Our People

CPJ is made up of about 40 experts around the world, with headquarters in New York City.

Staff


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Joel Simon

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Joel Simon

Joel Simon has been the executive director of Committee to Protect Journalists since 2006. Simon has led the organization through a period of expansion, helping to launch the Global Campaign Against Impunity, establish a Journalist Assistance program, and spearhead CPJ's defense of press freedom in the digital space through the creation of dedicated Technology Program.

Simon has participated in CPJ missions around the world, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. Under his leadership, CPJ has been honored with the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights and a News & Documentary Emmy for its work in defense of press freedom, and numerous other awards.

Simon has written widely on press freedom issues for publications including Slate, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, World Policy Journal, Asahi Shimbun, and The Times of India. His analysis of press freedom issues is featured regularly in major media. He is regular columnist for Columbia Journalism Review.

Prior to joining CPJ in 1997 as Americas program coordinator, Simon worked for a decade as a freelance journalist in Latin America. He covered the Guatemalan civil war, the Zapatista uprising in Southern Mexico, the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the economic turmoil in Cuba following the collapse of the Soviet Union. A graduate of Amherst College and Stanford University, he is the author of Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge (Sierra Club Books, 1997) and The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom (Columbia University Press 2015). His public GPG encryption key can be found here.

Follow him on Twitter @joelcpj.

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DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Robert Mahoney

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DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Robert Mahoney

Mahoney joined CPJ in August 2005 as senior editor and became CPJ's deputy director in January 2007. He has worked as a journalist in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He reported on politics and economics for Reuters news agency from Brussels and Paris in the late 1970s, and from Southeast Asia in the early 1980s. Mahoney covered South Asia from Delhi for three years from 1985, reporting on the aftermath of Indira Gandhi's assassination, the civil war in Sri Lanka, and the fallout from the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. In 1988, he became Reuters bureau chief for West and Central Africa, based in the Ivory Coast and spending considerable time in Liberia covering the civil war. He served as Reuters Jerusalem bureau chief from 1990 to 1997, directing print and, later, television coverage of the Palestinian intifada, the Iraqi missile attacks on Israel, the Oslo peace process, and the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Mahoney worked as chief correspondent in Germany from 1997 to 1999 before moving to London to become news editor of politics and general news for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. In 2004, he taught journalism for the Reuters Foundation in the Middle East, and worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch.

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EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Elana Beiser

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EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Elana Beiser

Elana Beiser is responsible for all of CPJ's online, print, and multimedia publications and research. Among other pieces, she edited CPJ's landmark special report on press freedom in the United States, "The Obama Administration and the Press: Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America" as well as " Challenged in China: The shifting dynamics of censorship and control." She joined CPJ as senior editor in 2011. Previously, Beiser edited international and business news for 14 years for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires in New York, London, Singapore, Brussels, and Hong Kong. She developed, launched, and managed the Asian edition of WSJ.com and led the integration of the Hong Kong newsroom's print and digital operations. She is a native of Kansas City and a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans.

Follow her on Twitter @elanabeiser.

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ADVOCACY DIRECTOR

Courtney C. Radsch

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ADVOCACY DIRECTOR

Courtney C. Radsch

Courtney C. Radsch is the advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists. As a veteran journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate she writes and speaks frequently about the intersection of media, technology, and human rights, with a particular emphasis on the Middle East. Prior to joining CPJ, she worked with UNESCO's Section for Freedom of Expression, where she coordinated the organization's strategy in the Arab region and edited the flagship publication "World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development." Radsch previously managed the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign at Freedom House, where she led advocacy missions to more than a dozen countries, U.N. bodies, and the Internet Governance Forum.

Radsch has worked as a journalist in the U.S. and Middle East, holding positions with Al-Arabiya in Dubai, the Daily Star in Lebanon, and The New York Times. She writes and speaks frequently about the intersection of media, technology, and human rights, with an emphasis on gender and the Middle East, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post.

Radsch holds a PhD in international relations from American University and will publish her dissertation, "Digital Dissidence & Political Change: Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt," as a book with Palgrave-Macmillan. She holds a master's of science in foreign service from Georgetown University and a bachelor's degree Phi Betta Kappa with highest honors in mass communication from the University of California, Berkeley. She speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish.

