Columbia Journalism School Names 2023 Alumni Award Winners
Columbia Journalism School Office of Alumni and Development is proud to announce the recipients of the 2023 Alumni Awards. The winners are Shuja Nawaz ‘73, founding director and current distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center; Sonia Goldenberg ‘80, documentary filmmaker and columnist at The New York Times; Eugenia Harvey ‘83, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer and executive producer at WNET; Charles Sennott ‘86, founder and editor-in-chief of The GroundTruth Project; and Gina Chua ‘88, executive editor at Semafor.
The winner of the First Decade Award, for graduates within the last 10 years, is Valerie Hopkins ‘13, Moscow correspondent at The New York Times covering Russia and the War in Ukraine.
Anika C. Navaroli ‘13, is receiving the Courage award, a special citation for her bravery as a whistleblower at Twitter. Navaroli was a member of the company’s policy team that designed content moderation rules, who testified before the January 6th Committee.
“I’m excited to honor this amazing group of alumni,” said Dean Jelani Cobb. “They represent the very best of the Columbia Journalism School tradition of high-caliber ethical journalism and the public interest.”
Winners are selected by a panel of jurors made up of previous Alumni Award winners and a representative of the Alumni Board.
The 2023 awards will be presented in April during the Journalism School’s Alumni Weekend.
Here is more on this year’s winners:
ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Shuja Nawaz ‘73, Distinguished Fellow and Founding Director, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council
Shuja Nawaz, a native of Pakistan, was the first director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., January 2009 through October 2014. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Center.
Mr. Nawaz has worked with leading think tanks on projects dealing with Pakistan and the Middle East. He has also advised or briefed senior government and military officials and parliamentarians in the US, Europe, and Pakistan.
Mr. Nawaz was a newscaster and news and current affairs producer for Pakistan Television from 1967 to 1972 and covered the western front of the 1971 war between Pakistan and India. He has worked for The New York Times, the World Health Organization, and has headed three separate divisions at the International Monetary Fund. He was also a director at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna 1999-2001, while on leave from the IMF.
He is the author of a new book The Battle for Pakistan: The Bitter US Friendship and a Tough Neighbourhood (Penguin Random House, and Liberty Books, Pakistan 2019 and Rowman & Littlefield 2020), and Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within (Oxford University Press 2008 and 2018).
Sonia Goldenberg ‘80, Documentary Filmmaker and Columnist at The New York Times
Sonia Goldenberg is a distinguished Peruvian journalist and documentary filmmaker. In 1983 she received a national award for her courageous TV reporting on atrocities committed by the Shining Path terrorists and human rights abuses perpetrated by the military in Peru in the early 80s. In 1984 she became the first female journalist to anchor and direct a program on primetime television in Peru.
In the late 80s Goldenberg was a Lima, New York and Washington correspondent for Univision News. In 1989 she became executive director of the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists. She worked for the United Nations in Haiti in 1993, monitoring attacks against journalists after the coup against president Jean Baptiste Aristide. She was also information officer for Unicef in Haiti and for the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary General and the United Nations Development Program in New York.
For the last 20 years, she has produced and directed a series of groundbreaking and award winning documentaries In 2005, in Mexico, she received the prestigious New Journalism Award from the Latin American Foundation created by Gabriel García Marquez for Memories of Paradise, a documentary on political violence and drug trafficking in Peru. Her film, Following Kina, won Best Foreign Documentary in 2016 from Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto and the Artistic Vision Award from Big Sky Film Festival in Montana.
She is the author of two books, Decidamos el Futuro (1985) and Reportaje al Perú Anónimo (1989), editor of Love and Power in the XX Century (2009) and co-author of El Código García (2021).
Since 2016 she has been a columnist for The New York Times, documenting the Peruvian saga of corruption and political turmoil. This year she was appointed to a Jury of the Ethics Tribunal of the National Press Council –a self regulating mechanism of the major news media in Peru.
Eugenia Harvey ‘83, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and Executive Producer at WNET
Eugenia Harvey is a multi-platform journalist, strategist and broadcast executive, whose diversity of experience spans from New York to Johannesburg, London to Cairo, working with some of the world’s top TV networks and digital platforms.
In June of 2020, Harvey was appointed Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and Executive Producer of Multiplatform Initiatives for The WNET Group, the largest public television station within PBS. As Chief DEI Officer, Harvey developed and implements the WNET Group’s comprehensive strategy to address and rectify inclusion and equity issues throughout the New York-based broadcaster.
Harvey is an award-winning producer, showrunner and television executive who joined The WNET Group in 2018 as executive producer of three flagship initiatives: Chasing the Dream: Poverty & Opportunity in America; Peril & Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change; and Exploring Hate - Antisemitism, Racism and Extremism. In this capacity, she has orchestrated partnerships with PBS Nature, PBS Frontline, PBS NewsHour and several nationally broadcast documentaries.
