Syria Deeply was born to fill a gap that had been keeping people in Syria, and their stories, isolated from
the rest of the world. Our mission was to highlight Syrian voices and perspectives through independent
journalism that made sense of Syria’s complex and brutal conflict. For nearly six years, we have kept a close
watch on both the humanitarian crisis and the political factors – global and domestic – that were escalating
The lessons learned from Syria’s war will define modern conflict and how it is resolved. Conversely, the
approaches for peacebuilding that have worked elsewhere will be vital to Syria’s future.
With this in mind, we are taking a new approach to delivering on our original mission. Syria Deeply’s coverage
and editorial team will be folded into a new endeavor: Peacebuilding Deeply.
We are humbled by the engagement and dedication of Syria Deeply’s readers and contributors over the years.
Because of your support, Syria Deeply evolved from a news site to a platform to exchange ideas and bridge
perspectives on vital issues.
Syria Deeply’s trove of existing coverage will remain available through an archived version of the site. We
also plan to launch special initiatives focused specifically on Syria, from dedicated research projects and
reporting tracks to roundtable discussions around the world.
Though we now have a new home, our expertise and passion about Syria will be a constant. We are always willing
to share our knowledge, answer questions and help advance the discussion about a country and people incredibly
close to our hearts.
Lara Setrakian, CEO and Co-founder, News Deeply
Alessandria Masi, Managing Editor, Syria Deeply
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About Syria Deeply
Syria Deeply is an independent digital media project led by journalists and technologists that explores a new model of storytelling around a global crisis. Our goal is to build a better user experience of the story by adding context to content, using the latest digital tools of the day. Over time the hope is to add greater clarity, deeper understanding and more sustained engagement to the global conversation.
Syria Deeply is a part of News Deeply, a new media startup and social enterprise based in New York. We are registered as a B Corp, or Benefit Corporation, with the stated mission of advancing foreign policy literacy through public service journalism. We receive no government funding, instead earning our revenues through a mix of foundation grants and digital-design services. Our client partners include the World Economic Forum, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Baker Institute at Rice University.
We want anyone who comes to Syria Deeply to walk away smarter and better informed about what’s happening in our world. We’re fielding your feedback and story ideas through email@example.com.
Alessandria Masi, Managing Editor
Alessandria is the Managing Editor of Syria Deeply and chief of News Deeply’s Beirut bureau. She leads the day-to-day operations for Syria Deeply, working to bring readers the most in-depth, multi-faceted and unbiased coverage of the ongoing conflict. Previously she was the Middle East Correspondent for International Business Times. She was a featured author in the 2016 edition of “Attacks On The Press” with the Committee To Protect Journalists and her coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis won a Society for American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) international reporting award. She is a native of Canada and a cat enthusiast.
Hashem is the deputy managing editor of Syria Deeply. He has previously written for The Arab Weekly and The Daily Star. He has also worked with the Associated Press, where he focused on user-generated content. Hashem holds a masters degree in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, at the University of London. He is a native of Beirut, Lebanon.
Natalie Sikorski, Community Editor
Natalie is the community editor of Geopolitics at News Deeply. Previously, she worked with Nonviolent Peaceforce both as a programme officer in Beirut, Lebanon, focusing on the Syria response, as well as in advocacy and outreach in New York. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in Violence, Conflict and Development at SOAS, University of London. Outside of News Deeply, Natalie’s interests include horse riding, travel, and theatre.
The Asfari Foundation is a registered British charity set up by the Ayman Asfari family in 2006. It aims to help young people make a valuable contribution to their society by empowering them through education, research and the power of free thinking. It also supports programmes that encourage the development of civil society in the Arab world, and provides humanitarian relief to people affected by emergency situations in its target countries of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and the UK. Our vision is for and educated, open and just society, based on the rule of law, which promotes development and progress through knowledge, tolerance and integrity.
Founded in 1990 by a group of prominent U.S. women journalists, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a Washington-based organization that believes the news media world-wide are not truly free and representative without the equal voice of women. The IWMF celebrates the courage of women journalists who overcome threats and oppression to speak out on global issues. The IWMF’s programs empower women journalists with the training, support and network to become leaders in the news industry.
Hivos is an international development organisation guided by humanist values. Together with local civil society organisations in developing countries, Hivos wants to contribute to a free, fair and sustainable world. A world in which all citizens – both women and men – have equal access to opportunities and resources for development and can participate actively and equally in decision-making processes that determine their lives, their society and their future.
Syria Deeply, the world’s foremost platform on the Syrian conflict, welcomes original contributions.
We are always interested in receiving story pitches for news features and interviews, as well as videos, audio stories and photo essays.
We are also interested in receiving submissions from researchers, community leaders and policymakers for our community op-ed section.
We regret that, owing to the volume of submissions we receive, we may contact only writers whose work we will commission.
Syria Deeply is editorially independent and is part of News Deeply, the digital media and community building company that Time Magazine called “the future of news.”
