The Participants

Afghanistan: Mohammad Sharif Hassanyar

Sharif Hassanyar is a news operation manager for Moby Media group, which consists of TOLO TV and TOLO News in Afghanistan. He has worked for the media group since 2005, where he started as a reporter.

He has had two trips to the United States -- the first one in 2008 for the Marrow Journalism Program and the second in 2011 for The International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP).

He graduated in 2005 from Kabul University's faculty of journalism department of radio television. He is fluent in English, which he studied in Kabul, and he has done many reports and interviews throughout his career.

Afghanistan: Jawid Jurat Delawari

Jawid Jurat Delawari works as a current affairs (Aamaj) show presenter for 1TV in Afghanistan.

He previously worked as a current affairs presenter and coordinator for TOLO TV for three years, and then joined the Ministry of Higher education as a procurement officer from 2010-11.

He won the award for "Best Current Affairs Show Presenter" from NYE, an organization that supports Afghanistan's independent media.

He studied political science in faculty of law and political science at Kabul University from 2004-09. He was born in the Kapisa province of Afghanistan.

Argentina: Abel Escudero Zadrayec

Abel Escudero Zadrayec is the editor in chief of La Nueva Provincia newspaper in Argentina.

Prior to taking on this position, which he has had for seven years, Abel served as a staff writer, sports writer, columnist and correspondent in Buenos Aires. He has been a journalist for 20 years.

Abel studied at the Universidad de San Andres, Universidad Católica Argentina, and the University of Oxford. Part of his master’s thesis was published in 2007, entitled “Malvinas. El desmbarco de una primicia.” He was a finalist for the Garcia Marquez FNPI journalism award in 2008.

He speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Azerbaijan: Victoria Dementyeva

Victoria Dementyeva is a correspondent of the international politics department of APA (Azeri Press) news agency in Azerbaijan. She has held this position since September, 2008.

As part of her duties, she works with international institutes such as OSCE, EU, and The Council of Europe and Azerbaijani Embassies abroad. She covers the annual OSCE ministerial meetings and other international events for APA, and she writes mostly about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Azerbaijan's foreign policy.

Prior to this position, she worked as a director assistant for the construction company ZQAN Holding, from 2007 to 2008. She has also taught English language courses since 2004.

She graduated from the Baku State University with Master Degree in Russian linguistics in 2006. Victoria speaks her native Russian, Azerbaijani and fluent English. She can understand Turkish, Ukrainian, Spanish and Italian.

Bahrain: Hussain Alsari

Hussain Alsari is a foreign news sub-editor for Alayam Newspaper in Bahrain, a position he has held for two years. Prior to that, he was a sports reporter; he has been a journalist for five years.

He is a graduate of the University of Bahrain with a degree in physical education. However, since obtaining his bachelor's degree, he has been working as a journalist.

He feels proud that his newspaper has entrusted him to cover the major events in the Kingdom of Bahrain, including the Manama Dialogue in 2010 and Bahrain’s Formula 1 in 2012.

Belarus: Alisher Sharipau

Alisher Sharipau is a journalist and anchor for Tut.by media-agency in Minsk, Belarus. Being Russian-speaking, Asian-looking and Uzbek-Belarus is quite a challenge for someone seeking his place in the sun among the ruins of the Soviet empire.

He studied in St. Petersburg and received a degree in Oriental languages in 1997. He worked as a translator and freelance journalist in St. Petersburg, and then worked as database specialist at the European University. He spent his summers teaching Russian at Concordia Language Villages in Moorhead, Minnesota, in 2002-03, and got his second master's degree in cultural management at Moscow/Manchester School of Social and Economic Sciences in 2004.

Alisher then worked as a copywriter and journalist in Moscow until 2007 when he was invited to teach linguistics and media at Belarus State University in Minsk. Later, he was sent to a linguistic internship at Hanoi National University in Vietnam, where he spent several years both teaching English and writing for local newspapers.

Brazil: Luiz Fernando Andrade

Fernando Andrade has been a journalist since 1999 when he graduated from Sao Judas University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is now a chief reporter for CBN, a news-exclusive national radio station and is also an editor and anchor of numerous programs. He started working for CBN in 2001.

Prior to that, Fernando worked as a reporter with various magazines. He was also a journalism teacher at Senac-Central Communications and the Arts from 2004-07. In 2009 he received a graduate degree in management and marketing communications.

