About
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About

Our Mission

Today, we need access to the truth more than ever before. But in this polluted information environment, it’s never been harder to know what to trust, and never easier to be misled. Disinformation is targeting and damaging our communities, all around the world.

At First Draft, our mission is to protect communities from harmful misinformation. We work to empower society with the knowledge, understanding, and tools needed to outsmart false and misleading information.

Everything we do starts with collaboration. We bring together a global network of journalists to investigate and verify emerging stories. We work with our partners to conduct innovative research projects and develop pioneering training programs. And we share cutting-edge digital tools to help both content creators and the public make better-informed judgments about the information they encounter online.

By standing up for truth in a polarized world, we can build more trust in society and help every community to thrive.

Our Values

Our core values underline the work we do. Our work is pioneering, and conducted with rigor, empowerment, empathy and integrity.

Opportunities

  • No current vacancies at present.

Read about our recruitment policy on our Opportunities page.

History

First Draft formed as a nonprofit coalition with nine founding partners in June 2015, providing practical and ethical guidance in how to find, verify and publish content sourced from the social web. In September 2016, our original coalition expanded to become an international Partner Network of newsrooms, universities, platforms and civil society organizations.

In October 2017, First Draft was invited to join the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. During this time, we inspired and coordinated the development of the Information Disorder Lab and expanded the scope of our research to explore the spread and threat of information disorder on closed messaging apps.

With thanks to ongoing support from key funders, First Draft is now administered as a company limited by guarantee in the UK, with headquarters in London. It does not have any shares or shareholders, and all revenues are re-invested into the company.

First Draft’s US subsidiary is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, with offices at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. It is operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, and raises its own funding for its work in the US.

In 2019, First Draft opened a Sydney bureau to serve the needs of the APAC region. The bureau is affiliated with the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Media Transition. Funding for our Sydney bureau is currently sponsored by the London company.

Our London, New York and Sydney offices share a common purpose and strategy, collaborating on global projects such as the CrossCheck initiative and First Draft’s coronavirus resources hub for reporters.

Founding Organizations

Funding Organizations

First Draft has received funding from the following organizations for 2020:

Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust
Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Democracy Fund
Facebook Journalism Project
Ford Foundation
Google News Initiative
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The Klarman Family Foundation
Media Democracy Fund
The Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust
Rita Allen Foundation
Swiss Democracy Fund
Open Society Foundations
Wellcome Trust

In 2019, First Draft received funding from the following organizations:

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Facebook Journalism Project
Ford Foundation
Google News Initiative
News Integrity Initiative at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
Open Society Foundations
Twitter

Organizations interested in partnerships, sponsorships and other opportunities can reach out to [email protected].

Work With Us

First Draft is built on the principle of collaboration. Since our inception, we have worked with newsrooms, organisations and communities working on the frontlines of tackling information disorder.

If you are interested in training by First Draft, contact [email protected]

If you are interested in partnering with us on any projects or opportunities to outsmart false and misleading information, we would love to hear from you. Please contact [email protected]

If you want to be updated regularly about our resources and editorial work, subscribe to our briefings

Partnership on AI

First Draft is a member of the Partnership on AI’s Steering Committee on AI and Media Integrity. The steering committee, made up of organizations spanning civil society, technology companies, media organizations, and academic institutions, will be focused on a specific set of activities and projects directed at strengthening the research landscape related to new technical capabilities in media production and detection, and increasing coordination across organizations implicated by these developments. Initial members of the steering committee will include the BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, Facebook, First Draft, Microsoft, the New York Times, WITNESS, and XPRIZE, among other PAI Partner organizations to be later announced.

Statement of Independence

First Draft is a non-partisan organization. It has no political affiliation, and does not accept funding from political parties. 

First Draft does accept funding from private-sector and non-profit organizations. Our donors are listed above in the Funding section of this page. While certain projects and initiatives may be guided in part by the specific requirements of our funding partnerships (for example, when we receive sponsorship for the translation of training materials into a particular language), our donors understand that First Draft retains operational and editorial independence. Our decisions are driven by the organization’s mission and values.

