After a round of strong applications, we are excited to announce our selection of Transatlantic Media Fellows for 2022.
Each year, we sponsor a select number of journalists from the US and Europe for an independent, five-day, transatlantic trip to research stories relevant to our work on Foreign & Security Policy, Technology & Digital Policy, Climate & Energy Policy, and Democracy & Society. Fellowships are selected annually and are open to journalists in any medium.
Foreign & Security Policy
Akbar Shahid Ahmed is HuffPost’s senior foreign affairs reporter. Based in Washington, D.C., for nearly a decade, he’s reported extensively on how the U.S. crafts its foreign policy. He has highlighted what America’s choices mean for millions of people abroad experiencing crises like the war in Yemen and revealed behind-the-scenes machinations, little-noticed power players and crucial trends. Akbar has also worked across the Muslim-majority world: a Karachi native, he has probed China’s growing influence in his homeland and in 2019, he became the first Pakistani journalist to secure press credentials to report from Israel and Palestine. In Europe, he has covered ties between far right forces and their allies in the U.S., how policy-makers are handling global democratic decline, and efforts to make young voters more active in pan-European politics.
Akbar graduated from Yale University in 2014. He majored in Global Affairs with a focus on international security, completed the selective Grand Strategy program, and served as an editor of the Yale Daily News. He speaks Urdu and French and has previously provided commentary for MSNBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. Additionally, he was part of the first cohort of LGBTI in Foreign Affairs fellows at the Atlantic Council.
With support from the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Washington, DC, Akbar will report from Poland and Lithuania. In Poland, he will develop a feature on the country’s political trajectory ahead of key elections in 2023, with a particular focus on the shock of the Ukraine war and related issues from an economic downturn to the influx of displaced Ukrainians. In Lithuania, Akbar will investigate the country’s embrace of Taiwan and the consequences it has faced from Beijing and pro-China forces in Europe.
Follow him on Twitter: @AkbarSAhmed
Ani Chkhikvadze is a reporter at VOA’s Georgian Service in Washington D.C. She covers geopolitics, regional politics and security issues in Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe for TV and website. Prior joining the VOA, back in Georgia, Ms. Chkhikvadze worked for weekly political magazine Tabula for three years, covering international affairs. Ms. Chkhikvadze’s writing and analysis has appeared in The Washington Post, The Foreign Policy Magazine, The American Interest and The New Republic. She holds master’s degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service of the Georgetown University where she received merit-based scholarship to pursue her studies with a focus on Eastern Europe and Eurasia region, and bachelor’s degree in international relations from the Tbilisi State University. Her primary interests lie in international politics, transatlantic relations and regional politics of Europe and Eurasia.
Follow her on Twitter: @achkhikvadze
Cristina Maza is the foreign policy and defense correspondent for National Journal in Washington D.C., where she covers Congress. Her work focuses on the intersection between foreign policy, national security, and politics, and how policy issues impact people around the world. Besides the United States, she has reported from Central America, Central Asia, Western Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Southeast Asia, and the United Kingdom. She has a master's degree from University College London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies.
Follow her on Twitter: @CrisLeeMaza
Technology & Digital Policy
Leila Barghouty is an investigative journalist and filmmaker based in the United States. Her work focuses on the ways in which police, security forces, and militaries interact with civilians. In addition to conducting long-term investigations into police violence with Stanford University, she has reported on the military commissions in Guantanamo Bay, the compensation courts in Iraq following the so-called war on terror, and the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece. She is currently a supervising producer at The Washington Post, and has previously worked on award-winning documentary teams at Al Jazeera, National Geographic, Netflix, and many others. She holds a master's degree in data journalism from Stanford University.
Her reporting will investigate the role of user-generated video in the aftermath of atrocities committed in Ukraine, and its lasting influence on international law.
Follow her on Twitter: @PLBarghouty
Climate & Energy Policy
Alessandra Bergamin is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles. Her work focuses on the intersection of environmental conflict and human rights around the world. She has written for The Baffler, Harper’s Magazine, National Geographic, DAME Magazine, and Lapham's Quarterly, among others. She is a 2020 IJNR Environmental Justice Reporting Award grantee and a 2019 11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellow. Her work has been shortlisted for the True Story Award, a global journalism prize, and will be included in a forthcoming anthology about anti-capitalist foodways.
