry at the City University of New York. His main interest is the application of statistical physics to problems in the organization and evolution of life. More information about his research group may be found here and more of his fledgling efforts as a science writer may be found here. You can follow him on Twitter @VivaMachina.
Josh is a graduate of James Madison University where he earned a degree in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Communities. After spending his junior year studying at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, Josh moved to Tel Aviv to serve as a volunteer coordinator for Amnesty International’s Israel Section, working to promote awareness of Israel’s less-talked about humanitarian crisis: the influx of African refugees.
Justin Petropoulos is the author of two collections of poetry, Eminent Domain (Marsh Hawk Press, 2011), selected by Anne Waldman for the 2010 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize, and <Legend> </Legend> (Jaded Ibis Press, 2013), a collaborative work with multimedia artist, Carla Gannis. His poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Crab Creek Review, Gulf Coast, Mandorla, Portland Review, and most recently in Spinning Jenny. He has an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University.
Karl Fotovat studies and teaches philosophy and psychoanalysis in New York. He represses literary aspirations, runs a nonprofit prevarication organization for the wealthy, helps young ladies cross the street, and wavers between sardonicism and misanthropy.
Katherine J. Chen is a sophomore at Princeton University majoring in English with certificates in Creative Writing and East Asian Studies. She is involved with publications on campus and currently works as a writer and intern for several professional websites and online magazines.
Kavitha Rajagopalan is the author of Muslims of Metropolis: The Stories of Three Immigrant Families in the West, a narrative nonfiction examination of migration, integration and identity formation in three Muslim immigrant families: a Palestinian family from Jerusalem to London, a Kurdish family from Turkey to Berlin, a Bangladeshi family from Dhaka to New York City. Her research involved policy analysis, in-depth interviews and social immersion, and media monitoring, and took her to Germany, the U.K., the Palestinian Territories, India, Syria, and Turkey.
Kayhan Irani is an Emmy award winning writer, a performer, and a Theater of the Oppressed trainer.Through theater, storytelling, and art-making, her work creatively addresses real-world issues and builds spaces for interaction, dialogue, and deeper civic engagement.
Kerem Sengun is a German-Turkish researcher and writer with an interdisciplinary background and omnivorous inclinations. Kerem holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the New School University in New York. His research and writing interests have centered on the lived experience of socioeconomic transformation as it is affected by dispossession and accumulation.
Laura Rodríguez Arias is journalist, focusing on culture, politics and society for numerous online publications. Previously she worked for several print publications in Spain, and brought to fruition a cultural television program. Laura now lives in Uruguay where she is earning her Master’s in Latin American studies.
A native of Germany, Laura has earned her BFA in Musical Theater, a Certificate in Screen Writing, a Certificate in 16mm Film Production, an MA in Media Studies, and an MA in International Affairs. She lives in New York City.
Lauren Young is currently a research assistant looking at governance and private sector investment in Africa at the Center for Global Development. Lauren joins CGD from Monrovia where she worked for the past year in Liberia facilitating projects related to returnee reintegration as a Grants Manager for the American Refugee Committee. She graduated from Stanford University with a BA in International Relations and honors in International Security Studies.
Leigh Held is a graduate of the Boston University College of Communication. During her time in Boston she worked as a nighthawk on the Boston Globe’s sports desk and for CFO magazine. She began writing her first novel as a senior in college, and is now working on the second. Currently, she freelances her work can be also be found at www.buzzine.com.
Leslie Hodgkins is a writer, editor, and filmmaker who views the creation of work across different media as interchangeable according to needs and circumstances. Materials, ideas, language, narratives, technologies, and actions are all particularized to complex machinations and are often repeated through whatever forms are desired or accessible.
Lisa M. Allen holds a B.A. in History from the University of Texas at Austin and an MSc in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is currently enrolled in the Terrorism Studies Certificate Program through the University of St. Andrews, and is a Terrorism Blogger for the Foreign Policy Association. She currently lives and works in Washington, D.C.
Lisa Guáqueta studied economics at Universidad Externado de Colombia and holds a master's degree in international affairs from The New School. Her interests include the urban dynamics of Latin America, especially the role of cities and local governments in international issues. She is both fascinated by and fearful of boarded up windows and doors, and, for some strange reason, takes many photos of abandonded industrial structures.
Lisa is a PhD student at the New School for Social Research in New York City. She earned her B.A. (Hon) from the University of Toronto, and an MSc in philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. Her interests hover around the intersections of ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of language. She’s currently writing a dissertation on feminism and speech-act theory, and teaching philosophy at St. John’s University. She lives in Toronto and New York City.
Born in Costa Rica, Lucía lives and works in Karlsruhe, Germany. Her production comprises painting, video, and installation. Lucía studied painting at the Universidad de Costa Rica (1995-2000) and she was awarded with the DAAD (German Service for Academic Exchange) Artist’s Scholarship to study Media Art in the Hochschule fur Gestaltung, Karlsruhe- Germany (2003-4).
