Human rights journalist, Anjana Sankar, joins CIS as its 2024 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow

Human rights journalist, Anjana Sankar, joins CIS as its 2024 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow

A veteran reporter based in the UAE, Anjana Sankar was chosen from more than 160 applicants across 59 countries. 

February 5, 2024 | Center for International Studies
Headshot of Anjana Sankar
February 5, 2024
Center for International Studies

Anjana Sankar, an Indian journalist based in the UAE, has been announced by the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) as the 2024 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow.

The fellowship, sponsored in part by the Center for International Studies (CIS), gives female and non-binary journalists working in the field of human rights and social justice the opportunity to pursue academic research at MIT and hone their reporting skills at The Boston Globe and The New York Times. It was established by the IWMF in honor of Elizabeth Neuffer, a Boston Glober reporter who was killed in 2003 while reporting in Iraq.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named the 2024 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow–a remarkable opportunity that will help me bring a pro-human rights approach to my reporting,” said Sankar from Abu Dhabi. “I’ve seen firsthand the devastating toll of war and humanitarian crisis. As a result, I’ve gained a profound sense of urgency to amplify the voices of the displaced and oppressed to the fore. This fellowship will empower me to tell underreported human stories that need to be told.”

Sankar will join CIS as a research associate on February 5, 2024, and spend the spring semester studying, attending workshops, and taking classes to deepen her knowledge on topics related to her reportage.

She was chosen from a pool of more than 160 applicants. Her reporting focuses on global stories of conflict, migration, and disasters, and she has extensively covered the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh. She is currently a senior reporter at The National in Abu Dhabi and has previously worked with Khaleej Times as the Abu Dhabi bureau chief and with Gulf News as a senior reporter.

During her 15-year career, Sankar has reported on the ground from Syria and inside Kurdish prisons; embedded with Emirati military forces and covered the UAE’s deployment in the Saudi-led war; and reported on the coalition forces’ counter-terrorism war against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Sankar’s coverage also includes the initial peace deal between Israel and the UAE, the Syrian refugee influx into Germany and natural disasters in India and Nepal.

“The Center is thrilled to welcome Anjana to MIT. Her on-the-ground reportage on humanitarian crises is a testament to her bravery and commitment to expose atrocities that are too often overlooked. My hope is that she finds her time at CIS as an opportunity to establish fruitful connections, to further her research, and to be energized and emboldened to continue her important work,” said Evan Lieberman, director of CIS and the Total Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa.

The Center for International Studies (CIS) supports interna­tional research and education at MIT. It is the home of MIT’s Security Studies Program; the MIT International Science & Technology Initiative, its pioneering global education program; the Program on Emerging Technologies; and seminars and research on migration, South Asia politics, the Middle East, cybersecurity, nuclear weapons, and East Asia. The Center has traditionally been aligned with the social sciences while also working with MIT’s premier science and engineering scholars. CIS produces research that creatively addresses global issues while helping to educate the next generation of global citizens.