Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows
The Cronkite School hosts a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship where professionals from emerging democracies attend a 10-month academic experience.
Humphrey Fellows 2023-2024
Rocío Baro is an accomplished activist and communications professional who has worked for eight years in developing communication strategies, managing projects, and handling media relations for state institutions, artists, independent media, and entrepreneurs in Cuba. She serves as the Director of Communications for “Fondo de Arte Joven,” a platform that supports young Cuban artists in music and visual arts. This platform is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE), the European Union, and Los Carbonell Foundation. Rocío also serves as an external advisor on Communications for the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI), a digital hub based in Washington, DC, that aims to promote more open, accountable, and equitable societies.
During her Humphrey year, Rocío hopes to enhance her data analysis and community management skills. She also aims to learn how to use tools that can help fight misinformation and disinformation.
Tamuna Chkareuli is an accomplished journalist and documentary photographer from the Caucasus region. Tamuna has a strong passion for social issues and urbanism, which she has pursued since completing her MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at the University of Westminster in 2017. With experience working as a freelance journalist in London and Tbilisi, Tamuna was also a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalism fellow and the recipient of the EU Journalism Prize for the best investigation story in 2021. The NOOR photograph agency has mentored her, and she is a member of Women Photograph and is represented by Diversify Photo. Tamuna’s goals with the Humphrey Fellowship include expanding her storytelling through long-form journalism with multimedia elements, exploring the use of AI in journalism, and learning how to protect journalists in challenging physical and mental environments.
Camille holds the esteemed position of editor-in-chief at Philstar.com and Interaksyon, two of the most popular digital news sources in the Philippines, with a broad audience of approximately 40 million people. In recognition of her exceptional editorial leadership, she was awarded the Award of Distinction in Journalism in 2020, which is a testament to her role in enhancing the relevance of news and revitalizing the values of truth and freedom in its practice. Camille is also one of the founding board members of Tsek.ph, the first fact-checking organization for local media outlets. She is one of four all-Filipino delegates selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program in 2022. Her primary objective as a Humphrey fellow is to study innovative product and revenue models that can help independent local news thrive.
Riazul Haq is an award-winning investigative journalist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. With over 13 years of experience in several leading newspapers, including The Express Tribune (an affiliate of The New York Times) and the Dawn media group, he has become an expert in governance, human rights, government accountability reporting, and data-driven investigations. In recognition of his work on human trafficking, Riazul received an award for Best Use of Data in an Investigative Story. He holds a Master’s degree and has been the recipient of prestigious fellowships such as the Chevening Scholarship from the United Kingdom. As a media and journalism lecturer at top universities in Islamabad, he is eager to gain hands-on experience in digital journalism, investigative journalism, leadership, and teaching skills at ASU, which he can bring back to his fellow citizens in Pakistan.
Seoka Hwang is a skilled journalist with over 14 years of experience working for Busan Daily News, South Korea’s most prominent local newspaper. Throughout his career, he has covered a wide range of topics, including environment, public education, politics, city news, fishery, and energy transition. His exceptional work has earned him over ten awards from the Journalists Association of Korea (JAK) and the Korean Association of Newspapers (KAN), including the prestigious Korea Journalist Award from JAK in 2015 for his outstanding reporting on ‘Botched River Restoration.’ As a dedicated journalist, Seoka has traveled to more than ten countries to cover stories. Great American journalists and writers inspire him, and he is interested in narrative and solutions journalism in the United States. Through his Humphrey Fellowship Program, Seoka hopes to explore the storytelling techniques used in American news and examine American reporters’ newsroom cultures and working conditions.
Mariatu Kabba is an experienced radio trainer and advocate for women and girls’ empowerment. Over a decade, Mariatu has played a crucial role in many transformative development communication projects, including the BBC 50/50 Equality and the BBC Media Action Girls’ Education and Empowerment (EAGER) Project. Through EAGER, Mariatu trained more than 200 local journalists on gender-sensitive radio programming. Her outstanding work earned her the prestigious “Fifty Most Influential Sierra Leonean Women” Award in 2021.
Mariatu is the founder and executive director of Strong Women, Strong Girls Sierra Leone. This nonprofit organization provides mentorship opportunities for underprivileged young women and girls in rural communities in Sierra Leone. She holds a BA in Mass Communications from Fourah Bay College and a Civic Leadership Certificate as a Mandela Washington Fellow from Rutgers, State University of New Jersey. As a Humphrey Fellow, Mariatu aims to enhance her understanding of women’s leadership in a global context and the role of media technology in gender transformation in the US, with the possibility of implementing similar strategies back home.
Elzat Kydyrmysheva is a highly experienced communication professional who has spent the past fifteen years developing communication strategies for the government of Kyrgyzstan. She is the Head of the PR Department at the Digital Development Ministry, leading the charge to eliminate digital illiteracy in Kyrgyzstan through the National Program.
Throughout her illustrious career, Elzat has led numerous nationwide information campaigns during key moments in Kyrgyzstan’s history. Some of her notable achievements include playing a pivotal role in the information campaigns for monumental projects such as the Unified State Population Register, the automation of state registration services, collecting biometric data from citizens, and organizing the first election in Central Asia using innovative technologies.
Elzat holds a master’s degree in philology from the National University of Kyrgyzstan and has been recognized for her exceptional contributions to public service with the rank of Public Service Advisor and several esteemed government awards.
This year, Elzat aims to enhance her skills in strategic and public information campaigns and digital communication tools and research ways to improve people’s digital skills through effective communication.
Golden Matonga is the Chairperson of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter. He is a dedicated member of a non-profit organization that advocates for press freedom and freedom of expression. Additionally, he serves as the Investigations Director for the Platform for Investigative Journalism (PIJ), a non-profit center specializing in investigative journalism. He is also a member of the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). You may have read his work in publications such as the New York Times, Financial Times, The Continent, Mail & Guardian, and EFE. His investigative articles have earned him numerous awards for journalism excellence, particularly for exposing corruption, bad governance, and human rights abuses. He holds a degree in journalism and Mass Communication. As a Humphrey Fellow, he intends to focus on studying Leadership, Strategic Communication, Digital Journalism, and Investigative Journalism.
Tufan Neupane, a Senior Sub-Editor at Kantipur Daily in Nepal, is an experienced journalist with 15 years of reporting on the judiciary, environment, human rights, politics, and social justice. He holds a law degree and specializes in investigative reporting. Recently, one of his investigations led to the release of an innocent boy from jail, exposing significant flaws in the judicial system. Mr. Neupane is also a voice for victims of war-era human rights violations, exposing political leaders’ lack of accountability and obstruction of justice. He won the Competitive Investigative Journalism Campaign award for his story on human trafficking while serving as a fellow at the Center for Investigative Journalism Nepal. As a Humphrey Fellow, he intends to enhance his focus on investigative reporting and narrative writing.
Seungshin is a dedicated journalist based in South Korea. He works as a T.V. reporter and documentary producer for KBS, the largest government-owned broadcasting company in the country. Seungshin has been with KBS for over 23 years and has covered various topics, including politics, social issues, agriculture, environmental problems, and education. His excellent work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the “Korea Broadcasting Awards of 2017” and “This Month’s Korea Journalists” in 2015 and 2017.
In the past, Seungshin was a manager who mentored and supervised junior journalists, but he decided to return to his passion for field journalism four years ago. He is now focused on climate change and its impact on humanity. Seungshin holds a bachelor’s degree in science and is pursuing postgraduate studies in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) to expand his knowledge of environmental management across his country.
The U.S. government awarded Seungshin a 2023-2024 Fulbright Humphrey Fellowship, allowing him to study climate journalism in the USA.
Belén Tavares is a seasoned journalist with almost two decades of experience in various fields, such as TV reporting, magazine editing, producing, and film and theater criticism. She is also a talented documentary filmmaker known for her work that captures people’s intimate stories and human connections. Belén holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Lima and a master’s in Documentary Filmmaking from Goldsmiths University of London. She is a recipient of several prestigious scholarships, including the Chevening Scholarship, the Balboa Program for Latin American journalists, and a scholarship to attend the international course “Media for Peace in Conflict Zones” in Israel. Belén is joining the Humphrey Fellowship program to expand her knowledge of innovative communication and business models that promote collaborative journalism and drive social change in dynamic ways.
Humphrey Fellows 2022-2023
Doreen Ampofo is an award-winning media professional with over 11 years’ experience in media and communications at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GBC. Hosting one of GBC’s flagship Current Affairs radio programs, “Behind the News,” Doreen is passionate about protecting the rights of women and children. She is interested in politics, the environment and climate change, and is a presidential correspondent for the First Lady of Ghana. She received a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Ghana, a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a diploma in journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. As a Humphrey fellow, she hopes to be equipped with enough skills to lead education as well as communication on human rights abuses arising from witchcraft accusations against older women.
Katerina Barushka is a Belarusian journalist with a particular interest in the issues of propaganda, totalitarian mass psychology, social justice and democratic transition. She has worked in the management of several Belarusian news outlets; written for the Guardian, Transitions Online, New Eastern Europe and Pismo magazine; prepared documentaries for the “People and Power” series at Al Jazeera English; and run several TV projects for the only independent Belarusian channel, Belsat TV. Having witnessed the failure of a democratic revolution in her home country and the disastrous repressions that followed, she hopes to gain new perspectives on how to overcome authoritarian legacies.
Emmanuella Dago-Akribi is head of Development Projects Communication, Research and Strategy division at the government Center for Information and Communication in Côte d’Ivoire. She is particularly interested in health and education issues. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a certificate in leadership and innovative approaches in strategic communication from Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. As a Humphrey fellow, she expects to share experience with and learn from experts in communication for development (C4D) from other countries. She hopes to build efficient communication strategies to influence policies and to help people adopt good behaviors to improve their health, education and living conditions.
Meer “Ahsan” Habib
Ahsan Habib is a columnist and communication consultant. He has a mixed background working in the media and development sector. He holds an MA in History from Jahangirnagar University and an MBA in Marketing from United International University. He regularly writes on climate change, press freedom and governance for Dhaka Tribune, Business Standard and the Daily Star. He is a recipient of the 2021 International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) by the U.S. Department of State under Transparency and Accountability in Government in the Indo-Pacific category. As a Humphrey Fellow, he wants to learn how to best communicate and share knowledge on climate change.