Government Policy

As First Draft is recognized internationally for its expertise and thought leadership around the challenges posed by information disorder, our work is in high demand by a variety of groups and institutions, including governments and regulatory bodies. 

We recognize the value in sharing our knowledge with policymakers, particularly at a critical moment when our information ecosystem is saturated with health and science misinformation. First Draft works to inform all who have a stake in the dissemination of accurate information, including governments.

At the same time, First Draft is steadfastly committed to our independence and our impartiality. Our primary target audience is journalists and academics. We do not accept offers of funding or requests for work that might compromise our ability to work effectively with these groups.

This is First Draft’s policy regarding when, where and how we share our work with governments: 

  • We invite governments to use First Draft’s public materials, including our training courses, guides, research and articles.
  • We invite government officials to sign up for First Draft’s daily and weekly briefings on disinformation and the online information landscape. 
  • We may speak with governments interested in learning more about ways to implement First Draft’s recommendations regarding health and science misinformation. Please contact us at [email protected].
  • We do not speak with governments regarding election misinformation.
  • We may accept invitations to provide expert testimony at government inquiries and before select committees. Please contact us at [email protected] with a description of your request. 
  • We may accept invitations to speak at conferences that are sponsored or co-sponsored by governmental bodies, if such conferences are open to reporting from the media. We do not accept payment for such appearances. Please contact us at [email protected] with a description of your request.
  • If asked to produce documents on behalf of governments (for example, reports or summaries on disinformation), these documents must be made public. We do not produce private reports for governments. 

Impact reports

2021

2020

Acknowledgements

First Draft has achieved extraordinary impact and growth since its inception in 2015. This is due to the invaluable efforts and contributions from a long list of respected friends and colleagues, to whom we extend sincere thanks and credit. In particular, we thank the individuals who formed or worked for our original coalition:

Mohammed Adel
Fergus Bell
Ed Bice
Pete Brown
Malachy Browne
Kim Bui
Andy Carvin
Matt Cooke
Nic Dias
Sam Dubberley
Steve Grove
Eliot Higgins
Mandy Jenkins
Aine Kerr
Mark Little
Olivia Ma
An Xiao Mina
Alastair Reid
Craig Silverman
Josh Stearns
Eoghan Sweeney
Aric Toler
Tom Trewinnard

Board

First Draft’s global work is managed by a separate limited liability company, based in London, and its work is guided by an Advisory Board. We are honored to have this group steer our global strategy:

Liz Carolan is the executive director of Digital Action, which works to counter digital threats to democracy. In 2018 she set up and ran the Transparent Referendum Initiative, a project to enable scrutiny of online activity during the Irish referendum on the 8th Amendment. She has spent the last 10 years working on governance, transparency and data issues at the Institute for Government, the Africa Governance Initiative and Open Data Institute.

Phil Chetwynd is the global news director of Agence France-Presse. Prior to that, he served as the editor-in-chief of AFP and as the organization’s special correspondent in over 20 countries.

Sam Dubberley manages the Digital Verification Corps at Amnesty International. He has over ten years’ experience in broadcast news and was head of the Eurovision News Exchange from 2010 to 2013, managing the world’s largest exchange of TV news content.

Sameer Padania runs Macroscope, an independent consultancy supporting experimentation, innovation and learning in journalism, human rights and philanthropy. He has worked and consulted for organizations such as Open Society, Ariadne, Transparency and Accountability Initiative, WAN-IFRA, the European Cultural Foundation, The Philanthropy Workshop and Google DNI Innovation Fund, on a wide range of journalism, digital media, activism and policy initiatives.

Adam Rendle is a partner at Taylor Wessing in the IP/IT group, specialising in copyright, media and brands. Adam provides a wide range of support for clients including complex, strategic advisory work, litigation and disputes, content, advertising deals and corporate transactions. His work focuses on media and tech industries, with major clients across music, publishing, broadcasting, advertising and digital service.

