work

I’m an independent journalist, reporting on gender, migration and human rights. I am the recipient of a grant from the International Women's Media Foundation's Howard G. Buffet Fund for women journalists. Previously, I worked at CNN and the Washington Post. I've reported on migration in Sri Lanka; gender in India; covered the 2016 American presidential election; launched and developed editorial strategy for CNN on emerging platforms; and led digital innovations and developed digital strategy for the Washington Post's national and politics desk. I've also Facebook Live-d from the back of a motorcycle from the Olympics, curated part of a museum exhibit about the 2016 presidential election, captured motherhood with disposable cameras around the world, and used voicemails to cover love stories and politics. 

 I share in a Pulitzer Prize for the Washington Post's coverage of Edward Snowden and the NSA; a Murrow Award and a Webby for CNN's coverage of the 2016 election; and an EPPY for a project on love stories I led at CNN. 

Selected stories and projects: 

Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 11.21.40 AM.png

Girlhood around the world: A series (The Washington Post):
What do teenage girls dream about in a refugee camp? What does a 17-year-old worry about in Manila and in the Midwest? I wanted to hear girls’ stories in their own voices, so I asked teenage girls to share their diary entries with us. This is a ten-part series I wrote for The Washington Post’s The Lily and Lily Lines newsletter about girlhood around the world.
Full Series | Afghanistan | Nigeria |

Inside a training camp for migrant workers in Sri Lanka (BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service):
How do you prepare to become a housemaid in the Middle East? I went to a mandatory pre-departure training camp for migrant domestic workers run by the Sri Lankan government to find out. 

Preschool teachers help families cope while mothers work abroad (News Deeply)
In the Sri Lankan hills, preschool teachers run classes to prepare women for the practical and emotional realities of taking on migrant work in a foreign country and teach husbands how to do the job of raising the children.

1518211800815-IMG_3612.jpeg

The Horror of Being the Target of a Witch Hunt in India (Broadly/Vice)
In many villages in rural India, the practice of witch-hunting continues today—despite local laws. Several women who were accused of witchcraft in the state of Rajasthan describe how their lives changed after being branded as witches.

Meet the 18-year-old who refused to be a child bride and is determined to bring change for others in India (CNN)
She stopped her own child marriage, then Rajni stopped an entire generation of girls in her village from becoming child brides.

durga.jpg

She was forced into sex work. Now that she's left that behind, she dreams of being a doctor. (PRI) 
This 19-year-old girl was once forced into prostitution after her marriage ended. She belongs to the Bacchara caste, a community in Madhya Pradesh, a state in central India, where women are the primary breadwinners in their families and often work as prostitutes. Today, she's in school and is helping other women opt out of sex work.

'Here, No Man Decides': Meet India's First Female Sharia Court Judges (Broadly/Vice)
In the country's Islamic courts, intimate family issues like divorce were usually decided by male clerics and judges--until a group of 15 women decided to take matters into their own hands.

Scared and planning for the worst: Immigrants brace for deportation (CNN)
Amid ICE raids and deportations, scared immigrants – both documented and undocumented – are lining up at charities for advice on how to prepare. 

'It will tear our family apart': Voices of the immigration ban (CNN)
This piece, published in the days right after the Executive Order was signed, is a series of vignettes, interviews, and audio featuring people directly impacted by the travel ban.

A portrait of motherhood around the world (CNN)
I sent 20 disposable cameras to women in 17 countries to capture what motherhood looks like around the world. I wanted to include women who might not have smartphones or access to social media, to see their worlds through their eyes.

Coming of age in Trump’s era  (CNN)
Profiles of four teens who will grow up under President Trump: a Muslim girl who wants to be president; the son of Mexican immigrants who voted for Trump; a gay girl who thought about going back in the closet; a first-time swing state voter. 
Life after loss: Seven widows share their stories of grief and survival: 
From a Syrian refugee to a military widow in the United States, these are stories of widowhood around the world.
Voicemails from America (CNN)
I asked Americans how they were feeling after the election and they left us more than 10,000 voicemails – I heard about fear and hope, from a trans woman who was afraid and a gay man who voted for Trump, from the daughter of illegal immigrants who wants a wall and a Mormon who voted for Clinton.

160210161905-hello-love-story-c1-image-1-exlarge-169.jpg

Love story (CNN)
I put flyers up around New York City and other parts of America, asking people to leave a voicemail and tell us their love stories. This project won an EPPY award for best social media/crowdsourcing. 

Can they search my phone?: A guide to your rights at the US border (CNN)
Can officers detain and question you? Ask for access to your phone or your social media profiles? What happens if you say no? 

Ferguson, six months later (The Washington Post)
We returned to Ferguson six months after the death of Michael Brown, to see what happened to the city after the protests, and after the national media's attention had moved on. 

Not my Mother's World: How the world of women in the workplace has changed  (The Washington Post)
I conceived, commissioned, reported part of and edited this series of interviews of women -- including Valerie Jarrett and Cathy Lanier -- about how the opportunities within the workplace have changed for women across generations. 
This Year I Learned (The Washington Post)
We asked people to leave us voicemail stories about the biggest lessons they’ve learned, the biggest fears they’ve conquered, the biggest plans they’ve hatched and more. The resulting project became a Tumblr sensation and an empathetic community. 

On camera / on air: 

An interview with Ibtihaj Muhammad (CNN) - The award-winning Olympian who made history as the first US Olympian to compete and win a medal in a hijab.
Voicemails from America (CNN)  - Discussing my reporting about how American voters were feeling in the aftermath of Election Day.
Interview with American jumper Will Claye and Queen Harrison at the Olympics (CNN)
Interview with Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards Ross (CNN)
Interview with CNN international correspondent about Ryan Lochte at the Rio Olympics (CNN)
Interview with US Olympic women's rowing squad (CNN) 

More stories:  

CNN
Love story -- this crowdsourced voicemail feature storytelling project of people's love stories. 
Born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan, she's now flying around the world
Were the Olympics a success? What will their legacy be for Rio? Locals on their hopes and fears
LGBTQ America in the year since the Pulse shooting 
It's inappropriate to call Afghan women by their names. These women want to change that.
Scientists planning their own march on Washington
Refugee crisis: In Serbia, every shoe has a story 
Love at first sight: A refugee and a border police officer 
These photos are meant to turn our racial stereotypes on their head 
Harvard students launch course on resisting 'the Trump agenda' 
She's running the Boston Marathon to raise money for Syrian refugees 
Olympic women's rugby star: Gold wasn't always an option
This is what Aleppo looked like before the war
Banksy's Steve Jobs mural spotlights refugee crisis
Calais migrant camp: The things they left behind

The Washington Post
Four strangers texted one another during the State of the Union. This is what they had to say. 
Post-Katrina, New Orleans residents show the face of beloved city through vibrant photo collages 
Electronic surveillance under Presidents Bush and Obama
How the Supreme Court ruled on gay marriage 
Timeline: Obama’s promise that people can keep their insurance 
Here’s the first story the Washington Post ever wrote about Hillary Clinton. In 1969.