Follow her on Twitter @courtneyr.

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DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND OUTREACH

John Weis

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DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND OUTREACH

John Weis

John Weis joined CPJ in April 2004. He directs all fund-raising activities of the organization, both annual support and campaign contributions. He has a long and successful record as a fund-raiser, having most recently served as the deputy director of development at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First). Weis has held fund-raising positions at WNYC Radio, the New York Public Library, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has a B.S. in Commerce from Rider University.

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DIRECTOR OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

Sue Marcoux

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DIRECTOR OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

Sue Marcoux

Sue Marcoux joined CPJ in 2013, where she directs all finance, administrative, and human resource functions for the organization. She has worked as a finance and operations professional in nonprofit media for several years. Prior to 2006, Marcoux worked extensively in the management and production of documentary film and television for cable networks and PBS. Marcoux earned a bachelor's degree from Smith College and a master's degree in documentary film from Stanford University.

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PROGRAM DIRECTOR and SENIOR PROGRAM COORDINATOR, THE AMERICAS

Carlos Lauría

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SENIOR AMERICAS PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Carlos Lauría

Carlos Lauría serves as chief strategist and spokesperson on press freedom issues in the Americas. He monitors and documents press freedom violations in Latin America and has led missions to Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Haiti, Brazil, El Salvador, and Argentina. Lauría began his journalistic career in Buenos Aires in 1986 and settled in New York in 1994 as U.S. bureau chief correspondent for Editorial Perfil, Argentina's largest magazine publisher. He serves on the board of the Maria Moors Cabot Award for excellence in Latin American journalism, which is sponsored by Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is a graduate of journalism from the Universidad Católica Argentina.

Follow him on Facebook @CPJenEspañol.

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AFRICA PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Angela Quintal

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AFRICA PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Angela Quintal

Before joining CPJ in 2016, Angela Quintal worked as an editor and journalist for more than two decades in South Africa. She was the editor of Mail and Guardian, one of South Africa's leading investigative newspapers. She also edited The Witness and The Mercury newspapers and held several senior positions in South African newsrooms, including group political editor at the Independent Newspaper Group and parliamentary editor for the then-national news agency, the SA Press Association. Quintal changed direction from a career in human rights and constitutional law to become a journalist in 1992 during South Africa's transition to democracy. She was presidential correspondent during Nelson Mandela's term as South Africa's first democratically elected president and traveled extensively. She has served as the secretary-general and treasurer of the SA National Editors' Forum and before joining CPJ was media freedom committee chair in South Africa for Wan-Ifra's program on strengthening media and society. Quintal holds a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Laws from Rhodes University.

Follow her on Twitter @angelaquintal.

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AFRICA SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Kerry Paterson

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AFRICA SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Kerry Paterson

Prior to joining CPJ in 2014, Kerry Paterson worked with the Initiative for Conflict-Related Trauma in Northern Ireland, where she consulted on a project to develop a mobile platform to deliver mental health services for trauma and PTSD to people in war zones and refugee camps. She has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières, the Women's Media Center's Women Under Siege, Ujenzi Trust, The Lupina Foundation, Harvard University, and Massachusetts General Hospital's Division of Global Health and Human Rights, and has engaged in health and human rights-related work and research in Latin America, East and Central Africa, and the Balkans. Paterson was an associate editor of the Journal for International Law and International Relations, an inaugural Munk One Fellow, and has worked with the Global Justice Lab to examine the manipulation of law by perpetrators of violence against women. She holds a master's in global affairs from the University of Toronto, and has an honors degree in peace and conflict studies and political science, which focused on the experiences of women in war. She is fluent in French.

Follow her on Twitter @kerrykpaterson.

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AMERICAS RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Alexandra Ellerbeck

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AMERICAS RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Alexandra Ellerbeck

Alexandra Ellerbeck joined CPJ in 2015. Prior to that, she worked as the senior research assistant and regional Latin America expert for Freedom House's annual publication "Freedom on the Net," which surveys Internet freedom in 65 countries. Ellerbeck served as a Fulbright teaching assistant in the State University of Pará, in northern Brazil. She has reported on environmental and social issues in Latin America, and was awarded a Mongabay fellowship to write about nonprofits and indigenous groups in Bolivia. Ellerbeck earned a bachelor's in government from Wesleyan University. She was a teaching fellow with the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education and, after graduation, worked as an intern for the Public Defenders Service for the District of Columbia. Ellerbeck has lived in Chile, Bolivia, and Brazil, and speaks Portuguese and Spanish.

