About the Center
The Simon and June Li Center for Global Journalism
Providing leadership for the global journalism community by helping inform and shape how we practice journalism with a global lens.
The Center, directed by Azmat Khan, the Patti Cadby Birch Assistant Professor of Journalism and a veteran international reporter, brings together leaders in global reporting and supports a range of activities and opportunities benefiting students, alumni of the J-School and the public. The Center provides fellowships for recent graduates to report abroad, scholarships for international students, and new curricular activities that bring a global perspective to the school and the professional community.
The Center was established through a gift from its founders Simon and June Li, longtime and generous supporters of scholarships at Columbia Journalism School, including those for students from outside of the United States. The Center has also received funding from the Ford Foundation.
The Li Center hosts several events each year that cover a range of international issues and are open to the general public.
About the director
Azmat Z. Khan
Patti Cadby Birch Assistant Professor of Journalism and Director, Simon and June Li Center for Global Journalism
Azmat Khan is a Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter.
She is an investigative reporter for New York Times Magazine, a Carnegie Fellow, and the Patti Cadby Birch Assistant Professor of Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, where she is the director of the Simon and June Li Center for Global Journalism.
Khan's investigations — most notably "The Civilian Casualty Files" in the New York Times, "The Uncounted" in the Times Magazine, and "Ghost Schools" for BuzzFeed’s investigations team — have prompted widespread policy impact and won more than a dozen awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, two National Magazine Awards, two Overseas Press Club awards, the Polk Award, the Hillman Prize, the John Seigenthaler Courage In Journalism Award, and other honors.
Her multi-part series "The Civilian Casualty Files" was awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. The project was the culmination of more than five years of Khan’s reporting, including ground investigation at the sites of more than 100 civilian casualty incidents in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, more than 1,300 formerly secret military records she obtained in a legal battle with the Department of Defense, and scores of interviews with military and local sources.
Khan serves on the Board of Directors of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, as First Vice-President of the Overseas Press Club’s Board of Governors, and on the Board of Directors of the Freedom of Press Foundation. She is an International Security Program Fellow at New America, where she was previously a Future of War Fellow. She was also previously a fellow at the Macdowell Colony and a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good.
Khan received an MSt. from Oxford University, which she attended as a Clarendon Scholar, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan. She has also studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.
She is writing a book for Random House investigating America's air wars.
About the founders
Simon and June Li
The Simon and June Li Center for Global Journalism was established through a $5 million gift from its founders Simon and June Li, generous supporters of scholarships at Columbia Journalism School, including those for students from outside of the United States.
Simon Li, a 1970 graduate of the J-School, retired from his 36-year career as a newspaper editor, including 23 years at the Los Angeles Times, where he was an assistant business editor, foreign editor and assistant managing editor. Before that, he was an editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
He was a longtime member of the school’s Board of Visitors. He was awarded the Columbia University Alumni Medal in 2010 and the Columbia Journalism School’s Alumni Award in 2012. He is a trustee of the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif., and a member of the board of Pasadena’s Huntington Hospital. He also serves on the advisory board of Lincoln College, Oxford University, where he earned a B.A.
He is a former vice chairman of the board of the International Press Institute, which advocates for media freedom and independence. He is also a member of the Asian-American Journalists Association, which in 2022 awarded him their Lifetime Achievement Award, having previously given him a special recognition award as well as one for leadership in diversity.
June Li is curator emerita and founding curator of Liu Fang Yuan, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens. She joined the Chinese Garden project in 2004 to establish the historical and cultural context for the garden, which opened in 2008.
Following her retirement, she served as a consultant with the Huntington Library on projects including the garden and an exhibition for which she co-authored the catalog “Gardens, Art and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints” (2016). She was previously associate curator of Chinese and Korean Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Ms. Li is a trustee of the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art, and a member of the East Asian Art Advisory Committee at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.