Harvey’s television work includes high-profile projects for A&E, ABC News’ PrimeTime Live, CBS News’ 48 Hours, BET/Viacom, and CNN. At CNN, she produced a Johannesburg-based documentary on the presidency of Nelson Mandela, anchored by legendary Journalist Charlene Hunter-Gault. Notably, her work with News Anchor Diane Sawyer expanded her investigative journalist skills and enabled Harvey to co-produce one of her career-defining stories, True Colors, an undercover examination of how African Americans are treated differently than white Americans in everyday life. In addition to winning the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Award, True Colors has been used in over 65 professional race-training workshops nationwide.
Charles M. Sennott ‘86, Founder and Editor-in-chief of The GroundTruth Project
Charles Sennott is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The GroundTruth Project, a non-profit journalism organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in America and around the world. He is an award-winning correspondent, best-selling author and editor with nearly 40 years of experience in international, national and local journalism. A leading social entrepreneur in new media, Sennott launched GroundTruth in 2014 and it is now home to the organization’s two service programs, Report for America and Report for the World. The Boston-based non-profit has seen extraordinary growth under Sennott’s editorial and executive leadership and currently supports more than 300 full-time journalists serving local communities across the United States and in eight countries around the world.
Reporting on the front lines of wars and insurgencies in at least 20 countries, including the post 9-11 conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and the 2011 Arab Spring, Sennott began his career in local news covering cops, courts and municipal government. Sennott’s deep experience in local and global reporting led him to dedicate himself to supporting and training the next generation of journalists to think globally, and report locally. Sennott is also the co-founder of GlobalPost, a for-profit international news website which launched in 2009. With a network of 75 correspondents based around the world, GlobalPost won many journalism awards but ultimately was converted to a non-profit and folded into Public Radio International in 2015.
Previously, Sennott worked for many years as a reporter at the New York Daily News and then the Boston Globe, where he became bureau chief for the Middle East and Europe, and a leader of the paper’s international coverage from 1997 to 2005. Sennott has also served as a correspondent for PBS FRONTLINE and the PBS NewsHour.
He is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Sennott lives with his wife Julie and their four boys in Massachusetts.
Gina Chua ‘88, Executive Editor at Semafor
Gina Chua is Executive Editor at Semafor, a new global news startup. She joined it in May 2022 as part of the founding team led by Ben Smith and Justin Smith.
Prior to joining Semafor, she was Executive Editor at Reuters, where she oversaw newsroom operations, logistics, budgets, safety and security, and worked with technology teams to develop newsroom tools, among other responsibilities. In earlier roles at Reuters, Gina managed the graphics department, helped build a world-class data and computational journalism team, oversaw the creation of the ground-breaking Connected China app, which tracked and visualized power and relationships among China’s elite, and drove development of Tracer, a machine-learning system that algorithmically detected and verified newsworthy events on Twitter.
Gina was also the editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post and The Asian Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong; a deputy managing editor at The Wall Street Journal in New York; a foreign correspondent in Singapore, Manila and Hanoi; and a television and radio journalist in Singapore. She co-founded the Sigma Data Journalism Awards and was the inaugural recipient of the Online News Association’s Impact Award for her dedication to innovation. She’s a regular speaker at journalism conferences and writes occasionally about the future of journalism and the intersection of the industry and technology on her blog. She has been a member of the boards of several non-profit news organizations and journalism funders.
A native of Singapore, she graduated with a bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University. Gina transitioned in late 2020, making her one of the most senior transgender journalists in the industry.
FIRST DECADE AWARD WINNER
Valerie Hopkins ‘13, Moscow Correspondent at The New York Times
Valerie Hopkins is an international correspondent for The New York Times covering Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as the War in Ukraine. She is currently the only NYT reporter on the ground in Russia.
Ms. Hopkins began her journalistic career in Bosnia and Herzegovina at a local news outlet reporting on war crimes trials. She covered the Balkans and eastern Europe for a decade, most recently for the Financial Times, before moving to Moscow to join The New York Times. She is a 2022 recipient of Newswomen’s Club of New York’s Marie Colvin Award for Foreign Correspondence and the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) Distinguished Fellow Award.
Ms. Hopkins completed her master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, where she won a scholarship named for Anne O’Hare McCormick, a New York Times journalist who in 1937 became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for foreign correspondence. At Columbia, her investigation into female war criminals won one of the school’s top awards.
COURAGE AWARD WINNER
Anika Navaroli ‘13, Practitioner Fellow at Stanford PACS
Anika Collier Navaroli is currently a Race & Technology practitioner fellow at Stanford University, where she studies the impact of hate speech regulation on Black content moderators and policy enforcers.
Before Stanford, Anika worked in senior content policy roles within the Trust & Safety departments at Twitter and Twitch where she re-examined the traditional balance between free expression and safety. In 2022, Anika gave evidence about her work at Twitter to the U.S. Congressional Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol for which she received The Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize.
Prior to that, she advocated for tech policy change from the outside, working for research think tanks and non-profits on issues of race, civil rights, and fairness within emerging technologies and on the need for systemic change in areas of big data and internet freedom. Anika also treasures her time teaching media studies and the principles of law and constitutional freedoms to high school students in Harlem.
Anika received a BS in journalism from the University of Florida, a MS from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she wrote her 2013 thesis titled “The Revolution will be Tweeted,” and a JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law.