Current Fellows


Robbie Corey-Boulet • WEST AFRICA •  2014 -  2016

Robbie will divide his time between Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Liberia, researching LGBTI activism and homophobia in West Africa. As a journalist in Southeast Asia and West Africa, most recently with the Associated Press in Dakar, Senegal, he has written about anti-gay legislation in Liberia, sexual violence against transgender sex workers in Abidjan and acts of torture committed by the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire. Robbie’s work has been published by World Policy Journal, Guernica, Asia Literary Review and, among other publications. Proficient in French, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Economics from Brown University (2007) and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism (2008).


Amelia Frank-Vitale • MEXICO •  2012 -  2014

Based in Mexico, Amelia will study and write about unauthorized migrants en route. She is looking at the intersections among the war on drugs, organized crime groups, party politics, and the varieties of violence faced by Central American migrants who are passing through Mexico in hopes of reaching the United States. Amelia graduated from Yale in 2005 with a degree in Anthropology. A former union organizer, she completed a master’s degree in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs at American University in 2011.


Malia Politzer • SPAIN/INDIA •  2013 -  2015

Based out of the south of Spain, Malia is looking at the primary migration routes via Morocco and the Spanish enclaves in North Africa. She previously worked for Mint, an Indian business and economics news daily paper, where she wrote on a variety of social issues including disability issues, internal migration, gender, social entrepreneurship and development trends. As a fellow at the Village Voice, she wrote primarily about immigration. Malia has won multiple awards for her reporting and published articles in the Wall Street Journal Asia, Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Policy Magazine, Reason Magazine, and Migration Policy Institute’s monthly magazine The Source. She has reported from China, the US-Mexico border and South Korea, and speaks fluent Spanish, conversational Mandarin, and intermediate Hindi. Malia holds an M.S. in multimedia and investigative journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a Stabile Fellow, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Hampshire College.


Shannon Sims • BRAZIL •  2012 -  2014

Forest and Society Fellow
is a 2011 graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, where she specialized in international environmental law. She received a B.A. in International Relations with a concentration in Politics from Pomona College in 2005. Shannon has done undergraduate work at Bilgi University (Istanbul, Turkey), University of the Aegean (Mytiline, Greece), Universita Cattolica (Milan, Italy), and completed a semester of law school in Italian at Roma Tre University (Rome, Italy). Following the BP Oil Spill in April 2010, she was nominated for an environmental law internship with the United States Coast Guard District 8 Legal Division in New Orleans, where she helped draft unique legal regulations defining the role of the Coast Guard during a drilling moratorium. In 2009, through the Rapoport Fellowship from the Rapoport Center for International Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law, Shannon completed a legal clerkship with the Attorney General’s Office of the Ministry of the Environment of Brazil (IBAMA), where she researched concessions management in environmentally protected areas along the coast, and documented small Brazilian fishing communities.


Chi-Chi Zhang • China •  2012 -  2014

Based in southwestern China, Chi-Chi will be working in an urbanizing landscape impacted by incredible social change, mass migration, and a growing yet potentially problematic economy. She will be writing about China's next generation and its role in the country's political, economic and social development. As a producer for CNN in Beijing, Chi-Chi covered ethnic dilution in Inner Mongolia, traveled to the North Korean border for Kim Jong-il's death and documented Tibetan unrest in Sichuan Province. She previously worked as a correspondent for the Associated Press in Beijing, covering events such as the lead-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Xinjiang riots and China's 60th anniversary. A Utah native who moved back to China in 2005, she has also lived in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Follow her on Twitter @chi2zhang.



From the Archive

Four giant catfish – one of them 617 lbs. – caught on the Mekong River, 2004

“The secrets and traditions of hunting the giants, one of the world’s largest fresh-water fish, have been preserved by generations of Chiang Khong fishermen. As recently as 1990, some 69 of the fish had been caught in a single season. Catches, however, declined rapidly thereafter and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the fish, known in Thai as pla buek, as critically endangered. Their apparent disappearance has made the giant a symbol of environmental problems, particularly those associated with dam development in China and the navigation-improvement scheme.” [read newsletter]

—Matthew Wheeler

Mekong River Nations

ICWA Fellow (2002-2004)