Biography and Field experience
As of September 2017, Janine di Giovanni will be the Edward Murrow Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Affairs in New York researching minorities in the Middle East. She is the former Middle East editor of Newsweek and a recent Pakis Scholar at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where she focused on Track 2 Diplomacy, International Law and International Security.
In 2016, she was awarded the Courage in Journalism Award for her distinguished work in war zones focusing on tracking war criminals over the past 25 years, most recently, Syria. She is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair.
Currently working in Syria and Iraq, she is focusing on ISIS and other insurgency groups in the Middle East, but her overall thesis is on talking to non-state actors to reduce conflict and providing political representation post-war to minorities.
Her most recent book, “The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria” has been called “searing and necessary” by the New York Times and has won three awards a well as being named one of the best human rights books in 2016. It has been translated into 18 languages. It was shortlisted for the Helen Bernstein Award at the New York Public Library for Excellence in Journalism.
di Giovanni is also a skilled analyst, communicator and strategist, a non-resident International Security Fellow at the New America Foundation and an Associate Fellow at The Geneva Centre for Security Policy, where she moderated their geopolitical debate series. She is a former Ochberg Fellow at Columbia School of Journalism, given in recognition of her work with victims of trauma. She is a frequent moderator of high-level panels, an analyst on foreign policy at conferences and has worked for the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, the UN, Harvard’s Kennedy School; Princeton, the LSE, and many other institutions. In 2014, she also worked for the Center for Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery at Central European University with a focus on transitional justice in Aleppo.
Her TED talk on conflict resolution and transitional justice, filmed at the USIP, has reached 1 million viewers. She is a former adviser on the Syria conflict to the UNHCR, and has advised senior officials on policy for the EU, NATO and others. She was a delegate to William Hague’s conference on addressing sexual violence during conflict and has published extensively on the subject.
As a journalist, she has reported war, conflict and its aftermath for more than 25 years in the Middle East, the Balkans and Africa. She has witnessed the siege of Sarajevo, the fall of Grozny and the destruction of Srebrenica and Rwanda in 1994 as well as more than a dozen active conflicts where she was a front-line witness. Her documentation of war crimes has resulted in eight books and her work has been used to cite criminals in later Tribunals.
She has won nine awards, including the National Magazine Award (for her work in Vanity Fair on Kosovo war crimes) and “The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria” and has been the subject of two long-format documentaries, including 7 Days in Syria.
Di Giovanni is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She lives in Paris and holds American, British and French nationalities.
She has worked extensively in the following war and conflict zones and during humanitarian crisis: 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.