Blessing Jona is a Journalism and Media Studies lecturer at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Journalism and Media Studies and has been lecturing in film production courses, among others, for the past 13 years. In 2017, Blessing participated in the Robert Bosch Foundation African Filmmaking Fellowship at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Currently, he is crafting a new film and visual effects degree programme, and spearheading the establishment of a film production house at NUST. During the Humphrey Fellowship programme, Blessing hopes to acquire more knowledge and skills in visual effects and film production house management. He also hopes to interact and network with seasoned filmmakers and content creators.
Teddy Kafo is a Solomon Islands Government Communication Officer. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication arts from Divine Word University. He first joined the country’s leading newspaper, Solomon Star. and received the Print Journalist of the Year award for his notable contribution in the local media industry. The Solomon Islander firmly believes that through academic study and professional development with U.S. counterparts, he will grow his global network and share best practices and build expertise in fields of critical importance to advance societal and institutional capacity, promote human rights and freedoms, ensure sustainable environments, and develop thriving communities.
Hakob Karapetyan has been a journalist for 13 years. His experience covers online media and TV, and he has served as press secretary and head of the press service for Yerevan City Hall. Currently, he is the chief editor of Fip.am – the leading fact-checking platform in his country including investigative journalism. Hakob received a bachelor’s degree from Yerevan State University for international relations and diplomacy and is interested in politics, international relations, peacebuilding, municipal affairs, and urban issues. During his Humphrey year, he hopes to improve his investigative skills, learn to use different digital tools, documentary making, and develop team leading skills.
Joonggun Lee brings 15 years’ experience as a TV reporter working for KBS, Korean Broadcast System, the largest nationwide broadcaster in Korea. He built his career by focusing on international issues, including the South and North Korea relationship. Joonggun is an award-winning journalist known for his reporting on North Korean defectors. He has his bachelor’s degree in political science and has studied international relations at Seoul National University. These interests have led him to study and write articles on conflicts that are caused by a deficiency of tolerance for diversity in his region. During this Humphrey year, he will research how to enhance diversity and inclusion in Korea.
Makepeace Sitlhou is an award-winning, independent journalist with 12 years’ experience from India. Makepeace completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from the University of Delhi. She previously worked with leading civil society organizations like Amnesty International and Breakthrough India, and as a staff writer with The Alternative (Sattva Media) and The Print. As a Humphrey Fellow, she wishes to learn about the U.S. immigration laws and policies along the U.S.-Mexico border. She intends to study the parallels between the Indian and American immigration systems from the angles of national security, human rights, bureaucracy and citizen centric politics.
Nellija Locmele is an award-winning Latvian journalist and editor. She has worked as a political reporter, breaking stories on corruption at the highest levels of government. As editor-in-chief at the biggest Latvian newspaper publisher, DIENA, she was leading the team through turbulent times of global financial crisis and local oligarchs’ take-over. Standing up for independent journalism, she became a founder and editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine IR. As a Humphrey Fellow, she will seek new bold ideas and sustainable ways of reaching out to digital audiences, knowing first-hand that quality journalism is essential for a future of democracy in a post-truth world.
Jihea Yang is a journalist of Chosun Ilbo, the largest newspaper in South Korea. She is the youngest female editorial writer in Korean media history, as well as a Tokyo correspondent in Japan. In recognition of her excellent covering and writing skills, she received the 1st Sports Media Awards Grand Prize after covering the 133rd Wimbledon. Her variety of interests include humanities, technologies, sports and languages. She holds double B.A.degrees in economics and Hispanic literature from Seoul National University and an MSc in engineering from KAIST. During her Humphrey year, Jihea hopes to learn how journalism helps to enhance female leadership in various sectors.
ZahidunNisa works as a full-time journalist and is the senior subeditor for Aaj News Digital. She has a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and lists reading South Asian fiction and swimming as things that bring her joy. During her Humphrey year, ZahidunNisa plans to study strategic communication and effective ways of telling a story, as well as learn how news organizations in the U.S. report climate-related stories. When she returns home, she would like to teach part-time, fostering critical thinking skills and encouraging youth to ask smart questions.
Anastasia Zhukova, was the editor-in-chief of the news team of a regional media company. She has taught practical disciplines in journalism at Sakhalin State University for nine years and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in education. For the last six years, the professional community of Russian journalists has recognized her radio news team as the most outstanding in the Far East. During the Humphrey program, Anastasia expects to learn how to promote media on the internet, gain knowledge in team management and learn how to support the mental health of journalists in crisis situations.
Humphrey Fellows 2021-2022
Tasneem Amro is a correspondent and media consultant with experience as a reporter, filmmaker and radio narrator. She earned a bachelor’s degree in media and TV production and is working on a master’s in European Studies from Heinrich Heine University. Amro has covered events affecting the West Bank, including the 2006 Palestinian presidential election and legislative elections. She has extensive experience in filmmaking locally and internationally, and has worked with trainers from the BBC, DW Akademie, Al Jazeera Training Centre, RFI, France 24, and others. During her time as a Humphrey Fellow, Amro hopes to develop her multimedia expertise to produce regional stories when she returns to her country.
Angela J. Aurora, Ph.D.
Angela Aurora works as a professor of journalism at the University of El Salvador. She has 25 years of experience in social research and higher education as both a director of the graduate school and a general director of the university. Aurora is interested in studying social media and the impact of news on people’s behavior. She has also done research on how media information has impacted people’s lives. During her time as a Humphrey Fellow, Aurora wants to produce a virtual magazine focused on journalist research, scientific journalism and education.
Atok Dan has a degree in public relations and a Master of Arts degree in monitoring and evaluation. He currently works as a station manager for a humanitarian radio program serving refugees from Sudan. Dan has been in the media industry for more than 10 years, serving in different capacities. Growing up as a child soldier during the civil war in Sudan, Dan has experienced disinformation and misinformation as a policy strategy deployed by the Sudan’s People Liberation Movement and Army SPLM/A. He is looking forward to the opportunity to interact with a wide range of knowledgeable experts to further develop his communication skills. He chose the Humphrey Program to interact with others to acquire a different perspective on issues.
Mohamed Asmieu Bah
Mohamed Asmieu Bah is a broadcast journalist with 15 years of experience in the field. He started as a reporter at the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service after he finished high school where he trained to become a radio and television presenter and producer of news and current affairs. Bah works for Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation and has presented one of the most popular television programs, “Lunch Time Break”, since 2010. He holds a Master of Science in diplomacy and international relations from Fourah Bay College and is pursuing a Master of Philosophy in political science. In 2013, he was a Reham Alfarra Fellow. Bah was elected as the National Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists in 2019. As a Humphrey Fellow, Bah hopes to deepen his knowledge of journalism, leadership, and governance. He would also like to sharpen his skills in research, leadership, academic writing, media ownership, experience with American media and American governance systems and policies.
Johnson Mayamba has more than 10 years of experience as both a reporter and editor. He works for the Daily Monitor, Uganda’s most influential media house. Since the start of his journalism career, Mayamba has focused on championing human rights in Uganda and has won several awards for his reporting. He also works as a media trainer with Journalists for Human Rights. He was the national vice chairman of Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda in 2014-2017. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication from Uganda Christian University and a Master of Philosophy in human rights and democratization from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He hopes to continue training journalists to appreciate human rights reporting and bring light to neglected issues. While at Cronkite, Mayamba hopes to perfect his skills to become a well-rounded journalist and media trainer as well as share ideas and learn from students and his fellow cohorts.
Elira Çanga has worked as a journalist in Albania for the past 11 years. She works as a media project manager at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and her goal is to modernize the public service media in her country and enrich journalism curriculum. She has previously worked as journalist and producer for the BBC and as a Media Team Leader at USAID. Çanga is experienced in media development and international affairs, with a master’s degree in EU Studies from Centre International de Formation Européenne. She has spent 10 years working on media development to encourage investigative reporting and fact-checking, as well as training and mentoring young journalists on media and information literacy and countering disinformation online. During her time as a Humphrey Fellow, she hopes to improve as a journalist and media developer to make stories more impactful and to help guide future generations of reporters.
Bálint Fabok is an award-winning journalist with 10 years of journalism experience, currently working at G7.hu, a business-focused online magazine. He covers corruption, climate change and the social dimensions of the Hungarian economic transformation. Fabok holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Central European University. As a Humphrey Fellow, he seeks to improve his skills in data and investigative journalism. He also aims to experience a broader view of the American media.
Anum Hanif is a journalist in Pakistan with more than eight years of experience in media. She has been working as a senior associate producer at Express News in Pakistan, covering political and social issues. She has previously worked at Neo News and Daily Jang. Hanif holds a master’s in philosophy degree in mass communication from Institute of Communication Studies University of the Punjab. As a Humphrey Fellow, Hanif hopes to learn about leadership, innovation in digital journalism and documentary production. She also hopes to expand her understanding of media practices in other countries through interaction with the other Fellows.
Dilshad Karim Elita
Elita Karim is a journalist and professional singer in Bangladesh. She started as a trainee journalist at The Daily Star in 2003 and has a Master of Arts degree in English from North South University. She has written and edited articles on women’s empowerment, labor rights, transgender issues, trafficking, education, culture, entertainment and more. Her careers have given her opportunities to travel, learn, and share with people outside of Bangladesh, which she hopes to continue in her year as a Humphrey Fellow. Karim also hopes to learn how other cultures, countries and policymakers handle fake news and what laws can prevent or solve it. Additionally, Karim also hopes to learn more about digital storytelling and arts in education, especially for underprivileged young people in Bangladesh.
Gahyeok Lee is a staff reporter for JTBC, the most trusted South Korean nationwide TV network and Hey.News, an Instagram centered news service. Lee started his journalism career in 2011 and he has covered both local and international issues throughout his career. He wrote about his experiences at historical news scenes such as the Korean candlelight movement in 2016 and published a book “Memory of the Day” in 2017. It was also translated into Chinese and published in Taiwan in 2019. In 2019 and 2020, Lee hosted a four-minute daily prime time segment called “Gahyeok Lee’s Factcheck” that gained recognition as a signatory member of the International Fact-Checking Network in January 2020. During his time at Cronkite, Lee hopes to improve his English communication skills to expand his global perspective.
