Whew, 2017. You got us.
We came at you strong: we edited the World Policy Journal winter issue penned entirely by women. New America announced that they had our backs and invested in our mission to interrupt the White-Men-Talk-War fest. The Women’s March gave us fuel to forge ahead. But you punched back: Trump, white supremacists, Harvey Weinstein. Yes, #UsToo.
Here’s the thing: The year isn’t over – and we are far from done.
Now more than ever, we need to make sure the conversations we have about the world are as representative and diverse as possible. As we launch our sixth fellowship cycle, we’re determined like never before to change the game.
We’ve once again assembled a truly talented set of women (seven this cycle!) and we can’t wait to work with them to interrupt foreign policy, enrich the discussion, and change the ratio (and the world).
Without further adieu, meet our sixth class of interruptors:
Laura Gil is a Colombian-Uruguayan internationalist with an expertise in human rights and a fascination for all things United Nations, especially as they relate to the UN’s involvement in Colombia. She has worked for the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and the International Organization for Migration and, in Colombia, the Congressional Commission on International Relations, the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of the Interior, as well as for international and domestic non-governmental organizations.
She dedicated the past decade of her career as a human rights advisor to the adoption and implementation of the Law on Reparations for Victims and Land Restitution, a landmark that contributed to the opening of peace talks with the Farc.
She writes for the op-ed page of El Tiempo, Colombia’s largest newspaper, on issues relating to foreign policy and international affairs and peace and human rights. She won a national journalism award for her columns on the Nicaragua – Colombia border and was a Stanford University’s Draper Hills Fellow. She also directed Hashtag International, a TV program dedicated to international analysis.
Fun-fact: Laura did the Great Book Program at St John’s College. That is such a unique program that, over the years, she has oftentimes felt stranger than a checkered dog… a very well-read checkered dog, though.
Sally Kantar is a freelance journalist writing on issues of armed conflict, forced migration, and ethnic nationality rights, particularly in Burma/Myanmar. Her articles have appeared in Refugees Deeply, New America Weekly, Warscapes and The Irrawaddy, and explore the refugee crisis along the Thai-Burma border, the long-running persecution of the Rohingya minority, and shifting US policy in the country.
For the last several years, Sally has been based in Southeast Asia, where she has worked as an editor with regional media organizations and as a teacher within community-based social justice education initiatives.
She holds an MA in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford in the UK, and a BA in Journalism from Michigan State University, in her home state.
Fun-fact: Sally enjoys writing haikus—but only about food.
Adrienne Klasa is Editor of the Financial Times’ This Is Africa, with a particular interest in the intersection between politics, business and international currents across the region. Her writing has also appeared in the Guardian, the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Slate and Forbes, among others. She has traveled to and reported from some 20 countries across Africa as well as covering major summits such as the UN general assembly, the Skoll World Forum, the World Economic Forum for Africa and the World Bank annual meetings. Her speaking engagements include various UN agencies, the OECD, the London School of Business, Financial Times summits, the International Trade Center and the Business Council for Africa. She has appeared as a commentator for the CDC Group, Radio France International, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation and Al Jazeera English.
Lynn Kuok is a nonresident fellow at Brookings Institution, and a senior research fellow at the University of Cambridge. From February to August 2017, she was a senior visiting research fellow at the Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on International Security. She has held fellowships at Harvard Law School, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Dr Kuok works on the politics, law and security of the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on the South China Sea dispute, and nationalism and race and religious relations in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar). Her analysis has featured in influential publications and broadsheets, including Foreign Affairs and The Wall Street Journal. She has also been interviewed by and quoted in various broadcast and print media, including the BBC, Al Jazeera, the New York Times and the Associated Press.
She holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a law degree from the National University of Singapore. She has served as editor-in-chief of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs and the Singapore Law Review.
Fun-fact: Lynn enjoys British detective dramas, but none more than ‘Grantchester’, a village on the outskirts of Cambridge and home of Rupert Brooke, where she has fond memories of taking tea as a student. She once campaigned against the humble full stop (period). But. Uses. Them. Liberally. Now.
Monica Marks is a Rhodes Scholar, PhD candidate at Oxford University, and leading expert on politics and Islamist movements in Tunisia and Turkey. She conducts research in Arabic, Turkish, and French. From 2012 to 2016, she was based in Tunisia, where she has conducted over 1,200 interviews with Tunisians ranging from cement factory owners and small-town police officers to leftist revolutionaries and Salafi jihadists. This research forms the backbone of her dissertation and forthcoming book, which explores the role of Islamism in shaping Tunisia’s democratic transition.
A former Fulbright Scholar to Turkey, Monica is currently based in Istanbul, where she has taught as a Visiting Professor in the Politics and International Relations Department of Istanbul’s Bogazici University. She also co-directs The Exchange, a series of professional immersion courses on the politics of Libya, Tunisia, and Iraqi Kurdistan. These “politics in the field” courses bring academics, diplomats, and analysts from around the world to the region itself, where they engage in dozens of intensive Q&A meetings with local experts and leaders across the political and ideological spectrum.
Recently, Monica was a Visiting Fellow at Columbia University’s SIPA school, a Doctoral Fellow with the European Research Council-funded WAFAW program, and a Visiting Fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Fun-fact: Monica is fascinated by the interplay of religion and political power, an interest she traces to her childhood growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness in evangelical Eastern Kentucky.
Molly O’Toole is a freelance journalist and contributor at Foreign Policy, covering global migration and security from Central America, South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.
Prior, she was a senior reporter at FP, and survived covering the 2016 election as the magazine’s first and only presidential campaign reporter. Previously, she covered the politics of national security for Atlantic Media’s Defense One, where she reported from Congress, the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department. Before that, she was a news editor at The Huffington Post.
Molly has also reported on national and international politics for Businessweek, Quartz, The Atlantic, Reuters, The Nation, The Associated Press, and Newsweek International, among others, from Kathmandu, Riyadh, San Salvador, Guantánamo Bay, Washington, New York, Mexico City, and London. She and her overactive eyebrows have also appeared on the BBC, NPR, MSNBC, NBC, C-SPAN, Al Jazeera, and others.
She received her dual master’s degree in journalism and international relations from New York University and graduated cum laude from Cornell University. In 2016 and 2017, she was a grant recipient of the International Women’s Media Foundation. Wherever she is based at the moment, she will always be a Californian.
Fun-fact: She is amassing an as-of-yet-unpublished-but-soon-to-be-Instagram-sensation photo series, “Street Cats and Dogs of the World” (a working title).
Fatema Z. Sumar is a “development diplomat,” leading U.S. efforts to advance economic policy and sustainable development in emerging markets and fragile countries.
Currently, she is Regional Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Latin America at the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation where she oversees a multi-billion dollar portfolio of U.S. grant investments to reduce poverty through economic growth in areas such as energy, water, transport, education, health, and community development. Previously, she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State leading regional affairs and regional economic connectivity initiatives and a Senior Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee with oversight of foreign policy and foreign assistance in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the South Central Asia region. Specific honors include being profiled by the National Journal for “The 35 and Under Power Set” and being selected as a Presidential Management Fellow and National Finalist for the White House Fellows.
Fatema has a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences. She studied abroad at the American University in Cairo.
Fun-fact: Today, Fatema has traveled to over 45 countries but her diplomatic career started when she 14 years old and represented the United States on a Girl Scouts mission to Malaysia to study water issues.