Janine di Giovanni

direttrice The Reckoning Project

Janine di Giovanni is the Executive Director of The Reckoning Project, a war crimes unit in Ukraine that documents atrocities and helps build cases for international mechanisms. She is also the Tom and Andi Bernstein Visiting Fellow for Human Rights at Yale Law School, Schell Center for Human Rights.

She is also an award-winning war reporter and the author of nine books as well as an academic specializing in human rights. Previously, she ran a similar initiative for the UN Democracy Fund in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. She is currently a Non Resident Fellow at Yale Law School Schell Center for Human Rights. In 2021-2022 she was Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Stavros Niarchos SNF Agora Institute, leading initiatives on transitional justice. From 2018 to 2022, she was a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, teaching human rights. She is also a Global Affairs columnist at Foreign Policy and The National in Dubai.

She has won more than a dozen awards for her writing. In 2020, the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded her its highest non-fiction prize, the Blake-Dodd, for her lifetime body of work.

In 2019, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. A graduate of the elite Iowa Writer’s Workshop, her latest book, The Vanishing: Faith, Loss, and the Twilight of Christianity in the Land of the Prophets, which chronicles the disappearance of Christian minorities, was released in October 2021. The writer Salman Rushdie described it as “A tragic portrait of a disappearing world, created with all of the great Janine di Giovanni’s passion and literary grace.”  

She is the also author of the award-winning book, The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria, which has been translated into 28 languages, and was a Finalist for the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Prize. It was deemed “searing and necessary” by the New York Times and shortlisted for the Helen Bernstein Prize at the NYPL. She is also the author of eight other books on war and conflict.

From 2017 to 2018, Janine was the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Administration.

During the Arab Spring and the Syrian war, Di Giovanni was the Middle East Editor at Newsweek reporting on international security. She was the Senior Foreign Correspondent for the Times of London prior to that, reporting on more than 18 armed conflicts on four continents.  As a 2016 Pakis Scholar at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Di Giovanni focused on international law. Prior to that, she was a contributing editor for two decades at Vanity Fair, where she won the National Magazine Award for Reporting during the war in Kosovo, along with many other awards.

Di Giovanni’s experience in war zones spans 32 years in the Middle East, the Balkans, and Africa. She has investigated human rights abuses on four continents. She is the subject of two long-format documentaries, including the widely acclaimed 7 Days in Syria and Bearing Witness.  Her TED talk “What I Saw in the War” has received over 1 million views on YouTube. In 2016, she was awarded the International Women Media Foundation’s prestigious COURAGE Award.

Janine is also non-resident International Security Fellow at the New America Foundation and an Associate Fellow at The Geneva Centre for Security Policy. She is a former Ochberg Fellow at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, given in recognition of her work with victims of war trauma.

Her expertise includes long-time field work in: Palestine/Israel, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, East Timor, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Rwanda, South Africa, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bahrain, UAE, Algeria, Turkey, Greece, Vietnam, and other countries.

She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A French and American national, she is a Board Member of the Institute of War and Peace Reporting and Association of Foreign Press Correspondents.

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