Astha Rajvanshi is examining the lives of women and marginalized communities in India and greater South Asia. She will explore how groups navigate the notions of safety and freedom amid a rapidly changing political and economic landscape. Previously, she worked for the New York Times Magazine and was a recipient of the Open City Fellowship by the Asian American Writers Workshop in New York. Originally from Sydney, Australia, she is a graduate of Columbia University's Stabile Center for Investigative Reporting, where she was a Brown Institute Scholar for Media Innovation and a Global Migration Reporting Fellow.
David Kenner is exploring the economic changes underway in Saudi Arabia. He is focusing on how the new generation of Saudis is adapting to that change, and its members’ hopes for the years ahead. David has reported widely from across the Middle East for more than a decade. He was Foreign Policy‘s Middle East editor from 2013 until 2018, when he guided the magazine’s regional coverage while based in Egypt and Lebanon. A lifelong student of Arabic, David is a graduate of Georgetown University, and also attended the American University of Beirut. He is particularly interested in how American values and interests intersect with Middle Eastern politics.
Elizabeth Hawkins is based in El Salvador as a Critchfield Fellow, studying the push factors that lead so many to emigrate and seek asylum in the United States, with a focus on women who have experienced gender-based violence. She is documenting the impact of changing US immigration policy on the lives of Salvadorans and connecting with human rights advocates and others who are working to improve conditions for women and their families. After graduating from the University of Washington School of Law in 2010, Elizabeth founded a humanitarian immigration law practice in Seattle. She has represented hundreds of individuals and families as they navigate the US legal system, with an emphasis on advocating for those who have been subjected to abuse. Prior to law school, Elizabeth majored in English literature at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and studied abroad in England and Spain.
Emily Schultheis is based in Berlin, focusing on the rise of right-wing populism. Her research focuses primarily on Germany, but also explores parallels with populist parties in neighboring countries including Austria, Hungary and Poland. Prior to receiving an ICWA fellowship, Emily worked as a freelance journalist in Berlin covering German politics and the rise of populist parties in more than a dozen countries. Her reporting has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, CBS News, The Los Angeles Times, NBC News, World Politics Review, BBC Online, Spiegel Online International, Deutsche Welle and Der Tagesspiegel, among other outlets. Emily is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and received her B.A. in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania.
Karina Piser’s research explores measures promoting French secularism in public high schools in immigrant-heavy areas. In suburbs of Paris, she interviews students, teachers, administrators, and education-policy practitioners to better understand how the government is targeting schools to improve social cohesion in the aftermath of the 2015 and 2016 terrorist attacks. Prior to receiving the ICWA fellowship, Karina was an editor at World Politics Review, and has previously held positions at the Council on Foreign Relations, the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in Tunis, Tunisia. She holds a master’s degree from Sciences Po Paris, and has written for Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, and World Politics Review, among other publications.
Matthew Chitwood, while on fellowship for two years, is living in rural Yunnan, China’s southwestern-most province. In his home village of Bangdong, population 350, he is surrounded by hillsides of tea, walnuts, and coffee - the lifeblood of his neighbors. Matt's research and writing focuses on how infrastructure development in Yunnan is transforming its people, land, economy, and governance. For almost a decade Matt has worked in Greater China: Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming and Taipei. His work experience spans the business, education and non-profit sectors, and includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the US State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Program. In recent years, Matt has developed, managed and taught for study abroad programs like CET, CIEE and Where There Be Dragons. Matt holds a dual M.A. in China Studies and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He also completed the graduate certificate program at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Matt attended undergrad at Northwest Nazarene University, a private Christian liberal arts school, where he majored in International Business and studied abroad in Central America with the CCCU. He speaks Chinese and Spanish. Matt is also an avid pianist-accordionist-ukuleleist and can throw a mean frisbee.