Bulgaria: Konstantin Petrov Vulkov

Konstantin Vulkov is the program director of the biggest Bulgarian private radio station, Darik Radio. He has held this position since November 2006. He is also the creator of the award-winning radio/internet project “The Innovators,” where he interviews high-profile individuals like Richard Quest, Jean Nouvel, John Micklethwait, Isabel Allende, Enrique Penalosa and many more.

He graduated from 18 Lycee de la Langue Française in Sofia and received a master’s degree from Sofia University in geography, social-economics, transport and telecommunications.

Konstantin attended many training programs, including Deutsche Welle on Radio Management and Programming (2001), TOL on Writing International News (2001), Reuters on Managing Journalists (2001), European Journalism Centre on Newsroom Management (2002), Knight International Fellow Training on Journalism (2002), Reuters on Writing Business News (2003), European Journalism Centre on Investigating Europe Online (2004), EU Headquarters on Neighborhood Policy for Journalists (2005), European Commission on EU for newly-member states (2005), European Journalism Centre on Newsroom Management (2005), Japan Journalism Program (2009), Swedish Institute (2009), NATO Afghanistan Visit (2010) and more.

Burma: Kyaw Min Swe

Kyaw Swe has been the chief editor for Living Color Magazine and The Voice Weekly in Myanmar since 2004. He worked his way up from reporter, photographer and junior editor to become executive editor, editor in charge from 2001-03, and then took on his current position.

He received a bachelor's degree from Yangon University in 1995 and he attended the diploma course of development study at faculty of economics at Yangon University in 2004.

From 2000-09, Kyaw attended numerous workshops including the Photojournalism Workshop, English for Journalism (American Center, Yangon), Advance Journalism (Phnom Pen, Cambodia), Educator’s Workshop ( Bangkok,Thailand), Journalism Fellowship Training (United States), ASEAN Journalists Visiting Program (Singapore), The Unique Tour of Singapore Education (Singapore), ASEAN Media Forum (Bangkok, Thailand), ASIA Media Conference (Bangkok, Thailand), Forum on Myanmar Election, ISEAS, National University of Singapore (Singapore).

In March 2012, he visited Japan with the program “Press Tour for Disaster Management.” He also traveled to Paris for a media tour in April 2012.

Cambodia: Leang Delux

Leang Delux is a correspondent for Radio France Internationale in Cambodia. He also owns and runs a multimedia news website.

After having graduated in French literature and completing journalism training at Royal University of Phnom Penh in 2000, he started his career as a journalist at the French-speaking newspaper Cambodge Soir.

He left the Daily Cambodge Soir in 2009 before starting a few months later at a leading Cambodian language newspaper Rasmei Kampuchea. He worked there until 2012.

During his 12 years as a journalist, he has covered events abroad including Asean-Sakai in Japan, a World expo in Shanghai, an Asean-China exhibition and a Press tour in Japan. He also trained abroad.

Cameroon: Kingsly Ngwane Asah

Ngwane Kingsly Asah is a journalist, reporter and writer. He is the political affairs editor at Satellite FM Radio, the International Communication group L'Anecdote in Cameroon.

Ngwane is the author of the book "Election Matters, How to Register to Vote and Protect Your Vote.” He studied in Yaounde, Cameroon and holds a bachelor's degree in English with a diploma in journalism. He is 31 years old and is married with one child.

El Salvador: Joyce Alvarez

Joyce Alvarez is a reporter covering international news and Salvadorans abroad for La Prensa Grafica in El Salvador.

She has worked in the media for the last five years, since graduating from Universidad Jose Simeon Cañas in 2007. Previously she worked for the first online media outlet in El Salvador, “El Faro,” in the cultural section.

She has participated in two trainings by the Reuters Foundation, in 2009 and 2010, through which she learned about writing, reporting and multimedia tools. Both sessions were held in London.

She has also reported in Mexico, specifically on the opening of a new Salvadoran consulate. It was her first international reporting trip.

Her daily work includes updating Salvadoran’s global website, Departamento15. The site is dedicated to immigration issues and the work of Salvadorans living in the United States and other countries. She also helps to prepare the editorial guide for the next day’s edition and posts multimedia messages.

