Jackson Senior Fellow and veteran journalist Janine di Giovanni has been named a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, one of 168 scholars, artists, and writers selected this year. The fellows, who are appointed by the foundation on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the foundation’s 95th competition.

Forty-nine scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, 75 academic institutions, 28 states and the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces are represented in this year’s class of fellows, who range in age from 29 to 85.

Since its establishment in 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $360 million in fellowships to over 18,000 individuals — among whom are scores of Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, poets laureate, members of the various national academies, and winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Turing Award, National Book Award, and other internationally recognized honors.

In 2017-2018, di Giovanni was the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a professor of practice in human rights at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is the author of the three-time award winning book, “The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria,” which was described as “searing and necessary” by The New York Times, was named one of the best human rights books in 2016, and has been translated into 30 languages. Previously, di Giovanni was the Middle East editor at Newsweek reporting mainly on human rights abuses and investigating war crimes. A recent Pakis Scholar at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, di Giovanni has extensive experience focusing on international law and international security.

Di Giovanni is a leading expert analyst on the Middle East, conflict prevention, strategic communications, human rights, 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. Her documentation of war crimes has resulted in seven books and her work has been used to cite atrocities in later tribunals. She is also non-resident international security fellow at the New America Foundation and an associate fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, di Giovanni has won more than 12 major awards for her extensive work in war and conflict zones and during humanitarian crises in various countries.

Di Giovanni says she was thrilled and surprised to hear the news of her selection for the fellowship. “I was absolutely stunned. My work is very solitary, very dangerous and very lonely. I give a voice to people who don’t have a voice. Getting the Guggenheim is a real validation of my work,” she said.

The fellowship will help support extensive field work for di Giovanni’s next book, titled “The Vanishing,” which is about Christian communities in the Middle East, expected to come out in about two years.

U.S. Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation as a memorial to a son who died April 26, 1922. The foundation offers fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed.


Read about the other Yale affiliates selected for the 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship in this YaleNews story.