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Meet our team


Leadership Team

Everyone on the FPIR is a journalist dedicated to non-biased, fair and accurate coverage. Together, we are developing a deep expertise in global women’s rights. Newsrooms are organized by topic (crime, environment, finance, education, sports) but never before has there been a global beat specific to covering women. We are that beat.

Founder and Editor in Chief

Christina Asquith

As founder of The Fuller Project for International Reporting, Christina leads a team of journalists reporting on women in the Middle East and region, with the goal of bringing expertise to a subject traditionally overlooked. Christina is also the director of Public Radio International’s Across Women’s LivesA life-long journalist, her articles, op-eds and videos have appeared in The New York Times, ELLE Magazine, Foreign Affairs Magazine, TIME, CNN, VICE, Washington Post and many others. She’s been executive producer of two short documentaries on Syrian and Turkish women, shown in the NYTimes and, and her current film project, Dying to Divorce, was featured at Sheffield Film Festival.

Christina has also authored two nonfiction books, Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family and Survival in the New Iraq; and The Emergency Teacher, about America’s failing inner city schools. She is a co-founder of Solutions Journal.

She’s appeared as an expert speaker on women in foreign affairs on ABC News, Fox News, Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan Show, NPR’s Here and Now,, NPR’s Morning Edition, PRI’s The World. Speaking invitations include: The US State Department, Harvard University, Boston University, Northeastern University and lots of fantastic book clubs.

She has a BA from Boston University and an MA from London School of Economics, and was a 2007 Fellow at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Follow her on Twitter at @FullerProject

Executive Director

Xanthe Scharff

Dr. Scharff is an expert on gender and refugee education, social entrepreneur, and multi-media journalist. Based out of Istanbul, her writing recently featured in outlets including: Brookings, TIME, Newsweek, The Guardian, VICE News, 100Reporters, Chronicle of Higher Education, Daily Beast, The Financial Times, Hurriyet, The World Post, Solutions Journal and AllAfrica.

Xanthe is the founder of Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa, providing transformational opportunities for secondary school girls. CBS’s The Early Show, Voice of AmericaThe Christian Science Monitor, and African media outlets have featured the organization’s award-winning work.

Formerly, Xanthe was the associate director of the Center for Universal Education at Brookings where she led research and programming on girls’ education. She is a senior fellow at the Syria Research & Evaluation Organization, has been a scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Fletcher School awarded Xanthe her doctorate for research on post-conflict education in Africa, during which time she was named the Minear Fellow, an Earhart Fellow and won numerous academic grants. She has worked in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and the US with organizations including: The World Bank, United Nations, CARE, and Save the Children.


Follow her on Twitter at @XAckerman

Senior Growth and Strategy Advisor

 Ashley East Rogers 

Ashley East Rogers has been a successful fundraiser for over 16 years, leading international development teams and working with executive leadership to formulate and execute organizational strategy and high level donor programs.

Most recently she served as Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Women for Women International. Ashley worked to develop a 3-year fundraising strategy as well as build and lead an integrated development team to support economic and social empowerment for the most marginalized women affected by conflict around the globe.

For seven and a half years, she was at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, managing strategies for SAIS’s top foundation and corporate donors. Her work included developing proposals and partnerships in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America; initiatives were focused on, but not limited to, Global Politics and Religion and Global Women in Leadership. Ashley also served as an Interim Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations, managing a team of 14 across three continents.

Prior to SAIS, she served as an Associate Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations at George Washington University. She holds a Masters in International Public Policy from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, a Certificate in Management from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College.

Follow her on Twitter at @AshleyEastRoger

Senior Editor and Journalist

Sophia Jones

Sophia Jones is an Istanbul-based journalist and senior editor at The Fuller Project for International Reporting. She focuses on amplifying women’s voices and highlighting issues that most impact women around the world, particularly in areas of conflict. Currently based in Istanbul, she has reported from Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Germany. Sophia served as The Huffington Post’s Middle East correspondent from 2013-2016, reporting on everything from the so-called Islamic State’s rapid expansion across Iraq and Syria to the impact of deadly U.S. airstrikes on civilians in Afghanistan. She has traveled the length of the refugee trail from Turkey to Germany alongside Syrian refugees, hiked a mountain in Kabul with female Afghan mountaineers and embedded with a bomb squad defusing IEDs by hand in Iraq to get to the heart of the story. Sophia has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and Al Jazeera America to discuss her work. Prior to joining HuffPost, she was an independent journalist in Washington, DC and the Middle East where she reported for outlets such as Reuters, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic, The New Republic and The International Herald Tribune. In 2012, she was an Overseas Press Club fellow.