Ethiopia: Samuel Endale Mengesha

Samuel Endale Mengesha is the deputy program director of the Fana Broadcasting Corporation in Ethiopia. He oversees nine FM stations in nine regional cities. He has a bachelor's degree in Ethiopian language and literature from Addis Ababa University, where he also studied journalism.

He started his journalism career as a newsroom reporter for Fana Radio. After working for two or three years in the news department, he joined another division as coordinator of infotainment.

Years later, he was appointed deputy director and assigned to run the FM division of the station. He continues to host his own weekly programs, such as "DASSESA/current analysis." He is married and has two terrific kids.

Georgia: Tamar Babuadze

Tamar Babuadze is a contributing editor for the Georgian magazine LIBERALI. She has been a journalist since she was 19.

She pursued an education in Georgia and also attended Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) in Minnesota for a ten-month study program. After graduating, she first started working for 24SAATI (24HOURS), the biggest daily newspaper in Georgia.

In 2005, she started working for a newly founded magazine, TSKHELI SHOKOLADI, writing profiles and lengthy features. The publishing house of that magazine then launched LIBERALI.

Tamar also has translation experience, and she recently worked on translating the short story collection by Etgar Keret, a Jewish author, from English to Georgian. The project came out to be successful, and the translation was nominated (but it never won) the main Literary Prize in Tbilisi, Georgia SABA.

As for the fields of interest, she is happy that she has a luxury to be flexible and to write about topics from various fields, including elections.

Grenada: Nicole Belinda Best

Nicole Best is a journalist for the Caribbean Media Corporation.

She has been a journalist since 1991, working for multiple organizations including YSFM Quality Radio, the Grenada Broadcasting Network Limited, the Grenada Advocate Newspaper and the BBC Caribbean News Service. She has also worked in public relations for a number of companies.

Nicole has an executive diploma in Business Management from The University of West Indies. She has won multiple awards for her television, radio and newspaper reports.

She enjoys singing, reading, listening to music and gardening.

Guatemala: Pablo Pedro Marroquin Perez

Pablo Perez is the editor-in-chief for La Hora, a newspaper in Guatemala.

He has held this position for three years after working as the paper’s political editor for eight years. He has been a journalist since 2001.

Pablo graduated from the Universidad Francisco Marroquin Law School. He has written numerous books, including "The 47 Laws of Power" (Spanish), "The First Day" (Spanish), "Blue Ocean" and "The Yankee Years."

Hungary: Peter Zentai

Peter Zentai is senior editor at the only Hungarian talk radio station: Klubrádio. He is a reporter at-large for international, political and financial affairs for three of the most-visited Hungarian-language websites: www.alapblog.hu, www.hvg.hu and www.figyelo.hu.

He has conducted interviews with the finance ministers of Norway, Ireland, Latvia, Austria; with the minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic; with highly respected investors including George Soros, Marc Faber, Jim Rogers; and with many of the most influential economists and academics of Germany, Sweden, Great Britain and the United States.

Peter has also has been quoted by international news agencies including Bloomberg, Reuters, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Economist and The Financial Times.

He is a two-time winner of the Hungarian Pulitzer prize (2004 and 2008) for radio journalism. He covered the Middle East, Nato and EU issues from 1980-2009.

Prior to that, Peter worked at Magyar Rádió (Hungarian Public Radio) where he focused on Austria as a Vienna-based correspondent from 1991-94. He also covered the United States and international terrorism, including Iraq and Afghanistan, as chief correspondent in Washington D.C., from 2000-03. He also covered Germany as chief correspondent for Magyar Rádió in Berlin.

India: Anshuman Tiwari

Anshuman Tiwari is the chief of national and state bureaus for Jagran Prakashan Limited in India. The group is a leading media house overseeing newspapers, magazines, advertising, promotional marketing, event management and digital businesses.

Anshuman oversees the national bureau of Dainik Jagran in Delhi and the 13 news bureaus at state capitals. He is also an accomplished economic and political analyst and columnist.

He has 20 years of journalistic experience. He has won numerous awards, including The Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award in 2011 and the WAN-IFRA international award for breaking news in 2011. He will also be publishing a book in November 2012.

Indonesia: Dwi Anggia Ritmadhini

Dwi Anggia Ritmadhini is a news anchor and associate producer at tvOne in Indonesia. She has had nine years of experience as a journalist. She anchors hard news and dialogue programs, while also producing news packages on politics, law, national and international events/issues, disasters, special reports and lobbying.

