Speaking this year

Jacqui is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who now holds the Knight Chair in Editing at the Missouri School of Journalism and is on the visiting faculty of The Poynter Institute. She has worked as a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, most recently as Associate Managing Editor of The Seattle Times.

She has traveled to all seven continents, including Antarctica, for stories. She has written about beauty pageants and popes, AIDS and the Olympics, dogsled expeditions and refugee camps. She was a finalist for the 1986 Pulitzer in international reporting for coverage of the Ethiopian famine. While at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, her series AIDS in the Heartland – an intimate look at the life and death of a gay farm couple – won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.

She has edited several award-winning projects, and leads workshops for editors and reporters around the world. This is her fourth visit to Romania.

Kelley is a professor of practice at Indiana University, where she teaches reporting and writing. She was a writer and editor at the Tampa Bay Times for 10 years. Her story about the extremely premature birth of her daughter was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2013.

She began her reporting career covering local news, then became a general assignment feature writer. She reported from the delivery room and the death chamber, and from at least five strip clubs in two states. As Enterprise Editor, she edited two series that were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize: Winter's Tale in 2009 and For Their Own Good in 2010. She is married to fellow IU professor Thomas French, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Angels and Demons in 1998.

Tudor Giurgiu

Tudor Giurgiu is a director, as well as the founder and President of the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF). Born in Cluj-Napoca, Giurgiu graduated from the Bucharest Film Academy in 1995 and worked as first assistant director for directors like Lucian Pintilie and Radu Mihăileanu. Giurgiu was also General Director of Romanian National Television (TVR) between 2005-2007.

He directed numerous commercials and music videos, as well as short or feature films, including his debut feature Love Sick, Katalin Varga by Peter Strickland (Silver Bear in 2009 Berlinale) or Mission of the Human Resources Manager by Eran Riklis (Audience Award in Locarno 2010). His short Superman, Spiderman or Batman (2011) won many festivals worldwide and Best European Short at the 2012 edition of European Film Awards. His second feature, Of Snails and Men, was awarded in Warsaw, Valladolid and Skt Petersburg film festivals. He is a 2014 Eisenhower Fellow and this fall he will release his third feature film Why me?

Leigh has served as Senior Lecturer in the Behavioral and Policy Sciences at MIT Sloan School of Management since 1995, teaching communication, ethics, and leadership in the MBA and other graduate programs. Since 2012, he also coordinates and teaches a two-year leadership course for the MIT Leaders for Global Operations, an Engineering/MBA dual-degree program.

Hafrey is a Senior Moderator for the Aspen Institute, where he leads seminars for programs in the U.S. and abroad. A former staff editor at The New York Times Book Review, Hafrey has published translations from French and German and reporting, essays, reviews, and interviews in The New York Times and other periodicals.

His book on how people use story to articulate ethical norms, The Story of Success: Five Steps to Mastering Ethics in Business, appeared in 2005. He is currently working on a sequel, tentatively titled War Stories: Demilitarizing American Leadership.

Chris is an award-winning writer-at-large for Esquire and a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. He began his career as a boxing writer for the National Post in Toronto, a beat that inspired his first book, Falling Hard: A Rookie's Year in Boxing, 2007. In 2005, he won the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing for Home, a story about three astronauts stranded on the International Space Station when the shuttle Columbia was lost. In 2010, he won his second National Magazine Award for The Things That Carried Him, a heartbreaking story that chronicled the return of the body of Sgt. Joe Montgomery from Iraq to Scottsburg, Indiana.

His work has also appeared in the Best American Magazine Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and Best American Political Writing anthologies. He is coming back to Bucharest for his third visit this year, because he can no longer imagine facing down a winter without it.

Amy O'Leary


Amy has worked for The New York Times as a reporter, editor and multimedia producer specializing in digital storytelling and print-digital newsroom integration since 2007. In her work as a reporter, she has covered viral celebrities, social media phenomena and addictive apps. Her work as a multimedia producer has received numerous Emmy awards.

Before coming to the Times, Amy was a producer for the popular public radio documentary program, This American Life, where she produced radio documentaries and feature stories. She also worked at a venture-backed software company where she coauthored a programming book and served as the company’s communications director.

Ernst-Jan Pfauth


Ernst-Jan is co-founder and publisher of De Correspondent, a Dutch-language, online journalism platform that offers background, analysis, investigative reporting, and the kinds of stories that tend to escape the radar of mainstream media because they do not conform to what is normally understood to be news. De Correspondent launched on September 30, after raising a total of 1.7 million dollars with a world record crowd-funding campaign.

Ernst-Jan is the former Editor-in-chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist who has written two books on blogging. In 2008 and 2009, he served as editor in chief of The Next Web Blog, which is now amongst the ten most-visited blogs of the world.

Lisa is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and radio producer who specializes in narrative stories about ordinary people. She started out as a print journalist, spending 12 years as a features writer at daily newspapers including the Baltimore Sun, where she wrote her Pulitzer winner.

In a decade at the public radio show This American Life, she reported, wrote, and produced stories on everything from an Iraq War veteran who joined a Muslim student group to combat his fear of Muslims to a man who spent 30 years as the chief suspect in a crime he didn’t commit. She was also part of the Emmy Award-winning team that produced two seasons of This American Life for the Showtime television network. This fall she'll be teaching "Storytelling for the Ear" at Columbia Journalism School.

Jonah Sachs


Jonah is the Co-Founder and CEO of Free Range Studios and an internationally recognized storyteller, author, marketer, designer and entrepreneur.

Sachs’ book, Winning the Story Wars, draws on case studies from his own body of work, as well as some of the most successful brands of all time, to show how values-driven stories will not only revolutionize marketing, but represent humanity’s greatest hope for the future. It was named one of the American Marketing Association's top marketing books of 2013.

Jonah and his work have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Sundance Film Festival, NPR, The Colbert Report, The Huffington Post and Fast Company Magazine, which named him one of the 50 most influential social innovators. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife Chelsea, their daughter Mira, and son Orion.

Lea is a Peabody Award-winning producer and director. She is the creator and host of the radio show Strangers, and she formerly served as the Executive & Creative Director of the storytelling organization The Moth from 2000 to 2010. Lea created the enormously popular Moth Podcast, as well as The Moth Radio Hour, carried on more than 300 stations in the U.S. Under Lea’s leadership, The Moth grew from a small, local event series to a global community with millions of listeners, storytellers and participants, and she increased the annual revenues by 800 percent.

Lea has directed, produced or executive produced more than 1,000 live storytelling shows around the country and has worked extensively with hundreds of individuals, including Ethan Hawke, Salman Rushdie, Gay Talese, Mark Maron, Margaret Cho and many others. Originally from Denmark, she first came to the U.S. as a visiting scholar at Columbia University in 1996.

Rob Wijnberg


Rob is a philosopher and publicist who, before founding De Correspondent, served as Editor-in-chief of nrc.next, the morning edition of NRC Handelsblad, one of Netherlands' premier daily national newspapers.

Targeting a young, highly educated audience, under Rob's guidance, nrc.next reached a paid circulation of 80,000 and a daily reach of 375,000, making it the most successful among new newspapers in Europe.

His views on the role of news in modern society, published in numerous columns and articles and several books, brought Rob a large and dedicated following. This support helped him to put his ideas in to practice by founding De Correspondent, where he is Editor-in-chief. The online news platformnow has more than 25.000 subscribers.

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