Hyuntaek Lee is a journalist at the World News Desk of the Chosunilbo, South Korea’s largest newspaper. He is sub-chairman of a special committee for web portal strategy for the Journalists Association of Korea, dealing with strategic support for local journalists. He has received an Online Journalism Award of Korea and Journalist of the Month Award. Lee was also selected as a Google Newsroom Leadership Program Fellow (through the Columbia Journalism School) in the Asia-Pacific region where he worked on monetization strategy. During his time as a Humphrey Fellow, Lee hopes to learn about digital innovation in the U.S., especially at local newspapers.
Milana Mazaeva has worked for the BBC News Russian in Moscow since 2017. Previously, she worked as a freelance journalist. Mazaeva began her journalism career in 2009 working at a local TV station in Chechnya, where she covered local news and the North Caucasus. During her time at Cronkite, she hopes to broaden and expand her knowledge in producing stories with a global perspective and is interested in documentary production.
Andrea Polanco is a broadcast journalist with more than 10 years of experience in TV, radio, PR and communication in Belize, Central America. She works as a general assignment TV journalist reporting extensively on climate change, conservation, health, development issues and road safety with the goal of making these issues easy to understand to empower marginalized communities. She has a master’s degree in TV journalism from Goldsmiths, University of London. Polanco was a 2015-2016 Chevening Scholar. She is also a Climate Change Media Partnership Fellow and a Fellow of the International Center for Journalists. Polanco has won multiple awards from the Caribbean Broadcasting Union Awards and was OCEANA’s first Environmental Journalist of the Year in Belize in 2019. She hopes to improve her investigative skills and learn to use social media and other digital tools to tell stories. Furthermore, she wants to gain hands-on experience in climate change communication and documentary-making during her time as a Humphrey Fellow.
Siqi Yao is a journalist for Phoenix Weekly in Beijing covering international affairs. Yao focuses on the Asia Pacific region, shifts in manufacturing, U.S.-China relations and its effects on average citizens. Yao has a master’s degree in art from Hong Kong Baptist University. She has seven years of journalism experience and is dedicated to providing Chinese readers with impartial stories on foreign countries. During her Humphrey year, she hopes to grow both personally and professionally. She plans to refine her English language skills and study communication theory with a focus on biased news on the internet. She also plans to learn about video journalism, American culture and leadership.
Humphrey Fellows 2020-2021
Xaviera L. Arnhem
Xaviera (Shevéra) Arnhem works as a freelance journalist in Suriname and abroad. She was previously with Suriname National Television, but, after a 10-year career, is now focused on freelance work. She is the first video journalist to graduate from the Academie voor Hoger Kunst & Cultuuronderwijs and has been a dedicated fellow of the Junior Chamber International since 2012. She held the highest leadership position in her chapter in 2016 as the first local president of JCI Urban. When she is not working as a journalist, she enjoys arts and culture such as film, documentaries and languages. As a Humphrey Fellow, she seeks to improve her personal and professional skills in journalism and wants to collaborate with colleagues to contribute to strengthening communities, countries and the world.
Fakhar Durrani, a former Chevening Fellow, has worked as a journalist for the last 12 years and has been with The News International, Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper, for the last seven years. He is part of the news organization’s Investigation Cell, which reports in-depth and investigative stories, often in high risk situations. He focuses on corruption and embezzlement in government departments, misuse of authority by government officials, tax evasion issues, health and education related topics, abuse of human rights and other social issues. During his stay as a Humphrey Fellow, he plans to concentrate on three major issues: digital security of journalists, investigative journalism techniques in the U.S., and multimedia journalism.
Farhat Javed is a bilingual correspondent with the BBC in Islamabad, Pakistan. She is a postgraduate in English literature and an alumna of the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan. During her eight-year career as a journalist, she has worked in Afghanistan, Nepal and the United States, including at Fox News in Anchorage, Alaska. She has covered stories ranging from social issues about women, minorities and children to defense operations in different war zones. She has also reported on critical issues such as the recent Covid-19 pandemic from the ICU; land mines and IEDs in the tribal areas near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border; and healthcare services in the Karakoram range, a remote area in Pakistan. She produced a documentary about hundreds of families who have been separated from each other for five decades after a brief war between India and Pakistan. During her Humphrey fellowship, she aims to learn about leadership and media management skills in the U.S., diversity practices, digital media innovation and investigative journalism techniques.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Slađana Lučić has worked in TV journalism for more than 20 years, from her start as a student at a local TV station in Croatia to her current position as a news editor at a regional TV broadcasting network in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Throughout her career, she has trained young journalists and mentored participants at media workshops for non-profit organizations in the region. In the last couple of years, while still working as a news editor, she has focused most of her free time on writing and directing her debut documentary, Little Star Rising.
Delia Marinescu is a recognized journalist who reports on social issues. She started her career 10 years ago at a student radio station and has since broadened her experience collaborating with alternative media platforms, among them VICE magazine, where she has published reports from Romania, Jordan and Brazil and Scena9, an alternative cultural magazine. She has also worked in mainstream media in Romania at respected news outlets such as Digi24 TV channel and Libertatea newspaper. Although she has reported on various topics, she primarily focuses on the discrimination against the Roma people, Europe’s largest minority. As a Humphrey Fellow, Delia wants to study new ways of reporting on race, including the effects that George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests have had on American society.
Yana Pashaeva is from Moscow and holds a doctorate in linguistics. She is a deputy supervisor at the independent radio station, Kommersant FM and covers a variety of topics ranging from Russian and international politics to societal issues. Her heart is in her community, and she prefers to focus on local issues, primarily stories about people whose rights have been violated or who were cheated by businesses or authorities. Some of her stories have drawn the attention of officials and have helped to solve the problems of the heroes in her reports. She says the best part of journalism is the ability to bring positive change to someone’s life. She describes herself as an activist and has covered the arrests of her friends and colleagues.
Samantha Refilwe Pilane
Samantha Refilwe Pilane is a programs and advocacy manager at INK Centre for Investigative Journalism in Gaborone, Botswana. The Centre is the country’s premier non-profit and independent investigative journalism start-up that champions in-depth, evidenced based, investigative reporting, training and advocacy work. She is also the co-founder and content planner at INK24 Media, a mobile start-up that targets young audiences on social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. As a program and advocacy manager, she promotes and coordinates advocacy work in defense of press freedom. She also contributes to media development strategies and monitors those strategies. Skills transfer and training is close to her heart and she curates training programs for journalists in Botswana and across borders. She also serves as the newsroom’s strategic planner, identifying and establishing new partners while maintaining existing partnerships, and managing grant information, among other duties. She is focused on building a strong professional network and gaining an American perspective on media leadership, media development and media literacy that she will use in Botswana to address local needs.
Teodora Trifonova is a senior news reporter and investigative journalist for bTV Media, the leading media and TV network in Bulgaria. She has more than 12 years of professional experience, and for the past 10, has been one of the main reporters of bTV’s Central Evening News, covering breaking news in Bulgaria and abroad. In 2016, she was a special correspondent for the U.S. presidential election. Other international stories she has covered include the 2017 and 2018 political protests in Romania and the 2015 economic crisis in Greece. Trifonova is also an author of investigative documentaries, mainly on healthcare and social topics. She was awarded the “Radostina Konstantinova Award” in 2013, which is the most prestigious recognition for investigative journalism in Bulgaria, for her undercover work in a children’s hospital ward. She won the award for a second time in 2020 for her series of documentary investigations about Bulgarian ministers, politicians, mayors, and their relatives, who built guest houses with money from EU funds. She is a fellow of both the 2015 World Press Institute International Program and the Thomson Reuters International program, Class of 2017. She wants to create better, in-depth investigative journalism, focused on corruption practices.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Elma Velić is a journalist, activist, published writer, and former English teacher with broad experience in media, education, Non-Governmental Organizations, and both social and academic sectors. She holds a degree in English language and literature and currently works at Radio Bosanska Krupa. She previously worked at an NGO for 10 years and worked in the education field for six years in informal and nonformal education. Also, she actively volunteers with humanitarian initiatives. Her work is mostly concentrated on projects for district development and educational components of non-formal and informal education. She creates marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the main issues in the local community. She has organized one of the largest international teacher conferences in Bosnia and Herzegovina and has participated in several conferences as a speaker and workshop trainer. She is an award-winning writer and has published two books of fiction and several short stories in different book collections. During her Humphrey year, she seeks to improve her skills as a journalist, leader, and a human being, and to learn, share and expand her network and experiences.
Humphrey Fellows 2019-2020
Mona Abdel-Moneim Aly
Mona Aly is a digital communications strategist. For three years, she led the creation of various forms of digital content for Educate Me, a non-profit specializing in improving the quality of public education in Egypt. Previously, Mona worked as a brand copywriter and helped create strategically impactful brands in Egypt and the MENA region. As a freelance creative storyteller, Mona has developed a versatile portfolio through her independent work in copy writing, content creation, online journalism and translation. As a graduate student, Mona earned her master’s degree in political sciences from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, with a focus on the intersection between Muslims and the West in a globalized world. Mona also studied applied linguistics for a year at Cairo University, Egypt, right after she earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from the same institution. Before pursuing a career in writing and communications, Mona taught English as a Foreign Language for four years to university students in Cairo. During her Humphrey year, she intends to focus on creative storytelling and modern documentaries for nonprofits and social enterprises across different media platforms.
Radovan Bogojevic is a communications specialist with 10 years of experience in journalism, public relations and higher education, currently working as a social media manager and media analyst at EU Info Centre in Montenegro. Starting as a television reporter, he spent the first half of his career in various TV stations in Montenegro, also assuming the role of documentary producer and project manager. Later he worked as a communication officer at EU Info Centre, communicating European Union and integration process, writing strategy papers for the government of Montenegro and working as a communication consultant. He was Reuters’ video correspondent from Montenegro, and a teaching assistant at Faculty of Political Science in Podgorica. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Montenegro and a MSc degree in media management from the University of Glasgow.