First Draft’s work in the US is managed through a 501(c)(3) organization, First Draft News Inc., which is overseen by a Board of Directors. We are honored to have this group steer our US strategy. 

Anusha Alikhan, Senior Director of Communications, Wikimedia Foundation

Anusha Alikhan is a strategic communications professional with a diverse background in the nonprofit sector, as well as journalism and law.  Prior to joining the Wikimedia Foundation, she was communications director for Knight Foundation, where she worked across the foundation’s focus areas – journalism, communities, arts, learning – as a thought partner and strategy developer. 

Anusha serves on the board of The Communications Network and Awesome Foundation Miami and is a member of the Communications Network working group for diversity, equity and inclusion. She has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, a law degree from Queen’s University in Ontario and an honors bachelor of arts from the University of Toronto. 

Daniel Bramatti, Editor, Estadão Verifica

Daniel Bramatti is a former president of the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji). In 2018, he helped First Draft to create Comprova, a collaborative journalism project that fights misinformation in Brazil. Currently, he serves as editor of Estadão Verifica, the fact-checking unit of O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

Arnold Brown, Shareholder, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt PC

Arnold Brown is a global technology industry governance specialist and practicing attorney with Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, representing dozens of international technology standards initiatives, open source organizations and tech startups. He is a former licensing executive and in-house general counsel for semiconductor companies and former Chairman of the HDMI Forum. He has served on the board of the literary magazine, Zyzzyva, and currently serves on the advisory board of the Universal Hip Hop Museum. He holds degrees from Harvard University and Berkeley Law.

Our Team

Jenni Sargent

CEO 

Jenni Sargent is the managing director of First Draft, a non-profit organization working internationally to address the challenges of information disorder through research, field work and education. Jenni led the formation and launch of First Draft in 2015 and has devised and coordinated a number of its key initiatives including CrossCheck; the first project of its kind to encourage competing newsrooms to collaboratively verify and transparently endorse each other’s work. A specialist in the ethics and processes of online newsgathering and reporting, Jenni manages a team of 40 across offices in London, New York and Sydney.

Claire Wardle, PhD

Co-founder and US Director 

Claire Wardle leads the strategic direction and research for First Draft. In 2009 she left her academic position at Cardiff University to develop an organization wide training program for the BBC on social media, verification and misinformation and has been obsessed with the topic ever since. In 2017 she co-authored the seminal report, Information Disorder: An interdisciplinary Framework for Research and Policy for the Council of Europe. Over the past decade she has been a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School, the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and head of social media for the United Nations Refugee Agency. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ben Sargent

Director 

Ben Sargent has overseen the financial and operational management of First Draft since its inception and is Company Secretary. Prior to that, Ben was a co-founder and director of Digital Skills Network, responsible for operations and business development. Ben started life as a camera engineer for Panavision and graduated to international production management and partner relations, specialising in 35mm motion pictures. A fluent Spanish speaker, Ben takes a lead advisory role in establishing our bureaux around the world.

Aimee Rinehart

Deputy Director 

Aimee is deputy managing director at First Draft in New York. She led the US 2020 election work including the recruitment of a staff of 12, organized the training plan to reach more than 1,000 journalists and oversaw the editorial output to inform newsrooms across the US about what the research team saw online. She managed Comprova, the Brazilian election project in 2018. She started working online in 1996 and was a digital originator at The New York Times. She was an editor at the Wall Street Journal Europe in Brussels and upon her return to New York, worked in the communications departments at the American Civil Liberties Union, the Overseas Press Club of America and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated from Indiana University School of Journalism and has an MFA in creative writing from Rutgers-Newark University.