She graduated from Andalas University in Pdang, West Sumatera, in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree.

Dwi has the ability to work independently and work on team. She loves challenges, is a fast learner, is organized and punctual, yet flexible, and is a "go-getter." She can speak English, Mandarin and Bahasa. She has a passion for music, extreme sports, travel and books.

Kenya: Maricus Agutu

Maricus Owino Agutu is a Kenyan journalist with 16 years of experience. He holds a master’s degree in communication and media studies awarded in 2007 by The University of Nairobi’s School of Journalism. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in English and sociology from Egerton University in December 1995.

In February 1996, he joined The Daily Nation - the largest circulating daily newspaper in East and Central Africa. Starting off as a correspondent, he gradually rose through the ranks to be a staff reporter, then a sub-editor and eventually to his current position as provincial news editor and bureau chief in charge of the Coast Region. In 2007, he won an award from the Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector Reforms Programmes (GJLOS) for legal reporting.

In addition to his job as a Provincial News Editor, he is also a consultant editor for Transparency International-Kenya, a respected corruption watchdog institution.

He is married and has four children.

Kuwait: Tariq Abdullah ahmad Aleidan

Tariq Aleidan is 27 years old and is currently a political reporter for alQabas Newspaper in Kuwait. He has six years of experience, and he covers the National Assembly Parliament’s activities and sessions.

He has a bachelor’s degree in mass media and communication with a concentration in journalism and press.

He has been fortunate to report from different capitals of the world, including covering the Russian/Georgian war in Tbilisi and the Omani Parliamentary election in 2010. He covered the battleground with the Kuwaiti Red Crescent, as well as the efforts of the Kuwait government to deliver humanitarian aid to several countries including the Palestinian Territories, Morocco and Georgia.

Libya: Nelufer Elbadri

Nelufer Elbadri is a political analyst for an international, democratic governance NGO, "Democracy Reporting International," where she advises the senior management on Libyan political developments. She is also a radio talk show host for RadioZone 100.7. Previously, she worked at the EU Election Assessment Team in Tripoli monitoring the first free elections in Libya.

An investment analyst and private banker in the early years of her career, Nelufer was motivated to shift to political affairs by the momentous events of the past two years in the Arab World.

Raised and educated in both Egypt and the U.K., Nelufer considers herself a native of both Middle Eastern and Western cultures.

In her free time, she enjoys reading novels, playing a variety of sports - including rugby and Pilates – cooking and travelling.

Malawi: Pilirani Phiri

Pilirani Phiri is a 31-year-old, award-winning investigative and political journalist. He works as a radio host, editor and web editor for the Zodiak Broadcasting Station in Malawi.

Throughout his seven year career, he has written a number of investigative stories that have exposed corrupt officials in Malawi. These stories include a probe that exposed embezzlement of millions of kwacha meant for youth club projects in rural areas by the National Youth Council in 2007, and high-profile interviews with political figures in his country.

In 2005 his work was named "the best investigative journalism" by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter. In 2006, he was runner-up for the SADC region John Manyarara Investigative Award, which he later won in 2007.

In 2008 he was again voted as "Investigative Journalist of the Year" by MISA Malawi. He has also won other MISA Malawi awards for his reporting on business, human rights, good governance and democracy.

In 2012, Pillirani won the MISA Malawi Talk Show Host award - sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Malawi - for his “Larry King”-like interviews in his weekly "Tiuzeni Zoona" (Tell us the Truth) show. Throughout his shows, he asks tough questions of those in power to ensure that they are accountable to the electorate.

Malaysia: Johardy Ibrahim Maulana

Johardy Ibrahim is one of the five news editors in the Malay daily Utusan Malaysi, and a columnist for their weekly edition, Mingguan Malaysia. He also writes car reviews, a trade which he learned after spending six years as a business reporter. In other words, he loves to drive fast.

Last May, he celebrated his 20th year as a journalist. That doesn’t mean he belongs in the Ice Age, as he is still very much in his late 30s. He started early at age 19 before pursuing his degree in 2002 in communications and graduating in 2006.