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ASIA SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Sumit Galhotra

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ASIA PROGRAM RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Sumit Galhotra

Sumit joined CPJ in 2012 as the inaugural Paul Steiger Fellow. He has participated in reporting and advocacy missions to Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Nepal on behalf of the organization. Prior to joining CPJ, he was awarded the prestigious Margaret Moth Fellowship at CNN International. He earned his dual master's degrees in journalism and human rights from Columbia University. His reporting has taken him to Israel, Palestine, India, South Africa, and the U.K. His work has appeared on CNN.com, The Huffington Post, The Jewish Daily Forward, as well as publications in India. Prior to his graduate studies, Sumit served as a William J. Clinton Fellow in Bangalore, India, where he worked on minority rights. He earned his undergraduate degree in international relations and journalism from New York University. Sumit has also interned at Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law. Sumit is an Indian-Afghan American from New York City with a focus on South Asia, human rights, and religion. He is fluent in Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi.

Follow him on Twitter @SumitAndTheCity.

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Nina Ognianova

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Nina Ognianova

Since becoming coordinator of the Europe and Central Asia Program in 2006, Nina Ognianova has led fact-finding and advocacy missions to Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Hungary and Turkey. From 2007 to 2012, Ognianova organized and participated in yearly CPJ missions to Moscow and the European Union, focusing on the issue of impunity in Russian journalist killings. She is the lead author of two major CPJ special reports - Anatomy of Injustice, issued in September 2009, which exposes flaws in the official investigations of unsolved journalist murders in Russia; and Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis, issued in October 2012, which examines the anti-press campaign under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In January 2014, she co-authored Media Suffer Winter Chill in Coverage of Sochi Olympics, a special report revealing the many restrictions for independent reporting in Russia in the lead up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Ognianova previously worked as CPJ's Europe and Central Asia researcher. Prior to joining CPJ in December 2003, Ognianova was a staff writer for the International Journalists' Network, the media-assistance website of the nonprofit International Center for Journalists in Washington, where she covered Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Ognianova earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the American University in Bulgaria and a master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. Her commentaries have appeared in the Guardian of London, the International Herald Tribune, The Huffington Post, and The EU Observer, among others. Ognianova is a native Bulgarian speaker, fluent in English and Russian.

Follow her on Twitter @Kremlinologist1.

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Muzaffar Suleymanov

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Muzaffar Suleymanov

Muzaffar Suleymanov joined CPJ in 2007. A contributor to Central Asia news Web sites, he holds a master's degree in international peace studies from the U.N. University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica, and a bachelor's degree in international and comparative politics from the American University-Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Prior to joining CPJ he worked for non-profits focused on Central Asia, including the Open Society Institute-sponsored Civic Education Project and American University-based East West Center. While in Costa Rica, he volunteered for the U.N. University for Peace and co-founded the Human Dignity Project, a nonprofit that promotes respect for human rights. As part of the Human Dignity Project, Suleymanov coordinated a two-week mission to Kyrgyzstan to explore possibilities for human rights training. He speaks Russian and Uzbek, and is proficient in Tajik.

Read Muzaffar Suleymanov's blog.

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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Sherif Mansour

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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Sherif Mansour

Sherif Mansour is an Egyptian-American democracy and human rights activist. Before joining CPJ, he worked with Freedom House, in Washington, D.C., where he managed advocacy training for activists from the Middle East and North Africa. In 2010, Mansour co-founded the Egyptian Association for Change, a Washington-based nonprofit group that mobilizes Egyptians in the U.S. to support democracy and human rights in Egypt. He has monitored the Egyptian elections for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies and has worked as a freelance journalist. In 2004, he was honored by the Al-Kalema Center for Human Rights for his work in defending freedom of expression in Egypt. Mansour has authored several articles and conducted research studies on civil society and the role of the new media and civil society in achieving democracy. He was named one of the top 99 young foreign policy professionals in 2013 by the Diplomatic Courier. He received his master's in international relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and his bachelor's in education from Al-Azhar University in Cairo. He speaks Arabic fluently.