For the last seven years Chentao has worked as a television journalist at the Yunnan Report Station of China Central Television (CCTV), the biggest TV station in China. His main responsibility is to conduct interviews and report the news in Yunnan Province, such as breaking news about earthquakes, debris flow and border conflicts. He also focuses on covering stories about doctors and teachers working in the rural part of China, and concerns including the problems of minorities’ traditional culture, pollution and endangered species protection. Chentao has produced more than 1,000 TV news reports and interviews, including 200 live TV broadcasts. During his Humphrey year, Chentao hopes to learn how to produce more professional video news segments that are focused on environmental protection. He is hoping to expand his knowledge about ecology, leadership, media group management and interactive journalism that will help him to create more influential reports and improve his capabilities. Chentao is also interested in seminars and forums to exchange ideas with people from different countries and cultures to improve his cross-culture communication.
Pierre Negaud Dupenor
Pierre Negaud Dupenor has 10 years of experience in communication strategies and international development. He holds master’s degrees in economic and social administration, international management of territories, and social communication from universities in France, Venezuela and Haiti. He worked as a multimedia analyst for the Latin American terrestrial and satellite television network, TeleSUR, in Caracas. He was a project coordinator for the French nonprofit organization France Haïti Développement (AFHAD), and national communications officer for the U.N. Agency FAO, in Haiti. He teaches at the University of Haiti State (UEH) and chairs the non-profit organization Alter-Aide. Since February 2018, he has worked as a communications specialist for the USAID-funded LAC Reads Capacity Program (LRCP), and was recently promoted to deputy director. During his journey in the U.S., he expects to strengthen his communication strategies, management and leadership skills.
Camille Kristina Elemia
Camille Elemia is a multimedia reporter for Rappler in the Philippines. She covers politics and social issues. She writes breaking news, in-depth stories and investigative reports. Prior to working in digital media, she worked as a TV reporter for Solar News (now CNN Philippines). She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication research from the University of the Philippines and gained her Master of Arts degree in journalism as a fellow of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung at the Ateneo de Manila University. In 2017, she won the International Labour Organization (ILO) Global Media Competition on Labour Migration for her series on undocumented migrant workers in ASEAN. During her Humphrey year, Camille wants to learn how to produce more investigative stories and expand her knowledge in the field of digital and mobile journalism. She also wants to immerse herself in the democratic principles and processes in the United States and explore how the press deals with an increasingly changing media environment, citing similarities between the Philippines and the U.S.
Mónica Rivero Cabrera
Mónica Rivero is a Cuban journalist with seven years of professional experience in digital journalism. She trained in radio, television and print media, and worked in making documentaries. She wrote a book about disadvantaged communities in Havana. She also worked as editorial director for OnCuba News, an American media entity in Havana focused on Cuban reforms and relations with the United States. She has reported, edited and led the team during daily coverage. She is a founder, along with five other colleagues, of Late, a journalism multinational project for reporting and social media updates and online journalism classes. She discussed the political discourse in Cuba at the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2016. Rivero has participated in media events and workshops in various countries of Latin America and Europe in the last five years. As a Humphrey Fellow, she looks forward to improving her skills at using information for social change.
Deus is an award- and grant-winning journalist, journalist trainer/coach, editor and media manager who has worked with Vision Group, the largest media house in Uganda, for the last 20 years. His major interests are in political reporting, agriculture, health and climate change/environment. He started as a parliamentary reporter where he interfaced with Uganda’s political elite and learned about their life and behavior. As a political scientist turned journalist, his interest is in digital audience engagement and he intends to return to Uganda with a fully functioning civic engagement portal. He has attended and actively participated in various international conferences, workshops and meetings and reported from over 10 countries including Canada, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Thailand, South Africa, Senegal, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Djibouti. He is conducting his research leading to a Master of Science in public health.
Ha Tran Thi Thu
Broadcaster Tran Thi Thu Ha is head of the Feature Program Division for VTV International, the global arm of Vietnam National Television, the largest and most influential broadcast in Vietnam. With 14 years of broadcast journalism experience, Ha is the author of TV concepts covering human rights, people with disabilities, and more. She championed the recruiting of people with disabilities to be TV show hosts. She is also director of signature documentaries in VTV Special, an important documentary series and TV programs of VTV known for timely subjects and in-depth reporting. She received several prestigious press awards. Ha holds a master’s from CFVG – European Excellence in Management Education, as well as a bachelor’s in French from Hanoi University. As a Humphrey Fellow, she hopes to make the most of her time learning media management and digital journalism.
Noreen Shams is a multimedia journalist with 10 years of experience in traditional and online media. She studied at the University of Karachi and took a professional journalism course at the University of Westminster, London, as a Chevening fellow in 2016. She has contributed to Pakistan’s daily newspapers and the as well as the high ranking magazine, Herald. She makes documentaries and multimedia reports on various topics, and has worked on legislation of newspapers, news agencies and books act, along with other leading journalists of Pakistan. She hosts a morning radio show on politics and social media trends and trains media professionals and students on mobile journalism. Her work has focused on the country’s political situations and she covered three Pakistani general elections. She served as a political commentator for various TV channels, and was selected as an ICFJ fellow to go to CNN headquarters in Atlanta, where she reported on Malala when she was shot by the Taliban in October 2012. As a Humphrey Fellow, Noreen wants to learn innovative methods of digital journalism, media management skills and the verification of news in the ‘Post-Truth Era.’ So wants to launch the First Ever MOJO News Agency in Pakistan.
Aung Naing Soe
Aung Naing Soe, a multimedia journalist from Yangon, Myanmar, studied engineering and then was involved in social and political movements in the country from 2010 to 2012. He later became a fixer and a photographer. His work has been published in international publications such as the Guardian, Al Jazeera, Time Magazine, and the New Yorker. He received second prize in the My Yangon My Home Photo Festival of 2017 and was the finalist for the Global News Fixer Award at the Kurt Shock Memorial Fund. He works as a cameraman and producer for commercials, documentaries and TV news. He also is a Burmese correspondent for Reporters Without Borders. As a Humphrey Fellow, he will focus on migration and human rights stories.
Nera Valentić is executive producer/executive editor with N1 Zagreb, a regional CNN Affiliate in Croatia. Nera currently oversees operations of over 50 reporters, journalists and web journalists and ENG crews. She is coordinating production and programming with other regional centers in Belgrade and Sarajevo, and with CNN International. Her major interests include researching the transition of content from broadcast to digital platforms, especially when it comes to breaking news content; multiplatform media and digital audience engagement; and new business models for media. Nera started her career as a daily producer 10 years ago while still attending the university. Four years ago, she became the youngest executive producer/executive editor at the age of 28. Prior to her arrival to ASU, Nera spent six months at the University of Oxford as a journalism fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Nera holds a master’s in media and political communication with Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb. Her plan after finishing the Humphrey Fellowship is to focus her career of building a multi-platform news channel with her current media outlet.
Humphrey Fellows 2018-2019
Phanindra Dahal is a bilingual journalist at the BBC’s Nepali Service in Kathmandu. There, he produces audio, visual and digital content focusing on current political and social affairs that reaches nearly 6 million people. His reporting has included investigative pieces on post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction as well as the achievements and challenges of Nepal’s United Nations-supported peace process. In 2017, he was one of the 15 journalists selected by the UN to cover its General Assembly. He previously worked for Nepal’s leading English daily newspaper, The Kathmandu Post, before joining the BBC in 2013. As a Humphrey Fellow, he plans to focus on the intersection of storytelling and technology to help innovate journalism and promote accountability and good governance.
Alexey Gorbachev is the chief deputy editor of the political desk at the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta (The Independent Newspaper). With seven years of journalism experience, Gorbachev’s reporting focuses on human rights violations, the Russian opposition movement and relations between Russia and the West. Gorbachev works to provide multifaceted reporting that provides an alternative view to state-controlled media that helps people draw their own conclusions on issues. He started his journalism career in 2009 after witnessing fraud during the Moscow City Parliament elections. As a Humphrey Fellow, Gorbachev hopes to hone his professional skills, learning American media best practices. He looks forward to engaging with communication experts and learning more about American culture as well as sharing his knowledge of modern Russia.
Jinjin Mo is a veteran filmmaker. She worked as a journalist for the Southern Metropolis Daily, a newspaper in Guangzhou known for its investigative reporting, where she covered social issues. Mo is co-founder of the BOCUT Film Studio, where she has produced films ranging from documentaries to fiction pieces. Her films also have been recognized with several honors. Mo holds a master’s degree in filmmaking from The Communication University of China. As a Humphrey Fellow, she plans to improve filmmaking skills and script writing.
Sebenzile Nkambule is a media professional based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with eight years of experience in print and broadcast media. Nkambule currently is working in talk radio and recently joined Oxford University Press Southern Africa’s marketing team, where she leads marketing research projects and provides thought leadership and expertise. She holds a master’s degree in gender studies from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where she was a Mandela Rhodes Scholar. As a Humphrey Fellow, she hopes to develop her digital skills that will help her create innovative content across platforms. She also wants to learn more about effective market research, data mining and analysis in digital journalism.
Rula Rizk is a broadcast journalist and producer with 10 years of experience in content development and production. Rizk works with MTV Lebanon, a leading TV station in the MENA region. She has covered a range of topics, including raising public health awareness and promoting wellness practices. Rizk launched her career as a freelance news editor and correspondent, contributing to media outlets such as BBC World. She also has been a guest speaker in media training workshops for Iraqi journalists. Rizk holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and journalism from the Lebanese University in Beirut. As a Humphrey Fellow, she plans to focus on strategic communication, content creation, TV hosting and digital media for media outlets as well as international organizations.
Benazir Samad is the digital media editor at ARY NEWS, a Pakistani news channel that includes reports in English and Urdu. With five years of experience in news management, Samad oversees the day-to-day production and presentation of news and information on ARYNEWS.TV (English and Urdu) websites, mobile apps and social media. She received her bachelor’s degree in media sciences from SZABIST Karachi. Samad also has participated in the U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership Program in Journalism at WKOW-TV, the ABC affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin. She has keen interest in culture, society, politics, international relations and religion. Through the Humphrey program, she aims to enhance her expertise in media management as well as further develop her multimedia journalism skills.
