ICWA Fellowship Award 2014-2016: Ms. Allyn Gaestel

The Institute of Current World Affairs is pleased to announce that Ms. Allyn Gaestel, a Los Angeles native, has been awarded the 2014-2016 ICWA fellowship in West Africa. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Ms. Gaestel will spend the next two years exploring one of Africa’s most complex and compelling countries through the lens of women's health. Allyn is a freelance journalist who covers inequality and the human repercussions of politics.

Her 2011 reports exposing power structures and human rights abuses in medicine in India in The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Atlantic were reprinted in the New York Times Op Talk and in an advocacy guide by the White Ribbon Alliance, a leading women’s health advocacy group. In 2013, she revealed the deadly underground abortion market in Nigeria under a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. She has reported documentary videos including an award-winning short for the New York Times, “In Nepal, Exiled Each Month”, which detailed the traditional Nepalese practice of isolating women during menstruation.

While currently focused on West Africa, Allyn lived in Haiti for a year after the 2010 earthquake, where she documented the failures of the aid response, the onset of the world’s largest cholera epidemic, and the first post-earthquake elections. She has returned to cover human rights issues in the country.

Allyn started her career as a United Nations Correspondent in New York, and has also worked in The Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Mexico, The Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. She has earned grants and fellowships to support her reporting from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, The International Reporting Project, The International Women’s Media Foundation, The National Press Foundation and others. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, CNN, Reuters, The Atlantic, France 24, among other outlets.

Articles, Interviews, Appearances, Publications

By Institute of Current World Affairs Current & Former Fellows for other media outlets

The Mine Disaster That Shook Turkey




The New York Times Magazine • November 26, 2014


image That morning, Tugba woke at 4 to clean the three-room stone house, which leaned into ...

Accused in Kenya




Ozy • October 14, 2014


image As a writer working in Africa, I’ve come and gone from Nairobi, Kenya, a dozen times in the last two years. Always, the immigration staff has been friendly, welcoming me to ...

All the President's Men (In Brazil)




Ozy • October 29, 2014


image The victory speeches are over, Dilma Rousseff’s re-election secured. Now most Brazil observers have turned to other matters — namely, what the 66-year-old former revolutionary ...

A Paradox of Integration




The New York Times


image FROM 2010 to 2013, I spent time on a historically white South African college campus ...

A Shake-Up in American Politics




OZY • October 8, 2014


Something’s brewing in American politics, and, no, it’s not more tea party. When the Economist last month depicted President Obama as George W. Bush, we were almost as taken aback by the Photoshop surgery as by the Photoshop surgeon.

Making a Business Out of Bringing Good Food to Rio's Hilltop Favelas




OZY • October 2, 2014


image Look in your trash. Do you see potato peels, broccoli stems, pineapple husks, banana peels? What if instead you saw wasted ingredients? That’s exactly ...
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Fostering understanding of the world by immersing promising individuals in the study of a country, region, or globally important issue and by sharing the benefits of their knowledge with society.

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Edward P. Joseph as the new Executive Director of the Institute of Current World Affairs.


Edward P. Joseph is a foreign policy specialist and field practitioner who has served in some of the toughest locations in the world. Edward spent over a dozen years in the Balkans, including the war years in Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo and Macedonia. 

   In April 2012, as Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, he negotiated an eleventh hour breakthrough on Serbian elections that averted a brewing crisis between Serbia and Kosovo. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued written acknowledgement of Edward’s standout contribution in this role. 

   During the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Edward served in a number of isolated, besieged locations including the Zepa ‘safe area’ near Srebrenica where Edward and one UN colleague coordinated the evacuation of thousands of Bosnian Muslim women, children and wounded men. His work required face-to-face dealings with indicted war criminal General Ratko Mladic. Edward has twice testified before the Hague Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Edward’s reports for the International Crisis Group in Macedonia broke new ground on the link between corruption and conflict, as well as the name issue with Greece. 

   Edward has brought his extensive field experience to Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington where he teaches conflict management, and writes and speaks extensively on foreign policy issues. He has been published in most major media outlets including recent articles in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy, as well as in academic journals. Edward appears frequently on television and radio as a commentator on major international events. Edward also served as Director of Communications for the Council on Foreign Relations. 

   In addition to the Balkans, Edward has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Haiti, where he served as Chief Election Observer for the USAID-funded observation mission in 2006. While serving In Pakistan in 2007, Edward held on 26 December what may have been the final international meeting with Benazir Bhutto, a 90 minute conversation in Peshawar. In late 2008-early 2009, Edward was a member of the three-person expert team that evaluated USAID’s largest local stability program in Afghanistan, visiting more than a dozen sites ‘outside the wire’, including Kandahar. 

   Relief work, in particular humanitarian emergencies, is another specialty of Edward’s. Following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Edward led InterAction’s effort to coordinate the NGO response. During the NATO air campaign in 1999, Edward co-managed the famed Stenkovec-I refugee camp that housed over 30,000 Kosovar refugees and was the site of high profile visits from President Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Kofi Annan and others. 

   Edward holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. and M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and the School of Advanced International Studies, respectively. He was a helicopter pilot in the US Army Reserve. He speaks and has worked professionally in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and French, Italian and Spanish. 

Fellowships 2015

Supported from the Institute’s endowment, Fellows with appropriate topics may receive support from specically endowed funds, including: John O. Crane Memorial Fellowship Area of Study: Central and Eastern Europe or the Middle East. John Miller Musser Memorial Forest & Society Fellowships Graduate degree in forestry or forest-related specialties required. Donors’ Fellowship Appointments every two years. Topics and areas of study are unrestricted.