For leisure, aside from driving fast, he plays soccer and is a hardcore fan of the English Premier League football team Liverpool Football Club. He went to Liverpool to watch the team play – twice so far. And he can also sing a little bit…Metallica songs, mostly.

Mali: Celia Dede Manko D'Almeida

Celia Dede Faconam Manko d’Almeida, usually called Celia, is 34 years old and has been a journalist since 2003. She is Togolese but has lived in Mali for almost ten years now. She worked for the first Malian private radio station, Radio Klédu, from 2003-10 and since October 2010, she has been the deputy editor in chief of the online newspaper Journaldumali.com (JDM).

She works specifically on human rights and environmental issues. She is also interested in political issues and has gotten the opportunity to cover several events during the Malian political crisis, which started in March 2012.

She is a member of several journalists’ networks. She is also involved in her community and is a member of the Junior Chamber International-Mali and other youth movements. She likes teamwork and learning from others.

Moldova: Dumitru Ciorici

Dumitru Ciorici, 25 years old, is an editorial director and shareholder of Interact Media SRL (UNIMEDIA) in Moldova. Prior to taking on this role, he was a political department coordinator. He has been a journalist for seven years.

He has a university degree in telecommunications engineering, and he speaks Romanian, English and Russian.

Morocco: Hanane Jazouani

Hanane Oulaïllah Jazouani is 31 years old and is a journalist for the website Yabiladi.com in Morocco. She has held that position for about a year.

Prior to her current job, she was a radio journalist for Atlantic Radio, which belongs to Eco Media, the biggest press organization in Morocco. The editorial line of the radio focused on business, finance and company news. She was an anchor as well a reporter, and she worked there for four years.

She studied in the United Kingdom at the University of Winchester. She received a bachelor's degree in screen production, and specialized in journalism and documentary filmmaking.

During her free time, she loves to draw and write novels, children stories, tales or scenarios. She also loves going to the cinema (she has a passion for films and documentaries about immigration) as well as visiting art galleries, travelling, making short films, photography and meeting foreign people in the streets.

She has been learning to play the piano and the tin whistle for two years now. She also loves going to charity shops in the U.K. to buy old vinyl, including Madonna’s earliest albums. She lives with her husband in Morocco.

Nepal: Pawan Acharya

Pawan Acharya is chief of current affairs and broadcaster for Radio Kantipur Pvt ltd. in Nepal. He has been a journalist since 2002, reporting on politics, the economy, sports and entertainment through the shows he has hosted and produced for Radio Kantipur. He was the first Nepalese radio journalist to cover the Olympics (Bejing 2008).

Pawan serves as the spokesperson/secretary for Rights of Individuals for Social Empowerment (R.I.S.E) and as treasurer for the Center for Investigative Journalism.

He has a master's degree in mass communication, and he speaks English, Nepali and Hindi.

Nicaragua: Francis Garcia Kreimann

Francis García Kreimann is 29 years old and is the international desk editor for La Prensa newspaper, a job she has held since June 10, 2010.

Prior to this role, she worked as an online reporter for El Nuevo Diario newspaper and as a communications assistant for two public relations agencies. She also worked as a reporter for the Consejo Nacional de Universidades.

She has completed two postgraduate courses. One was on reporting on human rights, for which she produced a television piece about the deficiencies of the primary educational system of Nicaragua. This piece earned her UNICEF’s National Television Award in 2009. The second was on digital journalism.

During the last seven years, she has worked as a reporter and editor, which has given her good insight into Nicaragua’s political culture, local leaders and the people of Nicaragua as a whole.

She loves to drink a cup of coffee while reading a good book or engage in a good conversation with family or friends. Words that inspire her are: “Thank God for your blessings.” and “I’ll do my best, yes I can!”

Pakistan: Fayaz Naich

Fayaz Ahmed Naich has been a journalist for eight years. He is currently working with Kawish Media Group as an anchor of a primetime talk show, “Discussion,” based on news analysis at KTN News. He is also a contributor for Daily Kawish.

He has worked as a director of news and current affairs at SINDH TV NEWS and as an anchor for the daily program JAAIZO.

He is interested in national and international politics, the economy, democratic movements and the role of political parties, foreign policy and national interests, and media freedom.

He has covered general and local elections in Pakistan and also directed and hosted a three-day transmission on the 2008 U.S. elections.

He is a member of National Committee of South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) and a member of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).