Balint Szalai is a business journalist for Index.hu, a popular and influential website in Hungary. With six years of reporting experience, Szalai covers a wide range of economic issues, with an emphasis on fraud and corruption. At Index.hu, he has interviewed leading economists and business theorists, including Joshua Angrist, Kenneth Arrow, Clayton Christensen, Dani Rodrik, Emmanuel Saez and Richard Thaler. Szalai holds a master’s degree in business administration from Corvinus University of Budapest. As a Humphrey Fellow, he plans to sharpen his skills in data journalism, learn different business and organizational models for media outlets and examine the behavior and trends of fake news.
Adey Tegene is a producer, editor and educational talk show programs coordinator for National Radio, part of the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation. As a journalist, Tegene has covered many issues, with a focus on social and legal affairs. This has included reports on gender-based violence, divorce and its effects on children, human trafficking and the rights of people with disabilities. Tegene holds a degree in law from Unity University, as well as a degree in library science and a master’s in social work from Addis Ababa University. During her Humphrey year, she wants to focus on media leadership as well as digital and investigative reporting to help bring more women into the profession in Ethiopia.
Lilan Wu is the director of NGOCN, an independent media organization that focuses on social issues and policy advocacy for China’s nongovernmental organization sector. With seven years of editorial and management experience, Wu is a policy advocate who has led six projects for NGOCN that strive for the sustainable development of a civil society through information exchange and the matching of resources. She also has been invited to share the NGO’s development in China as a visiting scholar. Wu holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Guangdong University of Finance and Economics. As a Humphrey Fellow, she plans to enhance her skills in international digital journalism, storytelling, NGO management and leadership.
Dalia Younis is a producer and anchor for Nahda TV, the online channel for Nahda University in Egypt, where she produces programs that target students. In her career, Younis has done radio, podcasts and voiceover work for many nongovernmental organizations, and she also has digital media and marketing experience. She also is a filmmaker and mentor at Raise Your Voice, a volunteer initiative in which she makes documentaries exploring female issues. Younis holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Cairo University. As a Humphrey fellow, she wants to learn more about new media. She also plans to examine how technology can help in education, youth and women empowerment and social entrepreneurship.
Salisu Ibrahim Yunusa
Salisu Ibrahim Yunusa is the principal news translator for Radio Nigeria Kaduna, which has one of the largest radio audiences in sub-Saharan Africa. With 12 years of broadcast journalism experience, Yunusa produces reports on human and disability rights, social justice, democracy, maternal and child health and HIV/AIDS related issues. He holds a Master of Arts in Digital Technologies, Communication and Education from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, as well as a Higher National Diploma and National Diploma in mass communication from Kaduna Polytechnic in Nigeria. He also is an alumnus of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. As a Humphrey Fellow, Yunusa plans to improve his knowledge and skills in investigative journalism, human rights, advocacy, disability policy and leadership.
Humphrey Fellows 2017-2018
Martín Aguirre is the newsroom director of El País, the oldest and largest newspaper in Uruguay. With more than 15 years of experience, Aguirre has covered a variety of topics, ranging from politics to sports. He also is a lawyer and a college professor, having taught courses on ethics, freedom of speech and legal regulation of media. Aguirre specializes in regional politics in South America, having published the paper “The Progressive Wave: A Decade of Left Wing Governments in South America.” Aguirre has an undergraduate and master’s degree in law from the Universidad de la República.
Ahmed Elashry has served on the communications teams of three Egyptian prime ministers and has been recognized as one of the “Most Effective Young Arab Leaders” by the Arab League. He currently works at the Middle East Africa Strategic Advisors, where he develops policies for companies and organizations. Elashry has extensive experience in media and communications. He founded a youth-run radio program, coordinated communications for the Women’s International Peace Movement, and co-founded a community newspaper. Elashry has a law degree from Ain Shams University in Egypt and a master’s in public administration and public policy from the University of York in the U.K. as a Chevening scholar.
Daneel Knoetze is the communications officer at Ndifuna Ukwazi, a South African activist organization and law center dedicated to constitutional rights and social justice. His work has included a campaign combating the legacy of apartheid spatial planning through affordable housing development in Cape Town’s inner city. Previously, he worked as a news reporter and features writer for the Cape Argus and GroundUp. He also was a freelancer for the Mail & Guardian. His reporting focused on the struggles of working-class people living in shack settlements on the Cape’s urban periphery, evictions, gentrification and the challenges faced by farmworkers in the Cape’s winelands region. Knoetze graduated with an honors degree in journalism and media studies from Rhodes University in 2012. Knoetze hopes to use his time as a Humphrey fellow to develop skills that can assist working-class and marginalize communities to communicate their struggles for equality and justice.
Kazi Mohua has been a prime-time anchor and current-affairs editor for nearly a decade, anchoring news and talk shows for a 24/7 news channel. Mohua also is an op-ed writer for a national English daily newspaper and a motivational speaker. Her talks focus on empowering women in journalism, and she has helped many women pursue journalism careers in her home country. Mohua holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature and language from University of Dhaka.
Mila Moralic is an experienced journalist, with a focus on foreign policy and international affairs. Moralic currently works as an executive editor at Media Servis, the Croatian national radio news agency. With 10-plus years of experience, she has hosted broadcasts and round tables and has taught classes on a wide range of subjects, including democracy and rule of law, voting, minority rights and pluralism. Moralic holds a master’s degree in comparative politics from the University of Zagreb.
Paul Udoto Nyongesa
Paul Udoto Nyongesa has 20-plus years of experience as a high-school teacher, journalist and communications expert. Nyongesa has written about wildlife and tourism for a variety of publications, including Msafiri (The Traveler), the inflight magazine for Kenya Airways. Nyongesa also is the communications manager for the Kenya Wildlife Service and has been an associate consultant with Impact Africa, a Nairobi-based communications firm. He is a volunteer publicist with Rhino Charge, an off-road motorsport fundraising event for environmental conservation. Nyongesa holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Moi University as well as a postgraduate diploma in mass communication and a master’s degree in communication studies, both from the University of Nairobi in Kenya.
Szabolcs Panyi is a leading investigative journalist at Hungary’s most-read independent news site, Index.hu. There, he has won the Gőbölyös Soma Prize, awarded for the best investigative articles in his country, for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016. His reporting focuses on anti-corruption and national security-related issues. He has participated in the U.S. State Department’s Edward R. Murrow Program for journalists in 2014 and the U.S. Foreign Press Center’s election reporting tour in 2016. Panyi holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philology and literature from the Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest.
Bopha Phorn is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience, covering economics, politics, corruption, crime, security, and environmental and social issues. While working on a story on rampant illegal logging, Phorn was shot at by military police. For her dedication, she received the prestigious Courage in Journalism Award from the International Media Foundation. Phorn started her career at Deutsche Presse Agenteur in 2006 and worked for the Cambodia Daily newspaper from 2008-2014. She currently is a stringer reporter for Voice of America Khmer service and part-time lecturer at Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh. Phorn holds a bachelor’s degree in education in English from the Institute for Business Education.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Marina Ridjic has been a journalist for more than a decade and is currently a news presenter for Al Jazeera Balkans. Her reporting focuses on politics — in particular campaigns and elections, political marketing and spin. Ridjic has played a key role in helping public institutions in her home country establish communication strategies to promote new partnerships between groups with different ethnic and religious backgrounds. She holds a master’s degree from the Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo, where she analyzed nationalistic propaganda of political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Holger Roonemaa is the head of news for Eesti Päevaleht and delfi.ee. Under his leadership, his reporters have won several national journalism awards. Individually, Roonemaa has been nominated for the Journalist of the Year award from his newspaper, the only journalism award event in Estonia, conducted by the Estonian Newspaper Association. With 10-plus years of journalism experience and an expertise in politics, defense and security, corruption and crime, Roonemaa has been involved with several cross-border investigative journalism projects. Roonemaa received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism from the University of Tartu.
Kiran Somvanshi is the chief manager at the research bureau of India’s leading financial daily, The Economic Times. She has a decade of experience in financial journalism, tracking consumer goods and pharmaceutical companies. Her interests include corporate governance, gender diversity and corporate responsibility. Somvanshi earned her doctorate for her study on the state of Corporate Social Responsibility in Indian Companies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She graduated in psychology as well as law from the Mumbai University. Somvanshi also is a qualified company secretary and cost accountant.
Xiaofeng Wang is a senior journalist with the Beijing News, where she has worked for six years, covering political and international news with a focus on China’s foreign policy. Wang has traveled to many Asian countries to cover issues in the region, including the Korean peninsula crisis and Fukushima nuclear accident. She holds a master’s degree in politics from the University of Sheffield in the U.K.
Humphrey Fellows 2016-2017
Marie Laurentine Bayala is a veteran award-winning filmmaker who has worked in new media since 2008. Bayala has directed more than nine films, including “Jusqu’au Bout,” a film examining violent acts against women. The film won a top honor at Ciné Droit Libre regional film festival and was shown at Africa’s largest film festival, FESPACO, in 2011 and on the TV channel TV5 Africa. She also is the co-founder of Africadoc Burkina Association, an association which promotes documentary filmmaking through the Les Rencontres Sobatè film festival. In April 2013, Bayala was appointed editor-in-chief of information and reports in the media branch of the National Radio and Television of Burkina Faso (RTB). She studied communication and journalism at the University of Ouagadougou and received her master’s in documentary filmmaking.
Tynymgul Eshieva has more than 13 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as a communication and public relations expert. She also has worked as a freelance journalist for a radio program and several Kyrgyz newspapers and magazines. In the past six years, Eshieva has served as a PR coordinator at the Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan, where she manages communication and advocacy activities for the foundation. Eshieva has an interest in public health, urban and rural development, and a passion for youth empowerment. She earned a Master of Business Administration and the equivalent of a master’s degree in journalism in Kyrgyzstan. Her research interests focus on media, documentary photography, civic engagement, communications and their role in promoting social issues, as well as implementing social and advocacy campaigns in the non-governmental sector.