Stephanie Haughton-Campbell

Chief of Staff 

As Chief of Staff, Stephanie is responsible for creating environments where individuals and teams deliver their highest goals. Responsible for driving effectiveness across First Draft's people, processes and projects, Stephanie brings a wealth of organizational and team development experience during a 20 year career - applying structure to creative and idea driven businesses and people. Prior to joining First Draft, Stephanie spent 8 years with Lloyd's Register, latterly as EA to the Executive Vice President supporting the creation and global launch of the external and corporate affairs business function. Beginning her career at major recording label, East West Records, Stephanie has held senior support and project development roles in the creative industries, including commercial music, digital broadcast, advertising and PR. Stephanie has a MA in Music Business Management and is a proud board member of the Brixton Pound - a local community organization.

Kharunya Paramaguru

Director of Marketing and Communications  

Kharunya is the Director of Marketing and Communications at First Draft. Prior to this, she was a global communications lead at Amnesty International. She has previously worked as a journalist with TIME Magazine in London, and holds a Masters in International Law from the School of African and Oriental Studies and a BA in History of Art from University College London.

Justin Ross

Operations Director, New York 

Prior to joining First Draft, Justin served as Director of Administration at the American Securitization Forum (a non-profit trade association), where he oversaw all internal operations. He also managed human resources and administration as Administrative Manager at Vatera Holdings. He holds an MBA from Cass Business School (City, University of London), an MA in economics from Boston College, and a BA in math and economics from Cornell University.

Abigail Bowen

Business Analyst 

Abigail is a business analyst, focusing on implementing a project management framework and standardised processes across the business. She will also be assisting the implementation of COVER. Prior to First Draft, she worked as a business analyst for a global insurance company for 8 years.

Adam Rasmi

Senior Editor  

Adam is Senior Editor, based in London. He joined First Draft from Quartz, where he wrote the Daily Brief newsletter and covered general assignment stories in Europe and beyond. Previously, Adam reported from Toronto during the 2015 Canadian election and from Beirut in the years following the 2011 Arab uprisings, writing for various outlets including Adbusters, The Economist, Foreign Affairs and London Review of Books. He has edited for news websites, research institutes and nonprofits, including the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the University of Oxford and the United Nations.

Ali Abbas Ahmadi

Social Media Journalist 

Ali investigates information disorder and supports CrossCheck projects from the London office. He has recently completed his Masters in Digital Journalism from Goldsmiths, University of London, and wrote about India and the Middle East for The New Arab before joining First Draft. He has worked as a designer, architect, and instructor in several countries, and studied architecture and conflict resolution for his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto.

Anne Kruger

APAC Director 

Anne has recently helped to launch First Draft in Asia-Pacific, overseeing CrossCheck Australia for the 2019 federal elections. Anne has spent most of her career working in Asia, including as an international journalist and anchor at CNN International Hong Kong, Bloomberg TV, Radio Television Hong Kong, and Radio Corporation Singapore. She was anchor and national correspondent for the iconic Australian program Landline, and fill-in co-host for ABC News Breakfast. As an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong, Anne set up the award-winning Cyber News Verification Lab in the wake of Occupy Central, collaborating with verification technologists Meedan. Anne also conducted news literacy courses throughout Asia, consulted for UNESCO Asia, and conducted research projects with Google News Labs partners into the misinformation ecosystem of Asia. She is an assessor at the International Fact-Checking Network (Poynter) and a Google News Initiative trainer. She recently worked as an ABC multi-platform state Chief of Staff, and producer on the National Digital desk at the ABC’s digital headquarters in Brisbane. Anne completed her PhD in social media verification education in January 2019.

Carlotta Dotto

Senior Data Journalist 

Carlotta is a data journalist with a background in philosophy, who will research and report on global information disorder and coordinated networks of amplification for First Draft. She specialises in data-led investigations, multimedia reportage and advanced internet research. She has previously worked with The Times’ Data team and La Repubblica’s Visual Lab, producing investigations on mental health, migration, cybercrime and issues surrounding social justice. She has also written for a number of publications including The Guardian, the BBC and the New Internationalist. She has been nominated for The Information is Beautiful Awards, and won The One World Media production fund.

