Janine di Giovanni is a former Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and last spring was Professor of Practice in Human Rights at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She is most recently the author of the award-winning book, The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria, which has been translated into 30 languages. She is also the author of seven other books on war and conflict.
Before joining CFR in 2017, Di Giovanni was the Middle East Editor at Newsweek reporting mainly on human rights abuses and investigating war crimes, as well as a frequent writer for The New York Times, the New York Review of Books, Harpers, Granta and The Guardian. A recent Pakis Scholar at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Di Giovanni has extensive experience focusing on war crimes, international law and international security.
She is a leading expert analyst on the Middle East, the Balkans and Africa, geopolitical risk, international security, conflict prevention, strategic communications, human rights, sustainability, and global terrorism. She has investigated war crimes and reported war on four continents over the past three decades. She is the subject of two long-format documentaries, including the widely acclaimed 7 Days in Syria. Her TED talk “What I Saw in the War” has received nearly 1 million hits on YouTube.
Di Giovanni has reported widely on war, conflict, and its aftermath for nearly 30 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 , the wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya and Syria as well as more than a dozen other active conflicts where she was a front-line witness. Her documentation of war crimes has resulted in seven books and her work has been used to cite criminals in later tribunals.
A skilled analyst, communicator, and strategist, she is also non-resident International Security Fellow at the New America Foundation and an Associate Fellow at The Geneva Centre for Security Policy, where she moderates their geopolitical debate series. She is a former Ochberg Fellow at Columbia School of Journalism, given in recognition of her work with victims of war trauma.
As a communicator, she is a frequent moderator of high-level panels and roundtables, an analyst on foreign policy at conferences and on major international news channels (CNN, BBC, France 24) and has worked for the Council on Foreign Relations, 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.
Di Giovanni has won more than 10 major awards for her extensive work in war and conflict zones and during humanitarian crisis in 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. In 2019, she was selected for the Guggenheim Fellowship. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. For more information and for her archives, please visit her website.