Follow him on Twitter @sherifmnsour.

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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Jason Stern

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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Jason Stern

Jason Stern has dedicated his academic and professional career to supporting political reform and human rights in the Middle East. Before joining CPJ in 2013, he earned his master's degree in Middle East Studies from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. While at the Elliott School, Stern conducted field research for his master's thesis on political reconciliation in Bahrain. Stern graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University with a B.A. degree in government. His political commentary has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Associated Press, The New York Times, USA Today, Al-Jazeera, MSNBC, BBC World Service, and other news outlets. Stern speaks Arabic proficiently. His GPG public key can be found here.

Follow him on Twitter @IbnLarry.

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TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Geoffrey King

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TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Geoffrey King

King joined CPJ in 2013 to coordinate the organization's Internet and technology policy efforts. Based in San Francisco, he protects the rights of journalists through advocacy, public education, and engagement with policymakers worldwide.

Prior to joining CPJ, King, an attorney by training, represented U.S.-based individuals in constitutional matters involving the freedoms of speech, press, and petition. He is also a documentary photographer whose work has focused on human rights and social movements.

In addition to his work as an advocate and journalist, King teaches courses at UC Berkeley on digital privacy law and policy, as well as the intersection of media and social change. He is also a 2014-2016 Non-Residential Fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

King holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications, Phi Beta Kappa and with Highest Distinction, from UC Berkeley. He earned his law degree from Stanford Law School. His public GPG key fingerprint is 4749 357C E686 71B1 4C60 F149 9338 5A57 27FA 494C.

Follow him on Twitter @CPJTechnology.

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STAFF TECHNOLOGIST

Tom Lowenthal

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STAFF TECHNOLOGIST

Tom Lowenthal

Tom Lowenthal, CPJ's first staff technologist, has a special interest in operational security and grassroots surveillance self-defense. A strong believer in individual privacy and personal freedom, Lowenthal has worked as project coordinator at the Tor Project and as a technologist on Mozilla's privacy and public policy team. He is also a freelance journalist, and has written for Ars Technica on security and tech policy. He earned his bachelor's in political theory, with minors in computer science and technology policy, from Princeton University. The fingerprint of his GPG public key is 1ADE 9951 1A97 95FA 3557 53DC 51E7 1B75 4A09 B187.

Follow him on Twitter @flamsmark.

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COORDINATOR, JOURNALIST ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Maria Salazar-Ferro

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COORDINATOR, IMPUNITY CAMPAIGN & JOURNALIST ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Maria Salazar-Ferro

Salazar-Ferro became a coordinator for CPJ's Journalist Assistance Program and the Campaign Against Impunity in January 2009 after working for four years as research associate for CPJ's Americas program. She is a native of Bogotá, Colombia, and grew up in New York. Fluent in Spanish, English and French, Salazar-Ferro has an MA in anthropology at Universidad de los Andes, in Bogotá and graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in anthropology and comparative literature. Salazar-Ferro worked for the United Nations Fund for Population Aid as a researcher in a project on sexual and reproductive health among young refugees in Colombia. She also conducted research on HIV/AIDS prevention in Latin America for the International Planned Parenthood Federation. She worked for Inter-Press Services in New York as an associate reporter.

Read Maria Salazar-Ferro's blog.

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JOURNALIST ASSISTANCE SENIOR ASSOCIATE

Nicole Schilit

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JOURNALIST ASSISTANCE ASSOCIATE

Nicole Schilit

Nicole Schilit joined CPJ's Journalist Assistance Program in 2012. She has spent time in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Israel working with refugees and exiled journalists. In 2011, Schilit was part of a consulting team for the women's Refugee Commission, tasked with producing a tool kit to mitigate the risk of gender-based violence among displaced populations. Schilit, who has a background in documentary photography, worked on the book, Photojournalists on War: a history on the Iraq War as told by photojournalists. Schilit has also spent time working at the Documentary Photography Project Initiative at the Open Society Foundation (OSF), Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders, and Foundation Rwanda. She has a master's in public administration from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University and a bachelor's in documentary photography from Oberlin College in Ohio.