Pakistan: Hira Mureed

Hira Mureed is a programming manager and journalist for FM 100 in Islamabad.

FM 100 Pakistan has four radio stations on the network and online, all covering political and social issues. Hira has worked in this position since 2007, reporting on terrorism, women’s rights, child labor, education, the environment and other topics. Prior to this role, she was an anchor; she has been a journalist for seven years.

Hira has a professional degree in performing arts and is currently pursuing an M.B.A. She has attended seminars and trainings conducted by various organizations, including BBC and Internews.

She is interested in music – including western and classical Indian. She is also interested in books, poetry, going to the gym and spending time with friends and family.

Pakistan: Imran Mukhtar

Imran Mukhtar is a staff correspondent at The Nation in Islamabad, Pakistan. He covers a number of beats, including the Senate, the National Assembly, the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the Federal Investigation Agency and the Establishment Division.

Prior to this position, he worked as a city reporter covering protests, seminars, culture, fine arts and festivals. In his career, he has also reported on crime and security threats.

Imran holds a master's degree in communication studies from The Institute of Communication Studies, University of Punjab in Lahore, with a specialization in print media and mass communication theory. He also studied journalism as a major subject at the graduate level.

Along with his role as a reporter, he is a visiting lecturer at the Department of Media Studies at the International Islamic University in Islamabad.

Palestinian Territories: Abdulhakim Salah

Abdulhakim Salah has been a journalist with the Bethlehem-based Palestinian independent News Agency Ma’an for six years. He has been head of the English desk for three years.

His responsibilities include selecting news reports from the Arabic version to be written in English. After the translators write the selected story in English, native speakers proofread and edit the stories, adding background information when needed. Then Salah reads the English and Arabic versions to make sure there was no misunderstanding and to ensure that the language used in English is professional and matches internationally-acceptable standards.

Salah is also responsible for coordination between Ma’an’s Arabic and Hebrew desks – sometimes asking them for additional information, or giving them information he and his team obtain from other sources.

His responsibilities also include overseeing the administrative arrangements related to his department. Salah is very well-acquainted with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and with Israeli affairs. Prior to his job at Ma’an, he worked in Israel for more than 20 years in different fields, and he speaks Hebrew fluently.

Salah is 49 years old and father to five children.

Philippines: Carmela Fonbuena

Carmela Fonbuena learned journalism while working for the investigative group Newsbreak, learned about breaking news while working for the online news publication www.abs-cbnnews.com, and learned production while working for television network GMA News TV. In her current post at Rappler, she combines all her skills as a one-woman news factory.

Carmela is a multimedia reporter covering the exciting and often crazy politics of the Philippines. She also occasionally reports on human rights, civil society, the economy and other issues where politics come into play.

She always has her iPhone in her hand ready to live tweet news, take videos and photos of developing stories, or record video interviews.

In 2007, she won first prize in the Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism for a story on political killings in the Philippines.

She was born in the coastal province of La Union and graduated with a degree in journalism, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2003. She also took a basic business course at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

Carmela has co-written three books on Philippine elections and is buying advance tickets for the next performance of the electoral circus.

Qatar: Reem Yousuf Al-Harami

Reem Al-Harami is an international relations researcher for the Civil Aviation Authority and writes for the Quatari newspaper Alraya. Alraya is one of the four newspapers owned by the Qatari government. She started publishing with the newspaper at age 15, and a number of her articles and have been published in other newspapers outside Qatar. She covers U.S. foreign policy, Middle Eastern politics, counter-terrorism, civil rights movements and activism.

She has a degree in political science and international relations from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011, where she also served as a teacher’s assistant for one semester, teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. She has also done several internships in Washington D.C., with Al-Hurra TV, Qatar Embassy, U.S.-Qatar Business Council, U.S. Congressman Lee Terry’s office and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination-Committee (ADC).

Recently, she participated in a fellowship program on “Leaders for Democracy” at Syracuse University in New York, and she has represented Qatar by participating in many events and conferences. These include Doha Debates and Oxford University debating workshops, Alliance of Civilizations, MEPI and the Al-Qurain cultural festival in Kuwait.

She currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Culture Creativity Center under the Qatari Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage.

Romania: Paul Ciprian Ciocoiu

Paul Ciprian Ciocoiu has been a foreign affairs editor with Evenimentul Zilei (daily newspaper) in Romania since 2008. He is also the coordinator of the foreign affairs department.

