Eric Nalder

Eric Nalder has received two Pulitzer Prizes, one for national reporting in 1990 and another for investigative reporting in 1997. 

He was also a finalist for the Pulitzer in public service in 1992. He has published one book, Tankers Full of Trouble, which won the Investigative Reporters and Editors book award for 1994. He has taught interviewing and investigative reporting workshops in five countries, each year adding new techniques learned from journalists, cops, FBI agents, lawyers, social workers and other practitioners. Retired in January and working on another book, he was a journalist for 42 years, last serving as national investigative reporter for the Hearst Newspapers chain (Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, etc). Always based in the Seattle area, his stories have exposed corruption in politics, the legal profession, government agencies, financial institutions, police departments, businesses and sports. He has also examined the dereliction and loopholes that led to massive oil spills, pipeline explosions and oil well disasters. He previously worked for the Seattle Times, Seattle Post Intelligencer and San Jose Mercury News. His jobs usually included investigative team leadership.  He lived during his youth in Norway, France, Lebanon and Afghanistan.

Marija Ristic

Marija is one of the editors and journalists of Balkan Transitional Justice programe.

Marija joined BIRN in 2011 as journalist covering Serbia. Marija is further engaged in BIRN’s documentary production.

She studied German language and journalism, and is currently pursuing for her master’s degree in international security. Marija has received numerous awards and scholarships from the OSCE, the Dr Zoran Djindjic Foundation, the Serbian Ministry of Education, the Austrian government and the Norway Research Council.

Milorad Ivanovic

Milorad Ivanovic is the deputy editor-in-chief of Blic, the largest Serbian daily newspaper. He was previously the paper’s foreign affairs editor and has a special interest in investigative and cross-border journalism

Milorad has also worked as a correspondent for the the French news agency EPN and has had articles published in such international newspapers as The Sunday Times in the UK, El Mundo in Spain, Der Standard in Austria and the Washington times.

Milorad produced Hidden Wounds, a documentary film on post-traumatic stress disorder which was made in co-operation with the BBC.

His investigations have included work on human trafficking (in association with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting),  the employment of Balkan mercenaries by British and US security firms in Iraq, and arms trafficking from Ukraine into Serbia.

In 2007 Milorad was selected for the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.

Stephen A. Salmieri

Stephen Salmieri worked as Chief of Undercover Operations within the FBI for 29 years.

In this role, he managed FBI undercover operations nationally and internationally, and was a member of the International Working Group on police undercover operations and liaison with CIA and NSA.

He formulated the FBI’s undercover agent selection and training programmes, designed and implemented training programmes for Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

He was the coordinator of terrorist task force and informant programmes.

One of the FBI’s original undercover agents, his projects included organised crime, biker gangs, corruption, insurance fraud, narcotics, money laundering, murder for hire, property theft, terrorism, white collar crime.

He was also an inmate at a maximum security prison, and utilised the witness protection programme for organised crime top-echelon informants.

Salmieri is trainer for Investigative Techniques Unlimited, and senior police adviser on organised crime, undercover operations, narcotics and terrorism to the Republic of Serbia.

He is a consultant to the FBI, the State Department, the US Departments of Justice, Food & Drug Administration and Police.

He has lectured in the Caribbean on undercover operations, money laundering and terrorist financing.

He also worked as a consultant for National Geographic Television’s July 2013 series ‘Inside the American Mob’.

Blake Morrison

Blake Morrison is the investigative projects editor at Reuters in New York. He was hired in 2011 to help create an investigative reporting unit.

Projects he has overseen and edited since he joined the news agency include two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize: The Child Exchange, an investigation of America’s underground market for adopted children; and The Echo Chamber, a special report that revealed how a handful of lawyers came to have an outsized influence at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to joining Reuters, Morrison served as the investigations editor and the deputy enterprise editor at USA TODAY, where he had worked since October 1999. His investigation of the impact of industrial pollution on schoolchildren spurred the EPA to launch a $2.25 million project to examine the air outside more than 60 schools across the nation. The reporting earned Morrison and colleague Brad Heath the Grantham Prize, a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, the Fourth Estate Award, the America’s Promise Journalism Award, the Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting, the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize, the John B. Oakes Award and the Philip Meyer Journalism Award. Morrison was also part of an investigation that examined the quality and safety of food served to children at schools. The investigation prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to launch sweeping reforms that raised the quality and safety standards for food served to 31 million children each day. It also earned the top investigative reporting award from the Education Writers Association.