Follow her on Twitter @nschilit.

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DIGITAL MANAGER

Samantha Libby

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DIGITAL MANAGER

Samantha Libby

Samantha Libby joined CPJ as a communications associate in 2013. She worked for two years for a contemporary art gallery in Hanoi, Vietnam, promoting local visual artists, and, while in the region, investigated the effects of mining operations on local tribes in Kalimantan and West Papua. Libby has also worked in southern Ethiopia for USAID and a local NGO on child rights. In graduate school, she specialized in complex emergencies and arms trafficking and worked as a reporter on the Viktor Bout trial and as a researcher for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Her writing has won several awards, including the Cordier Essay award from the Journal of International Affairs, the Raphael Smith Memorial Essay Prize, and the Baroness Winchester Prize for Human Rights. Libby is also a playwright and an artist, with a focus in freedom of expression and cultural movements. She received her BFA from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and a master's in international affairs from Columbia University.

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SENIOR EDITOR

Jessica Jerreat

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SENIOR EDITOR

Jessica Jerreat

Jessica Jerreat joined CPJ as senior editor in 2014. She worked previously as a chief copy editor and lead editor, including five years of editing foreign news for The Times in London, followed by a period at The Telegraph on the paper's weekend editions and syndication desk. In 2012, Jerreat was lead editor for the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Doha, where she was responsible for setting up and running the host country's newsroom. She has experience in print, online, and tablet editing and design, and has also worked as a reporter in New York City. Jerreat has a bachelor's in English and American literature, and a master's from the University of Kent at Canterbury's Center for the Study of War, Propaganda and Society, where she earned a distinction for her thesis, Propaganda, The Press and Conflict: The Korean War.

Follow her on Twitter @jessicajerreat.

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NEWS EDITOR

Elijah Zarwan

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NEWS EDITOR

Elijah Zarwan

Prior to joining the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2015, Elijah Zarwan worked as an analyst and researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations, International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, Harvard University Law School, and others, based mostly in Cairo, London, and New York. In addition to his work as a consultant to IHS, the Carter Center, and Transparency International, he also worked as a senior Middle East correspondent for Deutsche Presse-agentur, as Egypt correspondent for France 24, as managing editor of the newsweekly Cairo, and as online editor for World Press Review. He speaks Arabic and French, and studied history at McGill University.

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SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER

Shazdeh Omari

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SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER

Shazdeh Omari

Shazdeh Omari joined CPJ in 2011 and served as deputy editor for news and later news editor, before joining the development department in 2015. She was the copy chief at The Village Voice for four years and has worked as a reporter, writer, editor, medical editor, and copy editor in the United States and Greece. Prior to her career in publishing, she taught English at Western Connecticut State University and reported, wrote, and produced radio features as an intern at United Nations Radio. Omari was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, where she learned to read, speak, and write Urdu. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and sociology and a master's degree in English-TESOL.

Follow her on Twitter @shazdehz.

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DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE

Peldun Tenzing

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Development Associate

Peldun Tenzing

Tenzing graduated from Emory University in 2013 with a major in international studies and a minor in Arabic. She first joined CPJ in 2014 as its development assistant/board liaison, where she worked on the organization's development projects and managed board relations. She also served as the assistant to the executive director. Prior to working at CPJ, Tenzing interned at Human Rights Watch and Foreign Policy Association. Like many young Tibetans in the West, she spent her early years of childhood in Nepal and India. She later moved to the United States.

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BUSINESS AND ACCOUNTING MANAGER

Margaret Abam-DePass

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BUSINESS AND ACCOUNTING MANAGER

Margaret Abam-DePass

Margaret Abam-DePass, CPJ's business and accounting manager, has worked in not-for-profit organizations for 15 years. Prior to joining CPJ in 2010, she worked as a staff accountant at both the PEN American Center in New York and at Friends of Firefighters, a Brooklyn-based organization. She also spent eight years as the office manager for the New York-based Association for Business Communication. A native of Cameroon, Abam-DePass received her bachelor's in accounting from Kean University in New Jersey.