Since 2006, he has also contributed to Southeast European Times (www.setimes.com), a U.S.-sponsored news website covering the Balkans, for which he has published hundreds of features, interviews, reports and blog reviews. He has also co-authored many regional articles.

Between 2000 and 2004, he studied at the AIC University – Iassy, where he majored in history and minored in English. In Bucharest, he got a master’s degree in communication and public relations at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA).

His first job was between 2004-05 as a sub-editor with the English language daily Nine O’Clock. He then worked as a researcher and translator at Senso TV (2005-06). He also worked as a foreign affairs editor with Mediafax, the largest newswire in Romania.

Traveling and numismatics are among his hobbies. He is married and has one child.

Russia: Olga Kuzmenkova

Olga Kuzmenkova is 23-years-old and works as a politics correspondent for the Russian online newspaper Gazeta.Ru.

She is a graduate of Moscow State University in the Journalism Department (diploma with Honors, 2011). In 2009, she spent a semester at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences (School of Media) in the Netherlands. This program for journalism students focuses on online publishing and has an obligatory course of political studies.

Her bachelor's thesis relates to parliamentary campaigns in Switzerland, and she has analyzed the political system of direct democracy and the impact of social media as a means of communication during elections. As U.S. President Barack Obama was the first one to use social media to organize volunteers, she also analyzed his previous campaign. After graduating, she began her Ph.D. studies with this theme.

Before joining Gazeta.Ru in 2011, she worked as a web editor of the Russian magazine The New Times.

Aside from working in Gazeta.Ru she has done some social-focused stories for another online media OpenSpace.Ru.

Russia: Pavel Filippov

Pavel Filippov, has been a radio journalist since June 1998. He is currently a program director for ZAO Izdatelskiy Dom “Komsomolskaya Pravda” in Russia.

He began his career as a sound engineer at a CHR Top 40 radio. The same year, he got a job at AC radio, where he made his career as a sound designer, music editor and later, assistant director.

Then he became both morning show producer and talk show host for another CHR Top 40 Radio, and he later got promoted to his current position as program director for a talk radio show.

He is fluent in both Russian and English, and likes photography, music and doing radio – a hobby that pays.

Senegal: Seydina Alioune Djigo

Seydina Alioune Djigo is a journalist at RTS1, Senegal's national television station.

He attended several private Catholic schools and public high schools before following a two-year training program in marketing, through which he received an associate degree. He then pursued studies combining journalism and communication at SUPDECO. He graduated with a bachelor degree in 2009.

Since then, he has worked his way up at RTS as a trainee then as a permanent reporter in 2011. His responsibilities include hosting “The English Magazine,” a weekly news program.

Serbia: Tamara Spaic

Tamara Spaic is a senior political correspondent and columnist in the integrated newsroom of Blic Daily Newspaper and Blic Online, a position she has held since 2006.

She covers internal politics (elections, political parties) Serbia's EU member candidacy, and corruption. For more than 20 years she covered politics as a journalist and editor at various daily and weekly newspapers and magazines.

Throughout her career, Tamara has conducted many interviews with some of the highest EU and Serbian officials who have shaped political history, including presidents and Serbian and EU officials, NATO commanders and opinion-making analysts.

For two years, just after democratic changes in Serbia, she was media adviser to the president of the Federal Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro. She was the editor-in-chief of the Newsletter of the Delegation of the European Commission in Serbia for two years.

As a lecturer, Tamara participated in various programs for young journalists and young politicians supported by journalistic NGOs in Serbia and the EU.

She has a master's degree in comparative literature from the Belgrade Faculty of Philology. She is married to Nebojsa Spaic, editor in chief of the newsmagazine NIN, and they have two children.

Sri Lanka: Dinouk Chandralal Colombage

Dinouk Chandralal Colombage is features editor for The Sunday Leader in Sri Lanka.

Originally born in Australia, Colombage has been working for The Sunday Leader since October 2010, when he was hired as a staff writer. He then moved to the paper’s sports desk as deputy sports editor, which allowed him to travel to Australia, India and Sri Lanka, along with covering the Cricket World Cup. As features editor, he is in charge of “The Review” – an eight page supplement that includes features on arts, food and travel.