M. Junaid Levesque-Alam, a Foreign Policy In Focus contributor, lives in New York. He has been published in several outlets, including Altmuslim.com, Antiwar.com, and The Nation's website. He writes about America and Islam on his website, Crossing the Crescent.
Malalai Joya is one of Afghanistan’s leading democracy activists. In 2005, she became the youngest person ever elected to the Afghan parliament. She was suspended in 2007 for her denunciation of warlords and their cronies in government. She has just written her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Woman Who Dared to Speak Out (Scribner, 2009). Visit her personal website here.
Marianna Gurtovnik's interests lie in foreign policy, international security, and energy security. She has written on these topics for World Politics Review, Transitions Online, and the Congressionally-funded Project on National Security Reform (PNSR). For PNSR, she completed research studies on the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. Government's response to the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) and the Suez Canal Crisis (1956). She holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from American University in Washington, DC.
A political scientist and organizer, peacebuilder, and international law professional, Marie is on a mission to create thousands of high quality jobs for and by young people in the fields of social enterprise, peacebuilding, and justice. Marie is Director of Development at The Amani Institute. She is an impactful alumna of Seeds of Peace, UNDP, and Obama 2012, and a current THNK participant and Senior Development Advisor to The Peace Alliance. Marie has lived and worked on every continent except Oceania and Antarctica (but she could be convinced some day!).
Marion Arnaud is Project Officer at the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP). The Coalition, launched in January 2009, is hosted by the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP). Currently composed of 16 organizations from all regions of the world, the Coalition works to advance RtoP at the international, regional and national levels.
Mariya Yefremova is a dual citizen of Russia and the United States. She received two Bachelor degrees from Hunter College (New York City) in Political Science and English Literature. After working for an environmental organization recruiting volunteers and teaching people how to reduce, reuse, and recycle, she receieved a Master of Human Rights degree from Central European University (Budapest). Mariya is now studying Human Rights and Humanitarian Action in Sciences Po Paris and teaching French students English. In her free time, Mariya blogs for the Huffington Post.
Martin Searle graduated with a B.A. in European Social and Political Studies from University College London. He subsequently worked for an international risk management company, and then on a campaign for the European Election held in 2009. He is now a graduate student of International Affairs at the New School.
Matthew Young is a DJ, artist, and designer. Spinning records since 1993, he is an avid collector of soulful music from around the globe. With DJ sets ranging from house music in Washington, DC to reggae in Shanghai, he is currently active in the nightlife scene in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Matthew is called Chewie by his mates, DJ Chew Rocks by clubgoers, and Madhav by his in-laws.
Max Weintraub received his Ph.D. in the History of Art from Bryn Mawr College in 2006, where he completed his dissertation on the art of Bruce Nauman. Max has worked in curatorial and educational departments at the Denver Art Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art. From 2006-08 he was the curator of The Reis Collection of Modern & Contemporary Art in New York City.
Maximillian Ashwill is a DC-based writer and specialist in many themes related to international affairs. He has published dozens of articles for journals, blogs, and books. Prior to completing his Master’s degree at The New School in New York, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and lived for over a half of decade in other developing countries, especially in Latin America and the Middle East. Since 2008, Maximillian has worked with the World Bank.
Meg Beach-Hacking holds a B.A. in Theater Arts from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. A self-described “citizen of the world,” her youth was spent cultivating irreplaceable life experiences in Eastern Africa, Eastern Europe, and South America. An amateur psychoanalyst, she explores the interactions of characters in film and how the character’s own psychological development affects his or her interpersonal relationships.
Michael J. Jordan is a Lesotho-based foreign correspondent who has reported from two dozen countries over the past 17 years. He is a long-time correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor -- serving as the Monitor's correspondent in Budapest, at the United Nations, and Bratislava -- and also writes for Foreign Policy, Harvard's Nieman Reports, and many others. In addition to reporting, Michael is a three-time Visiting Scholar at Hong Kong Baptist University in its International Journalism program. He has also taught at the University of Sts.
Michael Marquand is a commercial photographer from Seattle, Washington. His published works include catalogues, advertising, and various editorials. His favorite projects, however, are documentary in nature. He now resides in New York City. More of his work can be viewed on his website: MarquandPhoto.com.
Minal Bopaiah is a media consultant and founder of Brevity & Wit (www.brevityandwit.com), which specializes in developing media strategies for social enterprises. You can follow her on Twitter @mbopaiah or contact her at minal(at)brevityandwit.com.
A born and bred Capetonian, Miné Venter enjoys nothing more than wasting time with her three canine children, Sammy, Lani, and Lilo; spending countless hours in dark and musty second-hand bookshops; and frequenting the many coffee shops in and around Cape Town. She is currently conducting research for her doctoral studies at Stellenbosch University.