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PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR

Tiffany Ommundsen

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PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR

Tiffany Ommundsen

Tiffany Ommundsen joined CPJ as its program administrator in 2015. Prior to joining CPJ, she served as the development officer and program and executive coordinator at the Global Justice Center. She was the coordinator of global studies at St. Joseph's College in New York, where she was also an adjunct professor of political science and taught civil and political rights, comparative governments, and American politics using peace education pedagogy. Ommundsen was a peace fellow at the Kosovo Women's Network and has worked for and volunteered with Femin Ijtihad, the Sisterhood Is Global Institute, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom's PeaceWomen project. She volunteers at the New York-based Girls on the Run organization. Ommundsen received her master's in international educational development from Columbia University and a bachelor's from Fairfield University in history, with a concentration in politics.

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COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE

Mehdi Rahmati

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OFFICE and IT MANAGER

Mehdi Rahmati

Mehdi Rahmati joined CPJ in 2013 after graduating from Bard College with a bachelor's in human rights and a concentration in global public health. Rahmati wrote his senior thesis on transitional justice in Afghanistan. While at Bard, he interned at both Human Rights Watch and Open Society Foundations, where later he also worked as a consultant. In 2005, Rahmati co-founded the Marefat Educational Center in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, by acquiring a building to rent, advertising the school, and hiring and training teachers. Today, more than 400 students attend the school. Rahmati is fluent in English, Dari, and Farsi.

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International Program Network

CONSULTANT, CAMPAIGN AGAINST IMPUNITY

Elisabeth Witchel

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CONSULTANT, CAMPAIGN AGAINST IMPUNITY

Elisabeth Witchel

Elisabeth Witchel has more than 15 years' experience in human rights and international journalism. She began working at the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2001 as the Journalist Assistance Program Coordinator, and in 2007, she launched CPJ's Global Campaign against Impunity. Witchel has authored several reports for CPJ, including Road to Justice:Breaking the Cycle of Impunity in the Killing of Journalists five editions of Getting Away with Murder: Global Impunity Index; three editions of CPJ's Survey of Journalists in Exile; 2004's The Fixers; and 2005's Zimbabwe's Exiled Press. Witchel, who is now based in the United Kingdom and serves as CPJ's Impunity Campaign Consultant, has presented at international forums, including UNESCO, and served on panels in London, Geneva, Belgrade, Paris, Manila, and New York. Prior to joining CPJ, she worked at Grassroots Enterprise in San Francisco and reported from Seoul, Korea, for The Korea Times and US News & World Report. Witchel has a bachelor's in history from Stanford University and a master's in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

Follow her on Twitter @goodwitch917.

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SENIOR ADVISER FOR JOURNALIST SECURITY

Frank Smyth

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SENIOR ADVISER FOR JOURNALIST SECURITY

Frank Smyth

Frank Smyth serves as CPJ's senior adviser for journalist security. He is a journalist who has specialized in armed conflicts, organized crime, and human rights, reporting from nations including El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Jordan, and Iraq where, in 1991, he was imprisoned for 18 days. Through the 1990s Smyth investigated arms trafficking for Human Rights Watch. He has reported for CBS News, and written for The Nation, The Village Voice, The New Republic, The Washington Post,The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, World Policy Journal, and Foreign Affairs. Smyth has testified on press freedom matters before the Organization of American States, the International Commission of Jurists, and the U.S. Congress. Smyth blogs on journalist security issues for CPJ. He is also the founder and executive director of Global Journalist Security, a firm that provides consulting and training services to journalists and others.

Follow him on Twitter @JournoSecurity.
Read Frank Smyth's blog.

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TURKEY REPRESENTATIVE

Özgür Öğret

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CPJ TURKEY REPRESENTATIVE

Özgür Öğret

Özgür Öğret is a Turkish freelance journalist and CPJ's Turkey representative. He was lead researcher for the 2012 CPJ special report, "Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis."