Republic of the Congo
Edine Harr’met-Kimbouala serves as an executive secretary at the Polio Eradication Department at the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, the largest city in the Congo. She was born in in Pointe-Noire, Congo, but spent her childhood in France. She initially attended the University of Bordeaux, studying literature and English civilization before transferring to the Institut Universitaire de Technologie in Périgueux to study tourism. She worked at a travel agency in Paris before deciding to return to Congo to work for UNICEF as an assistant coordinator. There, she coordinated with governments and NGOs to implement development plans founded and designed by donors. She also acts as the vice executive director of the Congo Swimming Association. At the Cronkite School, she hopes to focus her time on various communication best practices.
Jean Claude Kabengera
Jean Claude Kabengera is the chief news editor for Radio/TV10, with more than seven years of journalism experience. Kabengera is a member of the Central Africa Forum of Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights and is one of 10 African journalists who attended the U.S. State Department’s 2015 African journalist security and press freedom reporting tour in Washington, D.C. and New York. Kabengera holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication from the National University of Rwanda. As a Humphrey Fellow, he plans to study international digital journalism, human rights and leadership.
Adetola Kayode is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years of experience in the field. She currently works at Lagos Television (LTV) as an anchor, reporter and editor. As a reporter, she has covered numerous topics, including health, transportation, politics, and family issues, among others. She also hosts shows in which guests discuss Nigeria’s growth as a country. Kayode plans to devote her Humphrey year to acquiring more skills in both areas by identifying issues and challenges that would benefit the public while also developing her managerial skills. She has completed trainings on presentation, elocution and broadcast journalism from NTA TV College and FRCN Training School in Nigeria and RNTC in the Netherlands, among others. She plans to devote her Humphrey year to acquiring new journalism and management skills.
Leanid Pashkouski is an advertising and media professional who specializes in creating innovative communication campaigns that utilize various mediums. As a founder of the Publicis Belarus agency, he led the development of innovative social responsibility ad campaigns for major Belarusian brands. Previously, he was an editor for 34mag.net, an independent online magazine, which attempts to shine a light on important and suppressed issues. Pashkouski holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Belarusian State Economic University. He intends to focus on innovative, cross-platform media formats, creative storytelling and modern documentary during his Humphrey year.
Kunal Ranjan has nearly a decade of experience spanning print, digital and television journalism. He currently serves as an associate editor with Network 18, one of India’s leading broadcasting companies. Previously, he worked with nonprofits such as UN Women and the Aga Khan Foundation. A sociology post-graduate from the Delhi School of Economics, Ranjan has been working extensively to use mass media as a tool to empower people and positively impact lives. In the Humphrey year, Ranjan wants to study the emerging role of digital media in developing economies and explore the feasibility of user generated content as a news gathering tool.
Narmina Strishenets is a leading communications professional with nearly a decade of experience developing communication strategies for state institutions, political parties and NGOs in her home country. She currently works for the Ukrainian Center for Disease Control, part of Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, developing communication services. She also is responsible for media relations, public affairs and leadership in communications with donors and international organizations such as the World Health Organization, Global Fund, UNAIDS, UNICEF and the Red Cross, among others. During her Humphrey year, she wants to improve her skills in strategic communication and her use of digital communication tools. She also plans to explore the impact of communications on social change.
Ivaylo Vezenkov is a veteran journalist, who has covered important issues such as human rights and education in the past 10 years. Vezenkov has worked as a TV reporter, producer and presenter for bTV, the largest private channel in his country. He has received the “Brave Reporters” award from the Media Development Center and won the Contributing to the Awareness of the Aviation Industry award from the Bulgarian Airlines Association in 2015 for his coverage of the aviation industry. Vezenkov holds a bachelor’s degree in literature and the Bulgarian language. As a Hubert H. Humphrey fellow, he plans to expand his understanding of how global media works in a shifting media climate.
Dina Zhansagimova has extensive experience in broadcast journalism. She freelanced as a broadcast news journalist for a number of national television companies in Kazakhstan before joining the BBC World Service’s Kazakh Section in London. Zhansagimova is active in the development sector, with a leadership position in United Nations Development Program’s Poverty Reduction Unit. She also plays an important role on the British Council’s Arts and Culture team, the BBC Media Action’s arm working in Central Asia, and Caucasus and Internews Kazakhstan, a local media development NGO. Zhansagimova’s background is in economics, with an MBA from the Kazakh Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research Program. During her Humphrey Year, Zhansagimova would like to deepen her understanding of new media and its impact on media development.
Humphrey Fellows 2015-2016
Vitalien Adoukonou specializes in health promotion and behavioral change and was most recently a communications officer at the Agence de Médecine Préventive, a French non-governmental organization which aims to improve the health and well-being of those in need around the globe. Adoukonou, who holds a master’s degree in communications from Pigier – Benin, has collaborated with the ministries of health for various African governments, primarily focusing on immunization. In addition to his health communication experience, Adoukonou is an accomplished script writer. Nearly a dozen of his scripts have been made into films in his country. He has twice won a prestigious screenwriting award in Benin in 2011 and 2013. As a Humphrey fellow, Adoukonou wants to share his communication experience in African health systems. He also hopes to learn more about health promotion strategies to assist African health professionals and non-governmental organizations in the development of communication strategies that impact the proliferation of communicable and non-communicable diseases in Africa.
Rajneesh Bhandari is an independent multimedia journalist, lecturer and trainer. For the past nine years, he has reported on Nepal’s news and current affairs, with his reports appearing in The New York Times, National Geographic, Al Jazeera and the Los Angeles Times, among others. Previously, Bhandari worked at Kantipur Television Network (KTV), one of the top television stations in Nepal. His KTV story on lawmakers misusing their diplomatic passports won him the KTV journalist of the year award. Bhandari holds a master’s degree in mass communication and journalism from Tribhuvan University in Nepal and a post-graduate diploma in multimedia journalism from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. He has conducted multimedia reporting training for South Asian journalists with the International Center for Journalists and other local journalists on topics ranging from video journalism to reporting with social media. As a Humphrey fellow, Bhandari will explore critical investigative reporting and multimedia storytelling techniques to improve the skills of Nepalese journalists to help bring to light human rights and corruption issues.
Criselda Marie Z. Caringal
Criselda Marie Z. Caringal is an executive producer for GMA Network, one of the leading broadcasting companies in the Philippines. Upon graduating with honors from the University of the Philippines, she began her career in broadcast media. Since then, she has traveled across the country covering stories, including natural disasters and medical breakthroughs as well as investigative reports on public health and safety in the Philippines. In her 10 years in broadcast media, she has been involved in a wide range of public affairs programming, including a medical news magazine show, a late-night talk show and a sports program. In her Humphrey year, Caringal aims to learn new methods in documentary production and is interested in how international media ethics and children’s television have adapted to new online and mobile technologies.
Marta Cerava is a chief content editor and strategic creator of public broadcasting media at the radio, television and online news portal lsm.lv. She specializes in cross-platform content planning, merging multimedia, television and radio content online. Cerava holds a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Tampere in Finland and a bachelor’s degree in communication science from the University of Latvia. Cerava launched her career as a freelance correspondent at Diena, Latvia’s largest newspaper. She also worked as a reporter at the Baltic News Service and Radio Latvia, where her reporting focused on macro-economics and the related policy-making process. Cerava has been a lecturer on multimedia content at Riga Stradiņš University and has given several talks on public broadcasting best practices in Latvia. She also has been a board member of Latvian Association of Journalists. At Cronkite, she hopes to discover new content strategies to engage audiences in Latvia and share her professional skills with her cohort.
Natalia Ghilașcu is a veteran journalist specializing in human rights and LGBT issues. She has worked as editor-in-chief of the online news portal discriminare.md as well as a producer and moderator of a regional television station in the Republic of Moldova. Previously, she was a political reporter and anchor for international media outlets such as the Czech Republic’s Transitions Online and Italy’s Osservatorio dei Balcani. Ghilașcu holds a master’s degree in public communications from Chisinau School of Advanced Journalism in Moldova and a bachelor’s degree in international economic relations. Ghilașcu received recognition from the United Nations for encouraging equality rights in the media. She also received a Red Ribbon Award for promoting the rights of people living with HIV. As a screenwriter, her documentary on the Holocaust was awarded best local documentary at Cronograf International Film Festival. During her Humphrey year, Ghilașcu wants to learn more about film production and TV documentary programs to increase the role of video arts and its impact on social change in Moldova.
Darko Ivanovic has nearly two decades of experience as a journalist, editor-in-chief and news producer. He is the manager of the independent production news service known as “Robin Hood.” He also has worked for numerous news outlets in Montenegro, including RTCG, INTV, Monitor, Graffiti and Adut. Ivanovic is a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cetinje with a specialization in film and television directing. He has written more than 500 television shows, 100 commercials and 40 television campaigns, as well as award-winning documentaries and feature films. In Montenegro, he is known as the creator of the TV series “Insider” and “Robin Hood.” He is a member of the governmental commission for investigations on attacks on journalist and also is a member of the governing council of electronic media in Montenegro. During his Humphrey year, he hopes to learn more about civic journalism and reporting in order to build a network of independent news outposts throughout the Balkan region.
Joseph Mayombo has been working in media communications for the past 20 years, promoting nature conservation and environmentally friendly practices. He started his career contributing for the environmental non-governmental organization newspaper Le Cri du Pangolin. In 1998, the World Wildlife Fund recruited him as a communications officer to develop some of the organization’s promotional efforts in Gabon and the sub-region of Central Africa. As part of his efforts, he launched an environmental journalist network. After 14 years with the WWF, he joined the Gabon National Parks Agency in March 2012 as deputy communications director. There, he served as a media liaison and wrote and translated articles in English and French. Mayombo holds a Bachelor of Arts from Omar Bongo University in Gabon. As a Humphrey fellow, he is interested in learning more about today’s journalism and multimedia technology as well as the ever-changing news industry.