Chris Looft

Senior Editor, New York 

Chris most recently worked at Dataminr, a real-time information discovery company. He attended New York University's graduate journalism program, during which time he worked as an editor for the Latin America News Dispatch. He has also worked as a researcher in the private sector and for InSight Crime, a non-profit journalism organization focused on organized crime in the Americas.

Daniel Acosta Ramos

Investigative Researcher, New York 

Daniel is an investigative researcher focused on Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities in the US. Originally from Venezuela, Daniel has worked with independent media outlets and NGOs in collaborative projects to fight misinformation and monitor social unrest in his home country. Before joining First Draft, Daniel worked as a security analyst for Oxy and collaborated with Cotejo.info, Efecto Cocuyo, and Tal Cual.

Esther Chan

Bureau Editor, APAC  

Esther Chan is the bureau editor (Sydney) of First Draft. Esther started her career in television as an investigative reporter in Hong Kong before moving onto digital journalism at Storyful, a social media news and intelligence agency. As she evolved from a journalist specialised in online newsgathering and the verification of eyewitness content to deputy editor in Hong Kong and news editor in Australia, her work delved deeper into cross-platform, cross-border, multi-lingual coordinated disinformation campaigns. Esther has participated in several editions of Google News Initiatives' news literacy projects, helping trained journalists in the APAC region in identifying threat actors and deepening understanding of the online disinformation landscape. She recently helped launch the Australian branch of Agence France-Presse (AFP)'s Fact Check operation in 2019, and has since been covering social media anomalies and mis/disinformation primarily in Australia, Hong Kong and China, as well as editing and publishing fact-check reports from APAC bureaus operating in more than a dozen languages.

Hugh Havard

Client Services Manager 

Hugh is the Community Engagement Manager, responsible for connecting communities and the public with First Draft’s work. He also leads on customer relationship management. Prior to working at First Draft he worked at a number of charities and INGOs, specialising in Customer Experience. He holds a degree in Politics, Philosophy and History and an LLM in Human Rights.

Jack Sargent

Product Manager 

Jack is leading the development of all CrossCheck related technology, including our pioneering collaborative investigation and publishing platform. Trained in Information Technology by Hewlett-Packard, he has a background in digital design, video editing, CGI and animation. A key member of First Draft since its inception, Jack devised and developed all interactive training content and structured our blended learning curriculum. Jack is fluent in Spanish and provides user support to our CrossCheck partners around the world.

Jaime Longoria

Senior Investigative Researcher, New York 

Jaime previously worked as a researcher with NBC News Investigations and was the former data editor for Type Investigations, where he contributed research and reporting on a number of long-form investigations. He was also a community reporter in the South Bronx for the Hunts Point Express.

Jennifer Panaki

Training Coordinator  

As First Draft's Team Coordinator, Jennifer assists with building relationships with the organization's external stakeholders, coordinating training requests and managing event logistics. Previously, Jennifer worked at Kings College Hospital, Save the Children UK and Goldsmiths University. She holds a degree in Fashion Management and Marketing from the University for the Creative Arts.

Keenan Chen

Investigative Researcher, New York 

Keenan is based in First Draft’s New York bureau and reports on disinformation activities both inside and outside of the United States. Previously, he was an investigative fellow at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s Cross-Borders Data Project, and researched on transnational money laundering activities and the real estate industry in New York City. He has contributed reporting and research to The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, ProPublica and The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Keenan holds a MS in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a BS in journalism and political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.

Laura Garcia

Training Manager 

Laura heads First Draft’s training and education across newsrooms and journalism schools. Her work as a multimedia journalist started back in her home, Mexico, as a photographer for a newspaper. She also worked for newspapers and film production companies in the US before coming to the UK in September 2011. Laura has worked in different newsrooms across the UK: ITV Meridian, BBC South East, BBC Radio Kent, NBC News, R4’s The World Tonight and Channel 5 News. Previously she worked as a Lecturer in Television and Multimedia Journalism at the University of Kent, and produced a politics show for KMTV. She is passionate about access into journalism and diversifying the media and co-founded PressPad and the UK chapter of AMMPE World.