Follow her on Twitter at @Sophia_MJones.


International contributors

London, Director of Film Projects

Chloe Fairweather

Chloe is a BBC trained documentary filmmaker who specializes in social documentaries about sensitive and important stories. She produced and directed the critically acclaimed, BAFTA-nominated and Grierson Newcomer award-winning, Mr. Alzheimers and Me for Children’s BBC, developed and partially funded by the Wellcome Trust, which was filmed from the point of children whose grandparents have dementia. She spent a year in the National Health Services and Social Services in East Birmingham making the BBC 2 series Protecting Our Parents which has been nominated for a Grierson and a Royal Television Society Award.

Chloe co-produced a BBC 2 documentary called My Child the Rioter with BAFTA and Emmy award winning Director Olly Lambert, which was nominated for a Grierson Award and Prison State for PBS Frontline with Emmy and Oscar Award winning Producer/Director Dan Edge.

With FPIR, Chloe has made two short feature films shown in the New York Times, Daily Beast and Elle Magazine. Her filmmaking was recently featured in Turkish Daily Radikal and by the BBC.


Istanbul, Journalist & Editor

Pinar Ersoy

Pinar Ersoy is a journalist based in Istanbul. Until recently, she was the foreign news editor of Turkish daily Cumhuriyet. Formerly, from 2012 to 2015, she was Turkish daily Milliyet’s Washington correspondent based in DC. In 2013, she received Journalists Association of Turkey’s (TGC) Honorable Mention Award for InterviewShe’s held reporting and editing positions in various daily newspapers since 2003. She’s graduated from France’s prestigious journalism school École supérieure de journalism de Lille in 2010. She’s also a graduate of Galatasaray University in Istanbul and American Collegiate Institute in Izmir.

Photo of Fariba Nawa

Istanbul, Journalist & Author

Fariba Nawa

Fariba Nawa is an award-winning Afghan-American journalist, speaker and author of Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman’s Journey through Afghanistan.

She covers a range of issues and specializes in women’s rights, refugees and conflict zones. She is based in Istanbul, Turkey now but lived and reported from Afghanistan from 2002 to 2007.

Her work has appeared in Women in the World/New York Times, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Sunday Times of London, Foreign Affairs, Daily Beast, Newsday, Mother Jones, The Village Voice, The Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle and numerous other publications. She also reports for radio, including Public Radio International. She is the author of the groundbreaking report Afghanistan, Inc., (CorpWatch, May 2006 ) and a contributing writer in the anthology Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands (Harvard University Press, May 2012).

She is fluent in Farsi/Dari, conversant in Arabic and understands Urdu.



Sitara Sadaat

Sitara is a journalist based in Afghanistan. Sitara developed a keen interest in helping Afghan women through her self-taught studies, as she did not receive a formal education due to the threat of the Taliban.  In 2001, she formally completed her education and, thereafter, graduated with a  degree in Social Science in 2008. Sitara has been affiliated with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project since 2011, and has pursued a Political Science degree at the American University of Afghanistan since 2014. In March 2016, Sitara was selected as a Sahar Speaks Fellow, working as a professional journalist who has since been published.

Syrian journalist Kholoud Waleed, co-founder of underground newspaper "Enab Baladi", receives the RAW in War (Reach All Women in War) Anna Politkovskaya Award 2015 during the "Refusing to be Silenced" event at the South Bank Centre in London Saturday March 12, 2016. RAW in War supports women who stand up for human rights and injustice and who risk their lives in conflict. Anna Politikovskaya, a reporter most well known for her coverge of the Chechnyan conflict, was murdered in an elevator in her block of flats in 2006.Photograph : © Luke MacGregor+44 (0) 79 79 74 50 30

Southern Turkey, Journalist and Editor

Kholoud Waleed

Kholoud is a Syrian journalist and cofounder of one of Syria’s top newspapers covering war and conflict and its affect on women and children, Enab Baladi. She has been featured in ELLE Magazine, Voice of America, and the BBC. Reach All Women in War awarded her the 2015 Anna Politkovskaya Award recognizing that she worked, despite grave danger to her life, “tirelessly in order to inform people in Syria about the atrocities and war crimes they are suffering and to speak out against the violence the country and its citizens are enduring.” In addition to her journalism, Kholoud is also has expertise in gender and in international development.