Alla Nadezhkina is a highly regarded Russian public relations expert with more than 15 years of media and communications experience. She has worked as a spokesperson for the Russian International Agency Novosti, one of the country’s top news organizations. She also was the head of press service at the International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya. Nadezhkina attended Altai State University and worked as a correspondent, focusing on social justice stories. In 2006, she became a fellow of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program, completing a master’s degree in journalism from Lomonosov Moscow State University and undertook an internship at the University of Westminster in England. She has organized more than 30 international projects connecting journalists and other professional communities to achieve social change. During her Humphrey year, Nadezhkina plans to develop a community of Russian professional press secretaries, communicators and PR experts from major government and commercial organizations by involving international media specialists.
Namgay Zam is a noted journalist in Bhutan, working as a producer, editor and anchor of the Bhutan Broadcasting Service. She has written for The Guardian, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Asia Literary Review and the Hindustan Times, as well as regularly contributing to local newspapers and magazines. She currently hosts an award-winning monthly talk show, “Let’s Talk About It,” on a private radio station. She also has discussed Bhutan’s first foray into the World Cup qualifiers with National Public Radio. Zam studied English literature at the Lady Shriram College for Women at Delhi University. She is a social media enthusiast and has been involved in networking and other bilateral diplomatic engagements, as well as literary festivals. She is looking forward to a year of learning and growth through the Humphrey program and plans to strengthen her abilities to communicate effectively across different media platforms.
Humphrey Fellows 2014-2015
Tabua Francis Butagira
Tabua Francis Butagira is the chief news reporter for the Daily Monitor newspaper. With more than 10 years of journalism experience, Butagira has been published in South Africa’s Mail & Guardian and The Times of London. He was among those, alongside young African leaders, that President Barack Obama hosted at the White House in 2010. He also is an alumnus of the International Visitor Leadership Program, the U.S. State Department’s premier professional exchange program. Butagira holds a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from Uganda’s Makerere University. He also is the country’s pioneer winner of the David Astor Fellowship. As a Humphrey Fellow, he plans to study digital journalism, data journalism and media management.
Lila Ojha Dhakal
Lila Devi Ojha Dhakal is editor-in-chief and publisher for the BYAPAR (Business) Weekly newspaper. She has been editing and publishing contemporary business, economic and market product news in Nepal since 2010. She also has led various programs on economic issues in her country. Dhakal earned her master’s degree in management and also studied journalism in college. During her Humphrey year, she wants to develop technological skills and learn best practices in reporting, writing and editing as well as public relations and media management strategies.
Krista Kull is head of public relations and tourism for Viljandi, an Estonian city with a population of approximately 19,000. She is responsible for public relations management as well as tourism and international relations development. She also participates in government operations for the city of Viljandi. A graduate of Pärnu College at the University of Tartu, Kull plans to devote her Humphrey year to learning more about communication and how to use innovative tools to serve public interests in more effective ways. She also is interested in discovering cutting-edge technologies to tell stories.
Evaldas Labanauskas is the chief editor of the independent weekly magazine Veidas, which focuses on political and business issues. Previously, he led newsroom operations of Diena Media News and was chief editor of the weekly newspaper Vilniaus diena. Labanauskas began his career as a foreign news reporter more than 10 years ago and covered the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations and a master’s degree in journalism and communications. During his Humphrey year, he hopes to learn more about social media and business models for publishing.
Omar Mohammed is a senior consultant at africapractice, responsible for analytical and advisory services in media and stakeholder relationship management. Throughout his career, Mohammed has worked at the intersection of technology, journalism and communications. Previously, he served as a senior producer for a BBC Swahili Service’s weekly news magazine show “Haba na Haba.” He attended Scotland’s University of St. Andrews where he majored in English literature. Mohammed plans to spend his Humphrey year learning more about digital business journalism to provide Tanzanian readers with a mixture of original reporting, commentary and news analysis on the big business and economic stories of the day.
Vlad Odobescu is a freelance journalist and member of the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism and correspondent for Casa Jurnalistului, an independent media platform based in Bucharest. His articles have been published by USA Today, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Standard, New Statesmen and many other media outlets. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and currently is studying anthropology. During his Humphrey year, Odobescu plans to examine funding models for investigative journalism across the U.S. in order to adopt similar solutions in his home country.
Priscilla Janet Nyenator Quiah
Priscilla Janet Nyenator Quiah is a media trainer at the Liberia Media Center, an organization dedicated to improving media capacity as well as strengthening democracy and sustaining peace. With more than 16 years of newspaper and radio reporting experience, she educates community radio journalists in the fundamentals of journalism. Quiah has a bachelor’s degree in zoology and is studying public administration at the master’s level. She also completed media management courses at Rhodes University in South Africa. During her Humphrey year, Quiah hopes to receive training in new media and online writing as well as best practices for coaching journalists.
Armen Sargsyan is a television and film producer at the Media Initiatives Center, an organization promoting the dissemination of free and independent information in Armenia. Previously, Sargsyan hosted and produced TV shows and investigations on socioeconomic issues as well as a weekly special series about Armenian elections that aired from 1996 to 2014. He managed international media projects about conflicts in South Caucasus, Armenia-Turkey rapprochement, cross-border dialogue films on war, social conflicts and cohesion. Sargsyan holds a State Diploma of Linguistics and Pedagogy and an Excellency Certificate of International Broadcast Journalism. During his Humphrey year, he wants to learn more about digital journalism, data visualization, media literacy and communication technologies.
Sholpan Zhaksybaeva is executive director of the National Association of Broadcasters of Kazakhstan, a non-governmental organization aimed at supporting independent private TV channels as pluralistic sources of information. She also is a member of the National Commission on Television in Kazakhstan, advocating for better journalism standards, the establishment of public television and transparent broadcast licensing and frequency allocation. Previously, Zhaksybaeva worked for several regional and national media outlets, covering social, business and cultural issues. She also lectured at Kazakh-American University on journalism and mass media. A graduate of Kazakh State University, Zhaksybaeva is looking forward to learning more about digital journalism, new media and public television.
Humphrey Fellows 2013-2014
Fernando Aguilar is a social communicator working for Quetzalcoatl Consulting Group, leading the implementation of a strategy to promote the cultivation of traditional cacao in the municipality of Izalco. He works with multiple sectors of society to create partnerships that will bring prosperity to the region. A graduate of Central American University with experience in academia and the private sector, he devoted his Humphrey year to learning new tools and resources for implementing effective communication campaigns aimed at broad audiences. Aguilar completed a professional affiliation with Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore during his Humphrey year.
Hina Ali is a producer for Pakistan’s first and only Oscar-winning production company, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Films, which specializes in investigative and socially motivated content. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in advertising and public relations from the University of Karachi in Pakistan. Ali has directed and produced for leading television channels in Pakistan, including DawnNews (TV), Aaj News (TV), Express News and BBC Pakistan. During her Humphrey year, she pursued documentary production, television reporting and visual storytelling. Ali completed professional affiliations with documentary filmmaker Nina Chaudry in New York and the feature film “Car Dogs” in Arizona.
Ivana Braga is a communications coordinator with Grupo de Apoio às Comunidades Carentes do Maranhão, a nongovernmental agency that promotes community development within socially vulnerable populations. She coordinates for the Rede Amiga da Criança network composed of 25 institutions spanning governmental and nongovernmental sectors that help at-risk children and adolescents. With a bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism from the State University of Maranhão, Braga studied how social mobilization strengthens social organizations and influences public policies for minority populations during her Humphrey year. Braga completed professional affiliations with the New York Women’s Foundation and the Valley of the Sun YMCA in Phoenix.
Maja Cakarun is head of the public relations division in Zagreb City Holding Ltd., a public company owned by the City of Zagreb. She earned a Master of Arts in European studies from Katholieke University in Leuven, Belgium, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Zagreb in Croatia. She has two diplomas, including one in public relations from the London School of Public Relations and another from the Academy for Political Development. During her Humphrey year, Cakarun worked to enhance her public communication skills to leverage social media for successful PR campaigns. Cakarun completed a professional affiliation with APCO Worldwide in Washington, D.C.
Wahida Ifat is the information manager in communications and development services in iccdr,b, an international public health research organization in Bangladesh. She has worked as a senior sector specialist for BRAC, a nonprofit organization based in Bangladesh. With a master’s degree in sociology from the Dhaka University and a Master of Arts in gender-focused education and international development from the University of London, she has contributed to the development of life-skills-based education material for underprivileged teens in Bangladesh. She studied public relations and social media at ASU. Ifat completed professional affiliations with PATH in Washington, D.C., and the ASU Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.
Trinidad and Tobago
Rhonda Jaipaul-O’Garro manages marketing and communications for the University of the West Indies. She is production editor of The Pelican, the university’s flagship magazine, which has won four international awards for excellence since its launch in 2006. O’Garro is a final-year Ph.D. candidate in UWI’s Department of Management Studies and holds a master’s degree in public communication and public relations from the University of Westminster, London. She studied digital communications strategies for effective communication at Cronkite. Jaipaul-O’Garro completed professional affiliations with Edelman in Chicago and ASU’s public affairs and marketing offices.
Steven James Kapoloma
Steven Kapoloma is the deputy director of corporate affairs for the Malawi Revenue Authority, a tax-collecting body, leading a team to develop domestic revenue mobilization initiatives by encouraging voluntary taxation. He has championed campaigns against consumer exploitation and successfully lobbied to protect consumers from unfair trading practices. Kapoloma has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Malawi, a post-graduate certificate in public relations from the Centre of Public Relations and Communication Management in South Africa and a professional certificate in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the U.K. During his Humphrey year, he studied public relations and social media. Kapoloma completed a professional affiliation with the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
Derya Kaya is experienced in several areas of the nonprofit sector, having worked as a development professional, social entrepreneur, volunteer and activist in her country for almost 10 years. She works for Women for Women’s Human Rights-New Ways, a nongovernmental organization that promotes gender equality and women’s human rights. Kaya holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Galatasaray University in Istanbul and worked to expand her knowledge in the field of communications and public relations during her Humphrey year. Kaya completed professional affiliations with Twitter in San Francisco and St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix.