Leneli Liggayu

Development Associate, New York 

Leneli is the Development Associate, US. Her background includes work as a litigation paralegal at a mid-size law firm in New York and also as an administrative assistant to the President of a non-profit business league. She holds a Journalism degree from St. John’s University.

Lorraine Mclarty

HR Manager  

Lorraine is the HR Manager, overseeing all aspects of the HR practices, policies and processes to support First Draft's growth and to maintain a positive working environment. Lorraine brings 17 years HR experience and has been responsible for Organizational Change, Recruitment and Selection, Learning and Development, Employee Relations and Law and Performance Management. Lorraine has spent the last 11 years at The Salvation Army working in various HR roles ranging from HR Manager to Head of HR Shared Services. Lorraine enjoys building relationships and believes in nurturing a positive working environment. Lorraine has an MA in Personnel and Development and is a Chartered Member of the CIPD.

Lucinda Beaman

Senior Researcher, Sydney 

Lucinda Beaman is a senior researcher in First Draft’s Sydney bureau, where she monitors and reports on information disorder in the Asia Pacific region. Lucinda has a strong track record in monitoring and correcting mis- and disinformation, having been FactCheck Editor at The Conversation, and Sydney Editor at RMIT ABC Fact Check with Australia’s national broadcaster. In those roles, she worked with experts to correct misleading information at the heart of national policy debates and election campaigns. As an online journalist for The Times of London Sydney bureau, Lucinda edited major breaking regional and foreign news. She began her career reporting on financial services, including the Global Financial Crisis, and as a video producer and presenter. Lucinda is an experienced public speaker and has been recognised for leadership and editorial innovation in newsrooms.

Lucy Swinnen

Editor 

Lucy is a London based Editor, investigating information disorder in the Middle East and supporting global CrossCheck projects. Previously, she covered global breaking news events at Seattle based start-up Factal Ltd since its launch in 2018. She reported from Wellington during the 2017 New Zealand general election and has reported in The Philippines and Australia. She completed her honours thesis on political activism in Egypt following the January 25 Revolution.

Lydia Morrish

Social Media Journalist 

Lydia is a multimedia journalist and First Draft’s digital content producer, packaging interactive media around CrossCheck investigations and raising awareness of First Draft’s work across platforms. Previously, she worked at WikiTribune, leading investigations, building communities, hosting workshops and reporting on social issues, politics, digital culture and gender from Finland, New York and corners of Britain. As a freelance journalist, she reported extensively on issues affecting women, including around the aftermath of Ireland’s referendum to legalise abortion, workplace discrimination and sex work activism in the UK. Lydia is also the UK correspondent for NewsMavens and a member of The Second Source, the alternative network for women in the media.

Matt Wright

Senior Copywriter  

Matt is a senior copywriter with many years spent working in the communications and creative industries. Sitting in our in-house creative team, Matt has a passion for creating magic out of words and communicating in a clear, consistent and inspiring tone.

Marie Bohner

Global Head of Partnerships 

Marie Bohner manages First Draft’s global partnerships. She started working with First Draft on CrossCheck France in 2017 for the French presidential election. She coordinated the collaboration of media, academic and tech partners on the project. As a French and German citizen, she has assisted First Draft with partner meetings in Germany, France, the UK and at the Council of Europe. She has been working with First Draft’s European partners since March 2019. Marie has managed artistic and cultural events and Human Rights and advocacy related projects in India, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary and Senegal. These range from festivals and conferences to training courses and leadership seminars with said events having been conducted on an intercultural, local and international basis. She has also written for several online and print media organisations as a journalist, in French and English.