Istanbul,  Photographer and Filmmaker

Erin Trieb

Erin Grace Trieb has worked professionally as a freelance photojournalist, editorial and documentary photographer for international publications since 2007. Erin specializes in long-term, in-depth documentary projects, which explore societal trends, cultural trauma and identity. Based in Istanbul, Erin photographs for a wide variety of clients including The New York Times,, Newsweek, The Times of London, Harper’s, Stern Magazine and many others. In 2011 she founded The Homecoming Project, an awareness campaign highlighting the social effects of post-war trauma on US military returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2014 Trieb received a distinguished Alumni Award from Texas A&M University-Commerce.


Istanbul, Journalist

Nihal Kayali

Nihal Kayali has worked as a teacher, researcher, and journalist since graduating from Yale University in 2013 with a BA in political science. She taught world history at Groton School for two years, mentored high school students through the Kenya Scholar-Athlete Project, and worked with refugee students in San Diego with the International Rescue Committee. Since coming to Turkey in 2016, Nihal has researched municipal response to refugee needs in Istanbul as well as educational access for Syrians in Turkey at the Istanbul Policy Center and the Education Reform Initiative. She has also reported stories on Syrian education and women’s rights in Turkey.


Istanbul, Journalist

Anna Lekas Miller

Anna Lekas Miller has lived and worked around the Middle East, covering everything from the Israeli occupation of Palestine to the Syrian refugee crisis. She is most passionate about telling stories that break stereotypes and promote dialogue.

Kenya, Journalist

Laura Heaton

Laura is the former editor of the Enough Project blog at the Center for American Progress. Previously, she worked on media projects in Rwanda and as a journalist, photographer, and health consultant in the DRC. Laura held editing and reporting positions at Agence France-Presse and United Press International in Washington, D.C. She served as the founding Chair for the Akilah Institute for Women in Rwanda. Her reporting appears in Newsweek, Foreign Policy, National Geographic, The Daily Telegraph, and the International Review of the Red Cross and she is contributing to a book on women’s leadership in post-genocide Rwanda.

Istanbul, Photographer and Filmmaker

Elie Gardner

Elie Gardner is a freelance filmmaker and photographer based in Istanbul, Turkey. In the past year her work has focused on immigration and education, taking her to Afghanistan and up and down the Western Balkan migration route. She is the co-founder of Everyday Latin America, an Instagram account that seeks to give an authentic perspective of Latin America through photojournalistic documentation of everyday life with mobile phones. She previously worked as a staff photographer and multimedia editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and taught photography for National Geographic Student Expeditions and Webster University. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Turkey, Journalist and Filmmaker

Ekin Calisir

Based in Istanbul, Ekin is the founder of Sapka Productions. Prior, she worked at Al Jazeera Turk as a director and producer of short documentaries. From 2008 to 2011, she covered international news including the Israel-Palestine conflict and the oil economy in Venezuela as a producer of Pusula news documentary programme on the Turkish public network. Her most recent documentary mini series, Never Give Up/Vazgecmeyenler, aired on TRT Documentary channel, tells short stories of Turkish women fighting against the gender gap to realize their dreams. Her recent mini doc on mothers’ fight for education was published by Foreign Affairs.

Istanbul, Photojournalist

Holly Pickett

Working throughout MENA and Central Asia, Holly was a staff photographer at The Spokesman-Review before moving to Cairo in 2008. She documented Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, was a 2008 Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Germany, and in 2014 was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Her work appears in The New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Stern, Elle, Bloomberg, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post,  London Times, The Guardian, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, among others.

Turkey, Filmmaker

Seda Gökçe

A filmmaker from Istanbul, Turkey, Seda has worked as project coordinator, local researcher and assistant director for feature films. She studied economics at Bogazici University and media studies at Galatasaray University. She produced and directed her first documentary ‘Construction Site’ for Al Jazeera Turk in 2013. She now works with the Dying to Divorce team, supporting field reporting and producing.


Coming Soon!

Anna Nemstova

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Yulia Bragina

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Maria Martin

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Executive Office Team

The Fuller Project for International Reporting trains six university research interns a year for an average period of 4-6 months each, with the intention of cultivating expertise and giving direct field experience to students interested in a career in reporting and women’s rights.

 Administrative Specialist

Eriko Patten

Eriko Patten is The Fuller Project’s administrative specialist. She is from Japan, beginning her career in Tokyo as a pharmaceutical sales representative. Following the Great Hanshin (Kobe) earthquake in 1995, Eriko decided to enter the field of International Aid as a pharmacist. While stationed in South Africa, Eriko served as a South African Regional HIV/AIDS Coordinator for Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA). For nearly ten years, Eriko worked with women and children struggling with maintaining or improving their health. Erika works alongside professionals in the international community and hopes to continue to serve for others, just as she had in partnership with JICA.

 Financial Contractor

Alison Anderson

Coming soon!