Follow her on Twitter: @AllyBergamin
Christina Felschen is a freelance journalist focusing on social justice, migration, and the environment. She was trained (and later taught) at the EJS School of Journalism in Berlin. Christina spent several years covering the effects of U.S. policies on disadvantaged groups, among others with a McCloy Fellowship of the American Council on Germany. Her work has been published, e.g., by Deutschlandfunk, SWR, taz, and Zeit Online, where she also is a freelance news and podcast editor. She received an Andere Zeiten Journalism Award in 2021.
Christina will investigate how British Columbia’s remaining old-growth forests can be saved from destruction before the current logging moratorium runs out next year. She will meet with indigenous land-rights holders, politicians, lobbyists, forestry workers, environmentalists, and forest ecologists to find out what is at stake for them in the negotiations – and how the rising global demand for wood pellets as energy source affects the decision to protect or sell forest land.
Follow her on Twitter: @cfelschen
Melba Newsome is an award-winning freelance journalist with more than 20 years experience writing health, science and environmental features for a variety of national publications. Based in Charlotte, NC, Melba is the creator and editor of the Coastal Plains Environmental Advocate newsletter and was also a 2021 MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative Journalism Fellow.
Lisbeth Schröder investigated rare species of fungi from Ecuador, today she prefers to report on science - whether in front of or behind the camera, in newspapers or on social media. Her focus is to shed light on unseen topics – especially the ones which are connected to environment and climate change. She first studied biology, then journalism. Today she reports as a free journalist among others for Bayerischer Rundfunk, FAZ or Spektrum der Wissenschaft.
Follow her on twitter: @LisbethSchroder
Democracy & Society
Annika Brockschmidt studied History, German Studies and War and Conflict Studies in Heidelberg, Durham and Potsdam. She is a freelance journalist and author, has worked for ZDF Hauptstadtstudio and co-produced the podcast "Science Pie" (awarded by The Stifterverband), as well as other podcasts for the German Agency for Civic Education (HistoPod) and the Max Weber Foundation (Wissen Entgrenzen). She writes for Tagesspiegel, ZEIT Online, and ZEIT Geschichte and other media outlets. After her book Goethes Faust und Einsteins Haken: der Kampf der Wissenschaften, which she wrote together with Dennis Schulz, her second non-fiction book Amerikas Gotteskrieger - wie die Religiöse Rechte die Demokratie gefährdet was published in October 2021 at Rowohlt and became a bestseller. She is the co-host and founder of the "Kreuz und Flagge" podcast which covers the politics of the Religious Right and is currently working on her third book.
Follow her on Twitter: @ardenthistorian
Morgane Llanque is a staff reporter of the Berlin based enorm magazine for constructive journalism and writes about postcolonial politics, human rights, and environmental justice. Her work has been published in taz die Tageszeitung, Der Standard, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Spiegel Online among others. She studied cultural journalism at the Berlin University of the Arts and served as a volunteer for the Deutsche Welle Acadamy with the Kulturweit programme of the German UNESCO commission in Windhoek, Namibia. She was a scholarship holder at the Catholic School for Journalism IFP in Munich.
During her Transatlantic Media Fellowship, Morgane will cover guaranteed income Initiatives in California, including the Mayors for a guaranteed income initiative (MGI), a network of US-American Mayors who advocate for a guaranteed income to help distribute wealth to disadvantaged communities and compare the pilot's results to similar initiatives in Germany and Europe.
Johanna Soll was born and raised in Hamburg and has both German and U.S. citizenship. After obtaining her law degree and completing her legal clerkship (Rechtsreferendariat), she worked as a lawyer in Munich for six years before living in Boulder, Colorado for two years. There she decided to change professions and become a journalist. She mainly writes about U.S. issues and specializes in left-wing American politics and social matters as well as anti-racism and legal subjects. Johanna is an editorial employee at Der Spiegel in Hamburg and a freelance journalist. Her freelance work has been published in Frankfurter Rundschau, Neues Deutschland, taz die Tageszeitung, and Deutsche Welle.
From June until November 2022, her weekly column "Midtermwatch" about the U.S. midterm election campaign appears in the online edition of Frankfurter Rundschau.
Johanna currently lives in her beloved hometown of Hamburg but would leave for the States in a heartbeat if a media outlet assigned her as a U.S. correspondent.
She will use the Transatlantic Media Fellowship to report on “The Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls” on June 18, 2022, organized by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
Follow her on Twitter: @JohannaSoll