September 26, 2023

People Column


Krisztián Sándor, the Reuters Fellowship winner in 2021, is joining Coindesk’s U.S. Markets team as a reporter on stablecoins and Wall Street. He had been interning at the media organization since February, and transitioning into a full-time role following graduation from New York University. Sándor had an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Reuter’s finance and markets team in London where he rotated among teams covering emerging markets, EU monetary policy and crypto regulations.

Meena Venkataramanan, the Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship winner in 2021, published a review of Grace D. Li’s novel Portrait of a Thief in the Boston Globe on May 5. The book is set in Cambridge, Massachusetts and follows Chinese American art thieves cultural artifacts. Venkataramanan wrote that in the novel, Li “grapples with the American Dream, recognizing the protagonists’ attempt to rescue its idealized notion from their parents’ clutches and reshape it for themselves.”

Marta Orosz, the Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship winner in 2020, joined Reuters as a banking and economics correspondent covering Berlin and Frankfurt. She previously worked for Business Insider Germany as a business editor.

Serginho Roosblad, winner of the Harper’s Magazine Scholarship in memory of I.F. Stone in 2017, is now a video journalist with The Associated Press Global Investigations. He joined the AP’s global investigative team in 2017 as the first hire in a program funded by the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting.

Wei Zhou, winner of the S&P Award for Economic and Business Reporting in 2016, recently joined Bloomberg’s China credit team as a reporter to cover China’s onshore and offshore credit markets. She is currently based in Bloomberg’s Hong Kong bureau, and had an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Shanghai bureau of The Wall Street Journal where she later worked as a researcher.

Levi Bridges, the 2016 Stan Swinton Fellowship winner, is based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, covering the former Soviet states mainly for NPR shows and podcasts. The war in Ukraine has upended his plans to return to Moscow, where he once had an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Associated Press bureau.


OPC Governor Vivienne Walt won a New York Press Club Award in the category of Entertainment News National, Magazine. In a release, the organization cited her entry titled “Entertaining the ‘New Saudi’” for FORTUNE. In August 2021, Walt reported on media companies like Netflix making a play for the affluent Saudi market despite geopolitical risks. Her more recent reporting includes a May 17 piece for FORTUNE, delving into an “army” of information technology warriors in Ukraine supporting front-line combatants in the war against Russian invaders. She wrote that a group of 20 engineers, managers, executives and entrepreneurs calling themselves the “IT Unit” “have formed an unexpected back office for battles raging about 700 miles east of this picturesque town named Mukachevo.”

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, a New York Times Opinion writer who delivered the keynote address during the OPC Annual Awards Dinner in April, Is set to launch a new podcast on June 9. “First Person” will explore how experience shapes opinions, and each episode will feature “people living through the headlines for intimate and surprising conversations that help us make sense of our complicated world.” Navarro was part of an NPR team that won the 2012 Lowell Thomas Award for reporting on the Arab Spring.

OPC member Valerie Hopkins, winner of the 2013 Jerry Flint Fellowship for International Business Reporting, voiced a May 10 article she wrote for The New York Times about Russian activist and leader of Pussy Riot, Masha Alyokhina, and her dramatic journey from Moscow to Europe so she could tour. Hopkins wrote that Alyokhina disguised herself as a food courier to evade the police who had been staking out the location where she was staying. She left behind a cell phone as a decoy to avoid being racked, Hopkins wrote. She read and recorded the story for the Times.

OPC member Nicole Tung was a guest on the Harper’s Podcast on May 16 about her four photo essays of Ukraine for the magazine, and the power of photojournalism and the ethical complexity of representation. Host and web editor web editor Violet Lucca asked Tung to address how photojournalists can best portray a conflict that is outside of their culture, how to preserve respect for those involved, and how Tung’s experience in war zones has informed her craft. Tung received an OPC Citation for Excellence in the Olivier Rebbot category this year for her for coverage of Syria for The Washington Post.

British Vogue has named OPC member Dana Thomas as European sustainability editor. She will write a column dedicated to sustainability, the environment and fashion. Thomas will also continue to host the podcast The Green Dream with Dana Thomas, where she talks with guests about politics, fashion and sustainability. She has written for a number of magazines including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and is the author of several books, including Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes.

OPC member Jaime FlorCruz, a veteran Asia analyst and China correspondent, spoke to CBS News on the eve of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s election win on May 9, saying the son of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos would likely try to de-escalate sporadic conflicts between the Chinese Coast Guard and Filipino fishermen over territorial maritime disputes. “For pragmatic reasons, I expect the Marcos Jr. administration to keep the two sides offering not just signals of goodwill, but also practical benefits,” he said. “For example, the Marcos Jr. administration may try to renegotiate the Mutual Defense Treaty [with the U.S.] and try to maximize benefits from such a treaty.” Florcruz was born in the Philippines. In the early 1970s, as an activist against the Marcos regime, he was forced into exile while studying in China when Marcos started arresting his opponents and critics. FlorCruz’s passport expired after a year, and he found himself stateless in China for 12 years. He stayed in China and worked as a correspondent for more than 30 years, retiring as CNN bureau chief in Beijing at the end of 2014.