Vanessa M. Gezari

The Tender Soldier
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Monrovia, Liberia, 2007

(Kathleen Flynn)

Vanessa Gezari is national security editor at The Intercept. She has reported from four continents, nine countries, and many corners of the United States. On September 10, 2001, she left the U.S. to freelance in South Asia and spent the next three years reporting from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, and Sri Lanka. Gezari went on to become a foreign and national correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times, now the Tampa Bay Times, and her work has since appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, and the New Republic. Her 2013 book, The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice, is a narrative account of the Human Terrain System, an ambitious, troubled Army program that sent civilian social scientists into combat with soldiers to try to help the military understand local culture.

Gezari was a 2012 Knight-Wallace Fellow and three-time Livingston Award finalist; she has received grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Fund for Investigative Journalism, an International Reporting Project fellowship, and a MacDowell Colony writing residency. She is a founding member of Deca, an international journalism collective whose members write deeply reported stories about the world. She has trained Afghan journalists with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and mentored reporters and editors at Pajhwok Afghan News, Afghanistan’s largest independent news agency, and has taught at the University of Michigan and Wesleyan University. A former managing editor of Columbia Journalism Review, she is an adjunct professor at the Columbia Journalism School.

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