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EU CORRESPONDENT

Jean-Paul Marthoz

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EU CORRESPONDENT

Jean-Paul Marthoz

Marthoz is a Belgian journalist and longtime press freedom and human rights activist. He teaches international journalism at the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium and has reported from many countries for the Brussels daily Le Soir and the quarterly Enjeux internationaux. He is the associate editor of the policy quarterly Europe's World and is the vice-chair of the Europe and Central Asia division at Human Rights Watch, where he was European press director from 1996 to 2006. He has written several books on journalism, human rights diplomacy, and international relations as well as reports for a number of think tanks and international organizations. He is currently working on the role of the press in reporting mass atrocities and genocides.

Follow him on Twitter @jpmarthoz.

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SENIOR SOUTHEAST ASIA REPRESENTATIVE

Shawn W. Crispin

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SENIOR SOUTHEAST ASIA REPRESENTATIVE

Shawn W. Crispin

Shawn W. Crispin has worked as a journalist and editor for over 15 years based in Thailand. He was bureau chief for the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review in Bangkok from 1999 to 2004, where he wrote on a wide range of political, business, and social issues. From 2001, Crispin also served as bureau chief for the Review's sister publication, The Asian Wall Street Journal. His coverage of Asia's AIDS epidemic was part of a package recognized in 2004 for the "Excellence in Magazines" award of the Society of Publishers in Asia. From 2006 to 2015, Crispin served as Southeast Asia editor at Asia Times Online, where he wrote a regular political column and edited a team of over 20 regular contributors to the news site. Crispin is currently Southeast Asia columnist at The Diplomat. His journalism has also appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Institutional Investor and Yale Global Online, among others. In 2005, Crispin served as an investigative consultant with Human Rights Watch (Asia), where he researched press freedom issues in Thailand. for the past decade, he has served CPJ as advocate, researcher and spokesperson on Southeast Asia. He has conducted research missions and published special reports on Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Crispin has a master's degree in Southeast Asian Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, where he received a prestigious Freeman fellowship. He speaks fluent Thai.

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NORTHEAST ASIA CORRESPONDENT

Yaqiu Wang

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NORTHEAST ASIA CORRESPONDENT

Yaqiu Wang

Yaqiu Wang is CPJ’s Northeast Asia correspondent since 2015. Wang was born and grew up in a small village in southern China. She came to the U.S. for graduate school, getting her Masters degree in International Affairs from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs in 2011. Wang has worked as a consultant in international education and training exchange, and now researches and writes about human rights and civil society in China. Her articles and commentaries have appeared in Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, China Change, ChinaFile, Voice of America and elsewhere.

Follower her on Twitter @Yaqiu

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BRAZIL CORRESPONDENT

Andrew Downie

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BRAZIL CORRESPONDENT

Andrew Downie

Andrew Downie has covered Brazil for the CPJ since the start of 2015. He documents abuses in South America's biggest nation and writes alerts and blogs. Downie was born in Scotland and has been in Latin America for 25 years and reported from more than a dozen countries in the region. He lived in Mexico and Haiti before moving to Brazil in 1999. His work has appeared in publications the world over, including The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, The Washington Post, GQ and Esquire. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish and currently lives in Sao Paulo.

Follow him on Twitter at @adowniebrazil

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EAST AFRICA CORRESPONDENT

Murithi Mutiga

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EAST AFRICA CORRESPONDENT

Murithi Mutiga

Murithi Mutiga covers East Africa for the Guardian (UK) and works as a consulting editor for the Sunday Nation based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also an occasional contributor to the Op/Ed pages of the International New York Times.

Murithi was one of the inaugural fellows of the David Astor Journalist Awards Trust (DAJAT) programme which takes promising early career journalists from East Africa for a stint in major British newsrooms. In the summer of 2008, Murithi spent time at the Guardian/Observer, the Financial Times and The Independent. He writes a weekly column for the Sunday Nation.

Murithi holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics, where he was a Chevening Scholar.

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MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT

Nadia Massih

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MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT

Nadia Massih

Nadia Massih joined CPJ as the organization's Middle East Correspondent in 2015. Based in Beirut, Nadia primarily reports on attacks on the press in Syria and Iraq and supports local journalists fleeing persecution. She is also a freelance journalist, working both in print and TV. Nadia was formerly the deputy Middle East editor of Lebanon's The Daily Star newspaper. She holds a MA in International Conflict Studies from King's College London, where she specialized in Lebanon.

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