Issa Koumouréoua Napon
Issa Napon is a news anchor and reporter for RTB, the public radio and television station in Burkina Faso, where he has worked for 16 years. He was honored with a CNN African Journalists Award after being selected from 2,000 candidates across 40 African countries to be recognized in a CNN awards contest celebrating the best African journalists. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication and journalism from the Université de Ouagadougou and the Université AUBE Nouvelle. During his Humphrey year Napon studied online media and investigative journalism. Napon completed a professional affiliation with Voice of America in Washington, D.C.
Javaria Tareen reports for the Balochistan Times and has experience in reporting, radio and public relations. She has been covering gender issues, child protection and education for the past eight years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology, and master’s degrees in international relations and media and journalism. She also is studying law at the University of Balochistan. During her Humphrey year, Tareen worked to learn more about new media, online technique and public relations strategies. She completed a professional affiliation with Amnesty International in Washington, D.C.
Humphrey Fellows 2012-2013
Kareem Awadalla has a bachelor’s degree in tourism and hotel management from Alexandria University. He is the youngest talk-show host for Egyptian Radio and Television Union, where he hosts a prime-time political program as well as the live morning talk show. During his Humphrey year he intends to study television production, online news and multimedia journalism.
Ilona Bičevska has a master’s degree in film production from the Baltic Film and Media School and a bachelor’s degree in sports and health education from the University of Latvia. She is the director of Avantis Promo, a Latvian film and music production company, as well as the founder of Avantis Youth, a nongovernmental organization that offers more than 30 social and youth programs. She hopes to develop an international network to support creative talent from emerging countries.
Nikiwe Bikitsha holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Witwatersrand. An award-winning broadcast journalist with 15 years of experience in radio and television, she is the senior news and current events anchor for the eNews Channel, South Africa’s only 24-hour news station. She also writes a column for the weekly newspaper The Mail & Guardian. She plans to study economic development during her Humphrey year.
Borgia Miguel Samba Bouesso
Republic of the Congo
Borgia Miguel Samba Bouesso has a bachelor’s degree in communication from Marien Ngouabi University. From 2009 to 2011, he served as director of information for Tele Congo, the national public television station. Prior to that, he was chief editor for Radio Liberté, the country’s first privately owned radio station. While at Cronkite, he intends to study new media and the relationship between government and the media in democratic contexts.
Kibnesh Chala Fulas
Kibnesh Chala Fulas earned a master’s degree in journalism and communications from Addis Ababa University and a bachelor’s degree in English education from Debub University. She has worked in Ethiopia’s nonprofit sector for the past 10 years and currently serves as the communications officer of the Joint Ethiopia Programme of CAFOD, SCIAF and Trócaire, the official relief and development agencies of the Catholic Church in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. She hopes to improve her advocacy and social marketing skills to advance her work in the nonprofit sector.
Gwendolin Mokake née Mojoko Messinge
Gwendolin Mokake née Mojoko Messinge has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism and mass communication from the University of Buea. Since 2005, she has headed public and alumni relations at the university. She also produces the weekly radio program “University Half Hour.” She is interested in advocacy relations, stakeholder management and the use of social media for strategic communication and crisis management.
Fatima Talib holds a master’s degree in mass communication from Punjab University and a master’s degree in fine arts from Lahore College for Women University. As a reporter for the country’s Express News Channel, she covers health and social issues, human and women’s rights issues and politics. Prior to joining Express News, she was assistant editor at the think tank Pak Institute for Peace Studies. She hopes to learn new ways of gathering and presenting news and making documentaries during her Humphrey year.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Alma Telibečirević studied painting and education at the Classical Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. She is a freelance project manager and public relations and marketing specialist for various concerts, exhibitions, festivals, seminars and other events. For the past nine years she has organized the Kid’s Festival, the largest independent youth event in Southeast Europe, attended by more than 40,000 children each year. She will study public relations at the Cronkite School.
Branko Veselinovic holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Alfa University in Belgrade and is pursuing doctoral studies in journalism and communications. He is the youngest prime-time news anchor at Radio Television of Serbia, the national broadcasting corporation, and also produces and anchors the country’s most-watched weekend morning show. He plans to develop his new media and broadcasting skills while at Cronkite.
Humphrey Fellows 2011-2012
Andreza Andrade has a bachelor’s degree in socio-communication and journalism from the State University of Paraiba. From 2005 to 2010, she worked as a communication and project adviser for Instituto Socioambiental, a Brazilian nongovernmental organization whose mission is to propose integrated solutions to social and environmental issues. Andrade also has worked with indigenous populations in the northwest Amazon to foster digital inclusion. She plans to develop her new media skills to further these efforts with minority populations.
Mona Abdel Alim
Mona Abdel Alim has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in political philosophy from Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University. She is head of media and coordinator of the advocacy unit for Alexandria Business Association, which monitors private-sector business in Egypt. She intends to build her leadership and multimedia skills while at Cronkite.
Lubna Thomas Benjamin
Lubna Benjamin has a master’s degree in international relations from Quaid-i-Azam University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Viqar Un Nisa College for Women. Since 2006, she has been an associate producer for Geo TV’s current affairs talk show, “Capital Talk.” She will study broadcast production and television news techniques.
Hao Chen has a bachelor’s degree in the Malay language from Beijing Foreign Studies University and also has studied journalism at Universiti Putra Malaysia. He is the executive editor of the International Herald Leader, published by China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, one of the largest news agencies in the world. He will study digital media and its effects on traditional media as well as the business of journalism.
Antonio Jimenez has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Universidad de Costa Rica and has studied social media and English at Columbia University in New York. As executive editor for ameliarueda.com, he oversees a venture by one of Costa Rica’s leading reporters that has broken ground in convergence across media platforms. He will study new uses of mobile technology for news production and distribution.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lejla Kapetanovic has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Faculty of Political Sciences. Since 2010, she has been an associate expert for communication at the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office, creating internal and external communications and managing social media for an office charged with reforming public administration in the country. She hopes to improve her skills in social and digital media for use in corporate and governmental communications.
Evgeny Kuzmin has a specialist in journalism designation from Amur State University. He is director of the Amur.Info news agency and its website, where he leads a team of editors, programmers, designers and reporters in content production. He is from Siberia, an area in eastern Russia, close to the Chinese border. He plans to study new media, media management and business journalism while at the Cronkite School.
Taati Niilenge has a bachelor’s degree in media studies from the University of Namibia. She is a reporter at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation with reporting expertise in tourism, mining, labor and environmental topics. Previously she worked for the Namibian governor’s office in the area of public relations and regional politics. In addition, she is passionate about gender issues and HIV, and has been involved in the publication of several books exposing the suffering and changing roles of women and children in Namibian society.
Lujain Ismail Shafeeq
Lujain Shafeeq has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Curtin University of Technology in Australia. He also holds a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Ministry of Information and Arts in Maldives. He is the communications and creative director for a company specializing in information solutions for businesses. He also is a news anchor for a private television station and lectures on multimedia journalism at The Maldives National University. He is interested in new media and communication theory.
Elena Strapkova has a master’s degree in economics and tourism from the University of Matej Bel in Slovakia. She is vice editor in chief of Gastro magazine, which covers travel and food for Slovakian and Czech audiences. In her spare time, she travels the world as a freelance travel reporter and researches ways to promote tourism within her home region. She hopes to enhance her public relations and communications skills in order to promote her country as a tourist destination.
Humphrey Fellows 2010-2011
TV reporter Javed Afridi covers militant insurgency and regional issues for Express 24/7, the only English-language news channel in Pakistan. Previously, he worked for the Frontier Post, the Daily Times, the News International and the Khyber Mail International newspapers in Pakistan. He has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Peshawar.
Malik Siraj Akbar
Malik Siraj Akbar is the editor of the Baloch Hal, the first online English newspaper of Balochistan province in Pakistan. He also is the chief reporter for the Daily Balochistan Express and a former bureau chief of the Daily Times in Pakistan. His articles have been published on the op-ed pages of leading English-language Asian newspapers, such as the Times of India.
With a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chittagong, Mohammed Alauddin is the information and communication coordinator for Caritas, a non-governmental organization engaged in international emergency relief response, community building and justice advocacy efforts. He produces videos, press releases, newsletters and reports.
Sevgi Serpil Atalay
For 10 years, Sevgi Serpil Atalay has been a specialist in the communications and international relations department of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. She has a master’s degree in economics from the University of York and speaks Spanish, English and Turkish. She is a member of the association for the conservation of nature in Turkey.
As the head of Sri Lanka’s largest electronic news media network, The Capital Maharaja Organization, Chevaan Daniel is responsible for overall business operations of the seven-channel company, which has a staff of more than 500. He is trained in the Israeli art of self-defense, Krav Maga, and has a brown belt in the martial art of taekwondo.
Broadcast journalist Chinkhand Dorj covers political and economic news for Mongolian Public Radio of the MNB, the first and only public broadcast outlet in Mongolia. Dorj began her journalism career in 1995. She graduated from the Humanitarian University of Mongolia in 2009 as a linguistic/English translator.
Aleksandra Dukovska has worked at New Moment Video House as a researcher, reporter and producer in radio, print and television journalism. Her work includes documentaries on human trafficking and corruption. She was part of the team for Eurozoom TV, a broadcast newsmagazine focusing on Macedonian integration into the European Union.
Veteran journalist Daria Marjanovic is an anchor, producer and co-production coordinator for HTV, the Croatian public television network. The award-winning journalist coordinates her station’s contributions to CNN’s World View, pursues various international media projects and teaches TV practicums at the University of Zagreb in Croatia.
Based in Jacobabad, Mukesh Kumar Ropeta is a reporter for Geo Television Network. He has reported on honor killings, tribal clashes, bombings, floods and military operations. Ropeta started his career as a correspondent for the News International in 1997 after earning his master’s degree in journalism from Shah Abdul Latif University in Khairpur, Pakistan.
Xiao Yang is a senior journalist with Beijing Youth Daily, where he has worked for more than 10 years covering local, business and real estate news. He travels to conflicted regions and disaster sites to cover world news for the paper. Yang has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Beijing Polytechnic University.