ICIJ announces new Research Editor

Margot Williams will take on the role of setting up and operating a research desk and data library that will be a go-to resource for ICIJ reporters and our institutional members worldwide.

Two new investigative reporters will be joining ICIJ’s staff in the next few weeks: Margot Williams and Sasha Chavkin.

Margot Williams

Margot will join as Research Editor. She will take on the role of setting up and operating a world-class research desk and data library that will be a go-to resource for ICIJ reporters and our institutional members, as they are added. The desk will support our investigations and the network with data and documents, along with other assistance on a case-by-case basis. 

This new initiative will allow us to build new capacity and expand our services. The position comes about through the new support we have received from the Australian philanthropist and businessman Graeme Wood.

Margot’s career at The Washington Post, the New York Times and NPR is one of the most respected in the investigative reporting world. She has pursued jihadists online, uncovered the names of persons who are held in communication management units by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons  and detainees who died in U.S. immigration detention, investigated Iraq war contractors and followed the money (and private jets) of mayors, governors, senators, presidential candidates, and ex-presidents. 

And she has spread her passion for investigative journalism – and her incredible ferreting skills — at her numerous workshops over the years both in the U.S. and internationally.

During 14 years at The Washington Post, Margot contributed to every important story from the Clinton impeachment to the Washington sniper to Enron to the Capitol police shooting to the 2000 presidential election deadlock to the 9/11 attacks. She was a member of two Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, for a 1998 investigation of DC police shootings of civilians and then again in 2001 for national coverage of terrorism.

In the aftermath of 9/11 at the Washington Post and later at the New York Times, she investigated the network of jets and shell companies involved in the transport of terrorism suspects among secret prisons around the globe. She compiled the first list of the Guantanamo detainees — years before their names were made public — and created the comprehensive Guantanamo database on the Times web site.

In 2011, she analyzed the Guantanamo documents leaked by Bradley Manning for NPR and the New York Times.

Sasha ChavkinSasha Chavkin has previously written for ProPublica, Columbia Journalism Review, and the New York World , an investigative website covering New York City. He was also the lead reporter for ICIJ and Center for Public Integrity's Island of the Widows and Mystery in the Fields projects, which examined a mysterious form of kidney disease that is killing agricultural workers across continents.

Sasha has reported from countries including Peru, Bolivia, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. His investigations have explored topics from oil pollution in the Niger Delta to an immigration fraud that resulted in hundreds of stunned couples getting their marriage applications rejected at the altar in New York's City Hall.

Sasha's work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Sidney Hillman Foundation. He holds masters degrees from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and School of International and Public Affairs. 

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