Lara is an award-winning journalist, strategist and entrepreneur. She spent five years in the Middle East reporting via
television, radio and digital platforms for ABC News, Bloomberg Television, the International Herald Tribune, Business
Insider and Monocle magazine. Her 2009 coverage of Iran’s election protests and the Arab Awakening of 2011 garnered industry
praise. Lara is a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, with a degree in government. Lara enjoys a strong yoga practice,
reading poetry and cooking vegetarian meals.
Chief Content Officer
Dan is responsible for content strategy and operations on all News Deeply platforms. He previously led the World Economic
Forum’s Knowledge Lab, the incubation arm of the Global Agenda Councils Network. He was a founding editor of the award-winning
national newspaper of the United Arab Emirates, the National, and an editor at both the Middle East and Asia headquarters
of Agence France-Presse. As a regional correspondent, he took on multiple assignments in Iraq, the Gaza Strip, the West
Bank, Jerusalem, Thailand and Hong Kong. Dan also worked as a journalist for Reuters in Tokyo and the South China Morning
Post in Hong Kong. He holds a master’s in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Chief Business Officer
Samir is responsible for business growth, strategy and operations at News Deeply. He brings with him experiences ranging
from a stint as a consultant at McKinsey, to leadership positions at Sony Music and Bertelsmann, to investing in consumer
and media start-ups. He holds a degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to being
a passionate consumer of News Deeply content and an overall news and policy junkie, Samir enjoys playing and composing
music, design and architecture, and working with his wife on a social enterprise focused on maternal health in the developing
Chief Product Officer
Matt is the Chief Product officer of News Deeply, where he oversees digital product strategy as well as community development
initiatives. Matt has decades of experience building useful and usable digital products for B2B, mobile application development,
media, and retail organizations. As the Chief Digital Officer of K2 Intelligence, an investigative consultancy, he led
the development of an innovative data analytics practice as well as software tools for case management, information gathering,
and data visualization. At Gerson Lehrman Group, he led software initiatives to help recruit, manage, and scale the global
expert network at the heart of GLG’s business. Prior to his work at GLG, he held leadership and creative technology roles
at media and publishing companies like Conde Nast, iVillage, Zagat Survey, and Time Inc. He graduated from Tufts University.
When he’s not at News Deeply’s New York office, he’s probably on a bicycle.
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development
Liana has 15 years of experience in strategic partnership and business development, particularly in European and Asian markets.
Before joining the News Deeply team, she was a commercial director at Cosmopolitan Armenia, leading strategic partnerships
and initiatives in Armenian and Russian markets. Before Liana moved to Armenia, she owned an alternative health center
based in Massachusetts in the United States. Liana spends most of her free time playing with her two sons.
Arindam is a backend developer, startup mentor and serial entrepreneur. He’s also a founder at CollectiveZen, an award-winning
technology services and solutions provider with clients in India and North America. He bootstrapped his first startup in
2000 and went on to merge operations with Mixercast, where his roles included product design and management. His passions
include the convergence of commoditized infrastructure, multi-gestural interfaces, the emerging ubiquity of the mobile
Internet and location-based services. His daily pursuit of happiness ends with a smile when he makes a difference in the
lives of the next generation.
Manager, Community and Product Operations
Kim Bode is the manager of community and product operations at News Deeply, working at the intersection of community and product.
Prior to joining News Deeply, she graduated from New York University’s Studio 20 program, which focuses on
innovation in journalism, completing a research project with Facebook’s Journalism Partnerships team. Born and raised in
Berlin, she came to New York in 2011 as Wall Street correspondent for the Financial Times Deutschland and NZZ am Sonntag,
and later also reported for Die Zeit. When she manages to get offline, Kim enjoys a steady yoga practice and contemplating
where to travel to next.
Community Editor, Malnutrition Deeply
Amruta is the Community Editor of Malnutrition Deeply. Before joining News Deeply, she was a Program Manager at The Africa Seed Access Index project at Cornell University. She came to the United States in 2014 to pursue a Masters in Public Administration degree at Cornell, where she focused on topics of agriculture, gender and nutrition. She has conducted research and consulted for NGOs and private organizations in various countries including Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Cambodia. Previously, she worked as a reporter for The Hindu in India, where she covered development and politics in the state of Maharashtra. She is originally from India, and feels at home wherever she can find good vegetarian food and coffee.
Community Editor, Environment
Ian is the Community Editor of Water Deeply and Oceans Deeply. Before joining News Deeply, he was a freelance science journalist
in Boston with a focus on environmental law and policy. He has been published in Undark Magazine, FiveThirtyEight, Nautilus,
and more. Ian grew up in California, and before getting into journalism he planned on becoming an ecologist. Instead, he
pursued science writing and in 2016 he earned an MS in science journalism from Boston University. When he has spare time,
Ian likes to get out and go hiking, backpacking and birding.