MJ Fox

Partnership Co-ordinator 

MJ is part of the Community Engagement team. Before joining First Draft MJ worked in strategic and digital communications for agencies in London and Dublin advising corporations, governmental bodies and brands. She has a degree in Law and Political Science and an MSC. in Business and Management from Trinity College Dublin.

Monika Kaminska

Finance & Reporting Manager 

Pedro Noel

Head of Product Innovation 

Pedro Noel has been working with digital rights since 2011, when he co-founded the Associated Whistleblowing Press, an NGO dedicated to the defense of human rights by the means of transparency, accountability and whistleblowing. As an investigative journalist and advocate, Noel took part in dozens of publications revealing wrongdoing and human rights violations in Spain, Iceland, Peru and Mexico, where he also trained more than 100 journalists in digital and journalistic skills. He was granted the “Orlando Sierra” fellowship of the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States and the “Journalists for Transparency” of Transparency International. Before joining First Draft, he was a fact-checking and verification journalist at AFP (Agence France-Presse). Pedro has a background in Philosophy.

Rebecca Araujo

Digital Designer 

Rebecca is a digital designer creating both static and motion work for First Draft. She works across all digital materials such as hero banners, social posts and article visuals. Rebecca has previously worked for The Times through their in house agency on projects such as Politics Tamed and International Women’s Day.

Rory Smith

Research Manager, New York 

Rory is a Senior Investigator at First Draft in London. With a background in data journalism, investigative reporting and international development, he will be looking into the various ways in which disinformation spreads as well as the evolution of disinformation and its myriad global networks. He will also be working with CrossCheck’s partners on more in-depth investigations around disinformation both in a supportive and collaborative role. Before joining First Draft, Rory worked for CNN, Vox, Vice and Truthout, covering various topics from immigration and food policy to politics and organized crime.

Sebastien Cubbon

Research Analyst 

Seb is a research analyst with a background in economics and international relations. His research and investigations centre around disinformation narratives and inauthentic online activity relating to social and political issues with a particular focus on the Francophone world. He previously worked on an international disinformation research project at Zinc Network (formerly Breakthrough Media). He holds degrees from King’s College London and the UvA (University of Amsterdam).

Shaydanay Urbani

Partnerships and Programs Manager, New York 

Shaydanay Urbani is First Draft’s Partnerships and Programs Manager in New York, where she covers disinformation and trains journalists internationally in verification and responsible reporting. She has a background in criminal justice reporting, Middle Eastern languages and politics, and food policy. She received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and her MA from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in New York.

Sogol Azmoon

Accounts Manager 

Sogol handles First Draft’s accounts and human resources matters. Before coming to First Draft, she worked in accounts and payroll for a variety of firms, and in the hospitality industry. Fluent in Farsi, Sogol also has experience as a TV presenter for an Iranian channel.

Stevie Zhang

Research Reporter, APAC 

Stevie is a Research Reporter with First Draft's APAC team. Previously, they were a research assistant at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and edited Farrago, Australia's oldest student publication. Stevie is completing their Master of Journalism at the University of Melbourne, where they previously obtained a BA in Media and Communications and English Literature.

Tommy Shane

Head of Impact and Policy 

Tommy Shane previously worked at the UK House of Commons, where he set up and managed the digital content team for select committees. He also worked at Full Fact during the 2017 UK General Election on their digital campaign. His research on social media has been published by Social Media + Society, and in 2017 he was named a global pioneer in digital democracy by Nesta. He holds degrees from the University of Cambridge and King’s College London.

Yevgeny Kuklychev

Editor, London 

Yevgeny is our London based editor with a focus on the UK, Europe and the Russia & CIS region. A Russian native, Yevgeny grew up in the UK where he received his BA in English Literature from the University of Warwick. With over ten years of experience working as a journalist, editor, digital producer and reporter in various industries, from music and entertainment (MTV, Google Music) to news reporting (BBC) to economics and finance (Bonds & Loans). More recently, he has shifted focus to studying and covering online information disorder, including influence campaigns across Russia and Europe

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