Host & Senior Producer
Amy has spent the past decade reporting on some of the most pressing human rights issues of the day. For four years, she was the Africa Correspondent for The World, a co-production of the BBC World Service, Public Radio International and WGBH Boston. Her stories were heard by millions of listeners across the United States and around the globe. She has reported for National Public Radio, PBS television, and the BBC World Service.
During her time in Africa, Amy traveled extensively across the continent, producing in-depth, documentary-style radio reports on topics ranging from American anti-terrorism efforts in the Horn of Africa to sexual abuse by United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. She has reported many stories on children in Africa, including child laborers in Ivory Coast, AIDS orphans in South Africa, and Ethiopian children bound for adoptive homes in the United States.
Amy visited Darfur, Sudan to investigate allegations of genocide for the PBS television program, FRONTLINE/World. During her three-week tour, Amy traveled with rebel soldiers, African Union troops, and civilians who had been displaced by the violence. She confronted militias and government officials accused of carrying out the genocide. Her story, Sudan: The Quick and the Terrible was nominated for an Emmy Award.
Amy was a producer at National Public Radio for three years before she moved to Africa. She has worked as an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, her alma mater. From her base in New York, Amy has continued to report on human rights issues, moderating podcasts for UNICEF, Human Rights Watch and the PBS television miniseries, Women, War & Peace. She also reported a follow-up story for FRONTLINE/World on the PlayPump, a celebrated idea designed to “do good”. Along the way she uncovered myriad problems with the technology, an experience which would become the impetus for Tiny Spark.
Meredith Matthews provides website development, consulting and design services to business and non-profit organizations worldwide. She specializes in developing on the open-source platform WordPress and has built her career fixing the mistakes of other WordPress experts and providing practical, ground-level assistance to business owners and creatives who are reconsidering their personal relationships to DIY web projects. She flees from marketing and PR projects, has never applied for or been awarded a grant for anything, and studied communications at Fordham University. You can contact her via email.
Chris is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master’s in Public Administration and International Development (MPA/ID) from the Harvard Kennedy School. Chris’ research examines the causes and consequences of civil war, the reintegration of ex-combatants, post-conflict economic and social programs, and the development of new forms of governance and peace building after war. Much of his work applies field experiments (and natural experiments) to conflict and post-conflict scenarios. From 2005 to 2007 Chris co-directed the Survey of War Affected Youth in northern Uganda. He is currently evaluating peacebuilding and governance programs in Liberia and Uganda. Previous regions of field work include Kenya and India. Chris teaches courses on the political economy of civil war and terror, African development, and applied econometrics.
Andrew is an Emmy-award winning visionary storyteller with a comprehensive background in interactive and multimedia journalism. He’s currently “elevating the art of storytelling” at Second Story in Portland, Oregon. As the former multimedia editor at The New York Times, he pioneered new approaches to interactive storytelling maintaining his commitment to journalistic integrity. Andrew is also a recognized industry leader in interface and usability design of news. In addition to winning two Emmys and several nominations, Andrew’s work and the work of his desk have been recognized by The Alfred I. duPont Awards, World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, American Society of News Editors, National Press Photographers Association, among many others.
Phyllis Kaufman is the Co-Founder and Producing Director of Outside the Wire, a social impact company that uses theater and other media to address public health and social justice issues, such as combat-related psychological injury, end of life care, substance abuse/addiction, and political violence. Outside the Wire’s signature project, “Theater of War”, presents readings of ancient Greek plays to destigmatize issues of combat-related psychological injury. Since founding Outside the Wire two years ago, OTW has been the recipient of several government and foundation contract awards and grants, including: the Department of Defense/Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury; National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse; Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR); and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Prior to co-founding Outside the Wire, Phyllis was a Partner at a New York-based law firm in the media/entertainment practice group with a specialization in social impact and digital media, and production finance/production legal transactions.
Mathan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Design Strategies and core faculty in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons The New School for Design. He co-ordinates the Humanitarian Design Platform and directs the Humanitarian Design Lab conducting design research with and advising various external partners from the humanitarian, NGO and development community including the Red Cross (IFRC, American Red Cross), Oxfam America, World Bank (Social Resilience) and the United Nations (UNHCR, UNISDR and UNU) and has been awarded research grants from various branches of the United Nations and the World Bank. Previously at Columbia University he directed the Moving Image Lab at Columbia (MILC), a project-based research lab exploring the role of film and animation in architecture and design, and taught courses in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. His work has been screened in architecture and film festivals internationally (Sydney Architecture Festival, International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Onedotzero, Melbourne International Animation Fesitival) and he continues to publish in the areas of digital representation for architecture, animation and visual effects for film. Trained as an architect, he spent his earlier years working at the offices of Daniel Libeskind in Berlin and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in New York before moving into film and animation. He is now a practicing filmmaker and academic exploring how to assist vulnerable communities through design with collaborative projects that bring together people from the humanitarian and development fields with design researchers and practitioners.
Ellen is the Executive Director of The Center for Public Integrity where she oversees the Center’s domestic investigations and editorial staff. She was formerly senior vice president of news at NPR. There she managed 36 bureaus, more than 400 U.S. and international staffers and a $75 million budget. Under Ellen’s leadership, the audience for NPR.org grew from four million unique monthly visitors in 2006 to 12 million in 2010. During that timeframe she also oversaw a 10 percent growth in audience for NPR’s news programs to more than 27 million weekly listeners. During her time leading NPR news, it won a multitude of prestigious awards, including Peabody Awards, Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, Robert F. Kennedy Awards, George Polk Awards, Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, and Overseas Press Club Awards among others.
The Tiny Spark pilot has been made possible by a generous contribution from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, connecting the nonprofit world with news, jobs and ideas.