Overseas Press Club

Overseas Press Club Foundation
Encouraging the next generation of foreign correspondents

40 West 45 Street, New York NY 10036 USA| 201.493.9087 | foundation@opcofamerica.org

Previous Winners
1992 - 2003

Winners 2019

Left to right, Mehr Nadeem, A.J. Naddaff, Krithika Varagur, Rachel Mueller, Sarah Champagne, Rebecca Redelmeier, Jonas Ekblom, Daphne Psaledakis, Sarah Wu, Letícia Duarte, Audrey Gray, Eli Binder, Emma Vickers, Claire Parker, Echo Wang and Rebekah Ward.

2019 OPC Foundation Scholars

Rebecca Redelmeier
Tufts University
Sponsored by the Schweisberg Family; presented by David’s brother, Matthew Schweisberg
As a junior reporter with the Daily Maverick & Groundup News in Cape Town, Rebecca encountered Daphne, a much maligned yet hopeful homeless transgender woman with HIV, known best by the birds she feeds every day.  Proficient in French, Rebecca honed her social media, digital skills and audio editing at a media-monitoring startup and with Public Radio.  She has dual U.S./Canadian citizenship.  Her podium remarks.

Jonas Ekblom
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Sponsored by Reuters and  presented by Tiffany Wu, Americas Editor, Reuters
Jonas spent 2011 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he witnessed the memorial service and reburial of 613 newly identified victims of the Srebrenica massacre, the subject of his winning essay.  A multi-media journalist with print and video experience in his native Sweden, he is a graduate of the University of London.  Focused on EU politics and policies, he is fluent in English, Norwegian and Dutch.  Jonas has an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Brussels. His podium remarks.

Letícia Duarte
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Endowed by John R. MacArthur and the Pierre F. Simon Charitable Trust; presented by Rick MacArthur, publisher, Harper’s Magazine
In her essay, Letícia recounted the story of a Syrian refugee family she accompanied on a perilous seven-day, eight-country journey from Greece to Germany.  The response to her report which ran in Zero Hour, a newspaper in her native Brazil, cemented her commitment to foreign correspondence. A journalism graduate of the University of Caxias do Sul, she is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish.  Letícia has an OPC Foundation fellowship with the GroundTruth Project. Her podium remarks.

Mehr Nadeem
Yale University

Endowed by the Scripps Howard Foundation; presented by Jack Howard-Potter of the Pamela Howard Family Foundation
Born to Pakistani parents in London, Mehr spent most of her youth in the narrow confines of a compound for Western ex-pats in Saudi Arabia.  A former Bloomberg intern, Mehr wrote about her three-month-long investigation into the security partnership between the Interior Ministry of Saudi Arabia and the University of New Haven.  A dual U.K./Pakistani citizen, she is fluent in Urdu and Hindi and proficient in Arabic. She has a fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Pakistan funded by the OPC Foundation. 

Rachel Mueller
UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Sponsored by family and friends; presented by Charlie Sennott, founder and editor, GroundTruth Project
Rachel intends to focus her career reporting in East Africa, an area that has captured her interest since 2007 when she moved to eSwatini (formerly Swaziland).  A documentary filmmaker, she also speaks French, Swahili and Wolof. In her essay, she wrote about Guyanese women who battle taboos to become drummers, the subject of her winning essay. Rachel is a graduate of Macalester College.  She has an OPC Foundation fellowship with GroundTruth Films. Her podium remarks.

Claire Parker
Harvard University

Endowed by the Swinton Family; presented by Helen Swinton, Stan’s wife
Claire wrote about the Tunisian transitional justice project.  On a three-week reporting trip there last summer, she met Basma Bala’I, the first woman to bear witness to the abuses of the previous regime.  A dual U.S./Irish citizen, she speaks Arabic and French.  An editor at the Harvard Crimson, Claire formerly interned at the Boston Globe and Texas Tribune. After an internship this summer at the foreign desk of the Washington Post, she will travel to Paris for an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Associated Press bureau.  Her podium remarks.

Echo Wang
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Endowed by family; presented by Paritosh Bansal, Reuters managing editor for news in the Americas
Echo is foremost a business journalist, a beat she honed as a field reporter for Le Monde and Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung in her native China.  Currently with NPR Planet Money, she wrote about the burgeoning wine industry in China, specifically one award-winning family-owned winery that is raising the profile of Chinese wines.  A graduate of the Shanghai International Studies University, she has an OPC Foundation fellowship with Reuters in New York. Her podium remarks.