He graduated in 2009 from the University of Sydney with a degree in history.

Dinouk has recently been developing his passion for photography – integrating the hobby into his work as a journalist.

Sudan: Elham Mustafa Abbas Salih

Elham Salih is the head of coverage for Alahdath Daily newspaper in Sudan. She graduated in the Faculty of Science from the University of Khartoum.

Elham was formerly a science reporter and the head of writers for Al-Sahafa Daily.

Before that, she was executive manager for Nasaq International.

Thailand: Chairat Frank Thomya

Chairat Thomya, often called “Frank,” is a foreign news editor/anchor for Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS), Thailand’s first public and commercial-free broadcaster.

Prior to joining Thai PBS, Frank worked as a foreign news correspondent and news program co-host for ITV Thailand. In all, he has been a journalist for 15 years.

He graduated from Hititsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He has won a number of awards including the Excellence Award for news coverage on current affairs in 2005 from the Broadcast Journalist Association of Thailand for his coverage of the Pakistan earthquake.

East Timor: Tito de Jesus Filipe da Costa

Tito de Jesus Filipe da Costa is the coordinator of radio bulletin for Radio-Televisão Timor Leste (RTTL).

Prior to this position, he served as a reporter for the station.

He has been a journalist for nine years.

He attended the National University of East Timor-UNTL, and speaks Tetum, Indonesian, English and Portuguese.

Trinidad & Tobago: Juhel Francis Browne

Juhel Browne is a senior multimedia journalist with Caribbean Communications (CCN) in Trinidad & Tobago. CCN owns TV6, T&T's number one television station, along with the Trinidad Express Newspaper – T&T's number one newspaper.

Juhel covers the political beat. He is based in the TV6 News newsroom, but he also contributes articles to the Trinidad Express Newspaper. He was one of two T&T journalists selected to attend the press conference held by U.S. President Barack Obama in T&T's capital city, Port of Spain. The press conference was held at the end of the Fifth Summit of the Americas, which took place April 17-19, 2009.

He has been a reporter for sixteen years.

Tunisia: Tarek M'Rad

Tarek M’Rad was the first voice heard on Express FM in Tunisia in October 2010, and since then, he has been in charge of several economical and political debate shows, as well as running the radio marketing department.

Tarek went to Carthage Graduate School of Commerce, where he studied economics and marketing. He worked for the American oil company ExxonMobil in Tunisia, but didn't neglect his passion for media.

Throughout this period and along with his regular activities, he had been a host for 11 years in the only foreign language-speaking radio in Tunisia RTCI. It was only a matter of time before he immersed himself completely in the journalistic field and left the oil company to work for the business radio Express F.M.

Uganda: John Njoroge

John Njoroge is currently a special projects writer with Daily Monitor Publications in Kampala, Uganda, a post he has held since October 1, 2010. He specializes in investigative journalism. He was previously a senior reporter for the Independent Newsmagazine, a public relations officer for Alfa media, and also worked as a host for a number of radio stations. He was the runner-up for the 2008 Lorenzo Natalie Award in the Africa category.

He attended Makerere University for a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. He is currently engaged and has two children.

Venezuela: Maria Carolina Alcalde Roman

Maria Carolina Alcalde Roman works for Globovision as a producer and anchor, reporting on international news. Globovision, a critical channel in Venezuela, plays an important role in preserving democratic ideas in the country. She has worked there since 2007.

Prior to that, she worked for El Nuevo Pais newspaper as the interviews editor and a writer. She worked as a freelance journalist between 2007 and 2009.

She did an internship with CNN in Spanish in Atlanta, Georgia, for three months. When she returned to Venezuela, she started to work as a correspondent for CNN in Spanish radio. She reported out of Caracas for almost two years, until 2008.

Maria studied social communication at Fermin Toro University in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, for five years, and she graduated in 2006.

Vietnam: Do Hieu Trung

Do Hieu Trung is the editor of the international news desk for Tuoi Tre (Youth) Daily Newspaper in Vietnam. Before taking on this position, he was a reporter and a translator, and he has been a journalist for eight years.

He has a bachelor's degree in English language and culture from Hanoi University of Foreign Studies. His reporting has taken him to Indonesia, Lebanon, Thailand, Japan and other countries. He has accompanied Vietnamese officials on international trips as well.