Community Editor, Women & Girls Hub
Jihii Jolly is community editor of the Women & Girls Hub at News Deeply. A multimedia journalist with a varied background
production and research, she specializes in media, culture and religion, she has written and produced content for the Columbia
Journalism Review, The Atlantic and Narratively, among others. She was previously an Innovation Fellow at EdLab Studios,
a research, media design lab at Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to producing her own work, she taught
pre-college journalism at the School of the New York Times. Currently, she teaches community engagement at Stony Brook
University's Journalism School. She's originally from India, and grew up in New York.
Director of Operations
Arpine Grigoryan is a new media professional, project manager and trainer with 15+ years of experience. Arpine is the Director
of Operations at News Deeply and is the head of the Yerevan office. Arpine is actively engaged in co-organizing popular
TEDx events in Armenia and the biggest Armenian tech conference BarCamp Yerevan for the past 6 years. Prior to joining
News Deeply, Arpine acted as the Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications at PanARMENIAN.Net – the first Armenian online
media platform. For the past decade, Arpine has led workshops and training sessions for various organizations and provided
communication and marketing support for several local startups. Arpine received her Master’s degree in Management Information
Systems from the State Engineering University of Armenia and has studied Information Security and Computer Science for
her Bachelor’s. Her free time Arpine likes to spend reading and sewing. She has established the “Sewing Club in Armenia”
with a few thousand members online.
Head - Partnerships and Business Development
Jessica Kirk is Head of Partnerships and Business Development at News Deeply. She works with organizations who want to gain brand
visibility, amplify issues, or derive insights from the unique assets within the News Deeply platforms.
She has held leadership roles in business development serving global corporations, financial services firms, management consulting firms and agencies. Prior employers include Siegel+Gale, the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), and Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), providers of branding, research, and insights.
She volunteers with the American Red Cross in Public Affairs, the Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Association, and Nothing But Nets. She has been published in Forbes and CMO Essentials, and is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. She lives in New York City with her family.
Director, Partnerships & Business Development
Laura is responsible for sales and business development at News Deeply. Prior to joining the team, she worked in syndication
and licensing for The New York Times, as well as in fundraising for a social justice philanthropy. She graduated summa
cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in History and French and is passionate about human rights,
women's rights and foreign languages. Currently based in New York, Laura has lived and worked in both Paris and Jerusalem.
Senior Product Manager
JC is a product manager and digital producer responsible for shipping dozens of software projects since 2001. Prior to joining
News Deeply, he was a senior manager at LookSmart Ltd., leading strategic initiatives in adtech, ecommerce, and social
media marketing platforms. Before he moved to New York, JC managed the corporate development and mentoring program of G2VC,
a venture capital firm based in Manila, Philippines. With years of entrepreneurial and corporate experience, JC has advised
a handful of startups on product strategy and customer acquisition. A passionate runner, JC has completed multiple half
and full marathons in the past eight years.
Chief Copy Editor
Ali Moore is the chief copy editor for News Deeply. She has an extensive catalog of experience, spanning a full range of
roles, from commissioning editor to project manager, and working with a number of high-profile organizations, including
Microsoft, the Consumers’ Association, Reader’s Digest, Time Magazine, the Glasgow Herald, McGraw-Hill, Bertelsmann, Bloomsbury
and the Institute of Education, as well as being an occasional seller of vintage clothing. When not at her desk or running
a busy household, she enjoys Glasgow’s vibrant music scene.
Head of Special Events
Dave Poritzky is the Head of Special Events, overseeing sales and product-development activities for News Deeply and serving
on the firm's executive team. Prior to arriving at News Deeply, Dave spent almost a decade as part of the commercial leadership
of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the leading energy-research startup that was acquired by Bloomberg LP in 2009.
Dave led several initiatives at Bloomberg/BNEF, including the firm's Future of Energy Summit series and various other BNEF
sales, research and consulting projects. Before BNEF, Dave served as Chief Operating Officer and corporate advisory services
at Eurasia Group, the premier political-risk advisory firm. He was also Marketing Director for a supermarket joint-venture
in Vladivostok, Russia, where he co-founded the fabled music festival, "Vladi-rock-stok." Dave graduated Cornell University
with honors and received his MBA/MA from the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
Community Editor, Geopolitics
Natalie is the community editor of Geopolitics at News Deeply. Previously, she worked with Nonviolent
Peaceforce both as a programme officer in Beirut, Lebanon, focusing on the Syria response, as well as in
advocacy and outreach in New York. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in Violence, Conflict and
Development at SOAS, University of London. Outside of News Deeply, Natalie’s interests include horse riding,
travel, and theatre.
Executive Editor, Environment
Todd oversees News Deeply’s environmental news platforms. A veteran environmental journalist, he previously was the editorial
director for environment at TakePart, a digital magazine owned by Participant Media. Todd has also served as a reporter
and editor at Fortune, Forbes, Business 2.0 and other national magazines and was the business editor of the San Jose Mercury
News. He was a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The Atlantic and Quartz, covering green technology and other
environmental issues. Todd is based in California, where he is an avid surfer and hiker. A former resident of Australia,
he’s one of the few people to have seen the critically endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat in the wild.