Sarah Wu
Harvard University

Endowed by family, friends and admirers; presented by Roy’s son, Marc Roy Rowan
Sara plans to cover cultural and economic changes in China, a country she left as a child when her family emigrated to Canada.  Now fluent in Mandarin, she wrote her essay about how Chinese senior citizens in Seattle were being driven from their neighborhoods by new real estate development, a front-page story she covered as an intern for the Seattle Times.  A news editor at the Harvard Crimson, she has an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Hong Kong. Her podium remarks.

Daphne Psaledakis
University of Missouri

Endowed by the Pierre F. Simon Charitable Trust; presented by Jackie Albert-Simon, Flora’s friend
Daphne believes her childhood spent traveling and living abroad has prepared her well for a career as a foreign correspondent.  In her essay, she wrote about the unintended consequences of Belgium’s race-blind approach to data collecting, a story she researched while she was an intern in the Reuters bureau in Brussels.  Fluent in French, she has also covered state government for the Columbia Missourian.  Daphne’s will return to the Reuters Brussels bureau as an OPC Foundation fellow. Her podium remarks.

Sarah Champagne
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Endowed by S&P Global; presented by David Guarino, Chief Communications Officer, S&P Global
After a career that so far includes four years at a Montreal daily and travels to 13 countries, Sarah is now focused on Latin America, specifically Colombia.  In her essay, she wrote about Guatemalan rape victims seeking justice in a Canadian court after being denied in their native country.  A multimedia journalist and a Canadian citizen, Sarah is a graduate of the University of Montreal.  She is fluent in French, English, Spanish and Italian.  Her podium remarks.

Emma Vickers
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Endowed by family and friends; presented by Kate McLeod, Jerry’s wife and Joe Flint, his son
Emma is the first recipient of a Bloomberg-OPC Foundation fellowship. After six years in South Sudan, she has a keen understanding of how economic opportunities can become political risks in Sub-Saharan Africa, a concern for Lesotho’s burgeoning marijuana farming industry. Now a Fulbright scholar, she has degrees from the University of Nottingham and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.  She is proficient in French. Her podium remarks.

Rebekah Ward
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Funded by Daimler and Supported by CBS News and friends; presented by Al Ortiz, Vice President of News and Standards, CBS News
As a reporter and field producer for France 24, Rebekah traveled the rivers of Colombia’s southern Pacific region by motorboat, where she learned that violence against women did not end with the 2016 peace treaty in the formerly occupied FARC areas – the subject of her essay.  A multimedia journalist, she is a graduate of Colgate University and speaks professional French and Spanish.  A dual U.S./Canadian citizen, she has an OPC Foundation fellowship with Reuters in Mexico City. Her podium remarks.

Audrey Gray
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Endowed by the Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper Family Foundation; presented by Richard Leibner
A mid-career journalist, Audrey is completing her pivot from public radio and TV to corporate communications and now back to long-form narrative magazine-writing, the best format for her to report on how humans are adapting to the global climate crisis.  In her essay, she wrote about working alongside women in South Africa as they collected and recycled human waste.  A graduate of Syracuse University, she has also worked in photography, video and podcast production. Her podium remarks.

Eli Binder
Brown University

Endowed by Anne and Larry Martz; Endowed by Anne and Larry Martz; presented by Larry and Anne Martz
Eli’s interest in China began the day he tasted Sichuan food and has never wavered.  Now a senior at Brown, he wrote about Chinese entrepreneurs who find success in Sri Lanka.  They do so while remaining within their own linguistic and cultural communities and catering solely to Chinese tourists and the maritime nation’s growing Chinese middle class.  Eli speaks Mandarin and some French.  He has an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong. His podium remarks.
Krithika Varagur
SOAS University of London

Endowed by family and friends; presented by Sally’s husband, Patrick Oster
Krithika has spent her impressive freelance career focused on religion, particularly Islam, and the Gulf countries’ religious investments abroad.  In her essay, she wrote about the efforts and perils of a Kosovan iman and his friend to document instances of Saudi influence in everyday Kosovan life.  A Harvard graduate and current Fulbright scholar, she speaks native Tamil, advanced Spanish and Bahasa Indonesia.  She has an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Associated Press in New Delhi. Her podium remarks.

A. J. Naddaff
Davidson College

Endowed by family and friends and presented by Brenda Smiley, Richard’s wife
Not all stories in the Middle East and North Africa are about conflict. Some are about the arts, such as A.J.’s essay about a Palestinian refugee in Syria who rebelled against social and family mores to become a dancer with the Dutch National Ballet. A French and Arabic speaker with dual U.S./Belgian citizenship, A.J. also reported on ISIS fighters returning to Kosovo for the Pulitzer Center.  He has an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Associated Press in Beirut. His podium remarks.




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