Natalia Cardona is Advocacy Coordinator for Social Watch, a South based network of more than 250 civil society organizations located around the globe, which works to hold governments accountable for the commitments they have made to reduce poverty and increase gender equality. She recently traveled to Uruguay.
Navjot Singh, a British writer and freelance journalist, is the author of: Newcomer's Handbook Country Guide: China: Including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen (Firstbooks & InkwaterPress, U.S.A., 2008), and also China: The Business Traveller's Handbook (Stacey International, U.K., 2009). He has lived and worked in China for many years.
If my former students could describe me in five words, one of those adjectives would be listed. My work involves and array of interests including political socialization, peace education, yoga studies and dance/choreography/photography. In the future, I hope to work for Sesame Street, Alvin Ailey and have my own organization for young, creative women to build their careers in dance and theater.
Nicola Macnaughton graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in Politics in 2006. She is currently volunteering with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) – an international development organization that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries.
Born in 1989 in Tehran, Iran, Obaash started his first band at the age of 15, covering punk songs by Iggy Pop, The Stooges, Misfits, and Rancid. In 2007, he joined the Yellow Dogs, a band that was instrumental in building an underground rock scene in Tehran. Three years later the Yellow Dogs played their first legal show… in Istanbul, Turkey. Since then they have traveled the United States and were featured in the documentary No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009). http://www.myspace.com/theyellowdogsband / http://www.theyellowdogsband.com/
Odimegwu Onwumere is a member of Poets for Human Rights and a Resident Poet for Champions For Nigeria, United Kingdom. Odimegwu is a voracious reader, professional and prolific writer, researcher, journalist, poet, thinker, social critic, political analyst, and activist. He has published two books: Piquant: Love Poems To Prince Tonye Princewill (2008) and The Many Wrong Doings of Madam Do-Good (2009), and has many unpublished manuscripts looking for a publisher.
Omar Baig is an independent scholar who splits his time between Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, Virginia. His research interests include Ethics, Critical Animal Studies, and Speculative Realism. Baig’s areas of specialization are Post-Kantian Continental Philosophy and American and European intellectual history.
Omar Abdullah al-Fotihi was born and raised in Sana’a, Yemen. He spent his senior year of high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. before returning to work in Yemen for two years. He is currently studying peace and global studies at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.
Omar Mullick was born and raised in London and studied politics, philosophy, and economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He spent six years in fashion photography and the film industry, shooting music videos and commercials before turning to documentary photography. His long- term project “Can’t take it with you” explores the lives of Muslim Americans, and has been published in the New York Times and National Geographic.
Padmini Narumanchi has been an educator in New York City since 2002, and has most recently taught documentary filmmaking to teens in Brooklyn. She is interested in the intersection of global environmental sustainability, psychology, gender and ethnicity in film. She is a writer, photographer and film lover. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley (B.A., Film Studies), the University of Southern California (M.F.A., Film and Video Production) and Long Island University (M.S. Ed, Secondary Education).
Patricia (Tricia) DeGennaro is an adjunct professor at New York University’s Department of Politics where she teaches courses on international security, U.S. foreign policy, and civilian and military relations. In addition to her work as a professor, she is a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute and a professional service provider and a subject matter expert on Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Arab Guff States, Pakistan, and Iran for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.
Patrick Nolan Guyer is a statistician with the American Human Development Project at the Social Science Research Council in Brooklyn, NY. Patrick holds a BA in Political Science from McGill University and an MA in International Affairs from the New School. He has researched and written on human development and human rights in various contexts and also counts among his interests the study of languages, electoral politics throughout the Americas, and strategies for sustainable marine resource management. He also dances, quite badly, but with much gusto.
Born in Baghdad in 1953, Qasim Sabti graduated from the Baghdad Academy of Fine Arts (1980) and now teaches art in his home city. A painter and a collagist, Sabti's work has been featured in nine solo exhibitions in Baghdad, Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Kyoto. Currently he is the Vice President of the Iraqi Plastic Artists Society, Secretary of the Iraqi Cultural Council, and owner of the Hewar Art Gallery in Baghdad. www.qasimsabti.com.
Ruthie Ackerman is a senior fellow at the World Policy Insitute and the founder of Ceasefire Liberia, a hyperlocal blog project that focuses on Liberia and the diaspora. Learn more about Ceasefire Liberia here.
Sahar has worked on productions that have aired both nationally and internationally. A story about eight international writers traveling the United States to learn about the falls and recoveries in U.S.’s history, from the civil rights movement to Katrina, was produced by her as a full length documentary for Iowa University’s International Writing Program. This documentary was showcased in the Landlocked Film Festival (October of 2012) in the Feature Documentary Category and also published on The Mantle.