Before joining USATODAY, Morrison spent six years as a reporter and editor at the St. Paul(Minn.) Pioneer Press.  There, he worked on the metro desk and as an investigative reporter, and worked on an investigation into academic fraud in theUniversity ofMinnesota men’s basketball program. The investigation earned a Pulitzer Prize for George Dohrmann, the beat reporter who broke the story.

Morrison has taught reporting and writing courses at the Columbia University in New York, American University in Washington, D.C., and the University of Maryland. He served as writer-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin, and has lectured at Arizona State University and Louisiana State University. He also worked with journalists in Egypt in the weeks before the revolution to develop database and investigative reporting techniques.

His French bulldog, Oatmeal, boasts 1,800 followers on Instagram (oatmealthepup).

Laura Ranca

Laura Ranca works with the RISE Project (www.riseproject.ro), a community of investigative journalists, programmers, graphic artists and activists from Romania who investigate cross-border corruption and organized crime, and develop advanced data research and visualization tools.

Laura coordinates the development of Visual Investigative Scenarios, a data visualization platform designed to assist investigative journalists, activists and others in mapping complex business or crime networks (www.vis.occrp.org).

Her current work also includes training journalists and activists on data visualization and a research project on media ownership in Moldova.

Previously, Laura has worked as a public communications officer with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo and as a researcher with the Center for Media and Communications Studies at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.

Dragana Babovic

Dragana Babovic is a journalist for the Montenegrin newspaper Vijesti.  Since 2003, she has covered stories about corruption, organized crime, conflict of interest and nepotism.

In 2009, Babovic won an award for her investigative reports on corruption given by the Media Institute as part of the campaign ‘Society without Corruption.’ She is also part of the investigative programme ‘Under the Scope’ that is conducted by Vijesti and the weekly Monitor, along with MANS.

Last year, Babovic participated in a project funded by USAID called Good Governance Activity in Montenegro.  She also conducted research on a series of investigative pieces pertaining to the efficiency of juridical work.

Babovic lives in Podgorica and is a lawyer by vocation.

Mark Schoofs

Mark Schoofs is a senior editor at ProPublica. Before coming to ProPublica in 2011, he had worked for more than 11 years at The Wall Street Journal, where he was a foreign correspondent and an investigative reporter for Page One.

Schoofs played a key role in investigations ranging from abuse and fraud in Medicare to the international methamphetamine trade. He contributed to the Journal’s coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. Prior to the Journal, Schoofs was a staff writer at The Village Voice, where he won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his eight-part series on AIDS in Africa. He has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Esquire, Out, and many other publications. He teaches journalism at Yale University and holds two U.S. patents.

Luigi Rinella

Luigi Rinella was born on February 13, 1968, and graduated in law from Bari (Apulia) University in 1991. He joined the Italian National Police in 1995 and worked in Milan as the chief of a section (100 people) of the ‘Volanti’ patrol unit. After that, he went on to direct the investigative section of the unit.

In 2000, after being transferred to central directorate for criminal police in Rome, he was appointed chief of the transnational crime Organisation section of the central operational service of the Italian National Police. In 2004, he was appointed chief of the narcotics section of the central service.

In September 2004, he was appointed liaison officer for the Italian National Police in Washington D.C. in the United States.

In February 2008, he was assigned to the Squadra Mobile (criminal investigative squad) of the Questura of Milan as deputy chief and chief of the narcotics section.

In October 2011, he was promoted and assigned to the Questura of Bari as chief of the Squadra Mobile.

Gordana Igric

Gordana Igric is BIRN’s Regional Director.  She began her career as a journalist in Belgrade in 1981.

Gordana reported from Bosnia and Kosovo during the wars that followed the dissolution of former Yugoslavia and returned there to research and document war crimes.

She has received several journalism awards such as the 1998 Overseas Press Club (USA) Award for Human Rights Reporting and a Human Rights Watch, HRW, award in the same year for her research into war crimes in Foca, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

She was Balkan project manager at the Institute of War and Peace Reporting, IWPR, from 1999 until August 2005 during which time IWPR’s Balkan reporting received numerous press awards and media citations.

She is the founder of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and currently serves as the Regional Network Director.