staff & leadership
the ifl team
Senior Research Associate
Keenan Chen is a computational journalist and reports on disinformation activities both inside and outside of the United States. He has contributed reporting and research to The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, ProPublica and The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Keenan holds a MS in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a BS in journalism and political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Kung Chen works in the Brown University School of Public Health Dean’s Incubator where he researches Long COVID, vaccine uptake and equity, and the public health information landscape. Prior to joining Brown, Kung was at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a human rights and misinformation undergraduate investigator at the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center as well as a Sustainability Fellow at the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability. Kung holds a BA in Political Science and a BS in Environmental Economics & Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Senior Research Associate
Kaylin Dodson is a researcher focused on misinformation affecting Black and Brown communities. Most recently she was an Investigative Researcher at First Draft where she worked on the Rockefeller Foundation sponsored Equity-First Vaccine Initiative along with writing a report on vaccine misinformation affecting Black communities on social media sponsored by the Rita Allen Foundation. She previously has done freelance writing and research for The Guardian, Medium, and Vice. Kaylin received her BA in Journalism and Design from The New School in 2020.
Professor of the Practice
Stefanie Friedhoff is co-founder and co-director of the Information Futures Lab, and Professor of the Practice at the Brown School of Public Health. Stefanie Friedhoff has been appointed to the White House COVID-19 Response team as senior policy advisor. She will continue to work on non-COVID matters at Brown University on a part-time basis. Stefanie is an expert at information creation, and the relationships between the information needs of communities, misinformation, and health outcomes. A collaborative leader, she brings her expertise as a newsroom manager, storyteller, strategist, and innovator to the Lab. Focusing on global health, crisis response, media ecosystems, and knowledge translation, Stefanie has led many innovations, including co-developing new magazines in Germany and founding the Trauma Journalism Program and Global Health Reporting Fellowships at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism, and creating Nieman’s first online guide, coveringflu.org. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, she created research translation and verification projects such as GlobalEpidemics.org and the Preprint Sifter, and co-leads new research and policy initiatives including a pandemic problem solving network, crisis communications guidance, and interventions to build vaccine confidence in communities of color. A 2001 Nieman Fellow, she serves as an expert advisor to the Pew Research Center, an expert contributor to the Covid Collaborative, and a trustee to the Trust for Trauma Journalism.
Leneli Liggayu was most recently the Development Associate at First Draft, specializing in overall grants management, fundraising initiatives, and operations assistance. Her background also includes work as a litigation paralegal at Pryor Cashman LLP and as an administrative assistant to the non-profit, the New York League of Independent Bankers. She received her BS in Journalism from St. John’s University.
Research and Investigation Manager
Rory Smith has a background in data journalism, misinformation research and international development. He has worked on violence prevention policy in Latin America and refugee resettlement in Sweden. As a journalist, he has covered various topics from immigration and food policy to politics and organized crime for CNN, Vox, and Vice. Prior to Brown, he was the research manager at First Draft, where he focused on investigating different facets of misinformation.
Associate Director of Research and Program Management
Samantha Stanley is Associate Director of Research and Program Management at the Lab and an expert in news media literacy. Driven to explore the intersections between media, information, and education, she researches the shifting boundaries of journalism and news information and considers their implications for media education. Samantha has taught in higher ed institutions in the US and Hong Kong. She has created news media literacy educational materials and trainings for educators in the United States and in Southeast Asia through workshops such as the Summer School on Disinformation & AI Futures offered by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, the News Literacy Bootcamp at Google NewsLab’s APAC Trusted Media Summit, and the Institute for News Literacy at Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City. Prior to joining the lab, Samantha managed digital communications and engagement in the non-profit sector. She is a 2022 ARIS Broader Impacts Fellow and holds a Master of Journalism and a PhD in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre.
Shaydanay Urbani is interested in the impact of technology on information, foreign policy and human rights. Her background is in misinformation research, criminal justice reporting, and food and sustainability ventures. Prior to Brown, she led on training and partnerships at First Draft, where she worked with NGOs and media organizations to understand and respond to misinformation more ethically and effectively. She received her bachelors in environmental studies from UCLA and her masters from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in New York.
Professor of the Practice
Claire Wardle is co-founder and co-director of the Information Futures Lab, and Professor of the Practice at the Brown School of Public Health. She is considered a leader in the field of misinformation, verification and user generated content, co-authoring the foundational report, Information Disorder: An interdisciplinary Framework for Research and Policy for the Council of Europe. In 2015, Claire co-founded the non-profit First Draft, a pioneer in innovation, research and practice in the field of misinformation. Over the past decade she has developed an organization-wide training program for the BBC on eyewitness media, verification and misinformation, led social media policy at UNHCR, been a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School, and been the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.
Daisy Winner is a Program Manager in the Brown University School of Public Health Dean’s Incubator, where she focuses on vaccine equity, health misinformation, and health disparities. In this role, Daisy aims to bring together research, activism, and storytelling to build and strengthen health equity. Prior to Brown, she worked at the Harvard Global Health Institute, where she focused on health misinformation, pandemics, and racial disparities in health and with Seed Global Health where she oversaw a portfolio of projects focused on strengthening medical and nursing education in several sub-Saharan African countries. She holds a BA in Psychology and Global Health from Lesley University.
Our Australia team
We partner with the Center for Media Transition at the University of Technology, Sydney to explore information in the Asia Pacific Region.
APAC Bureau Editor
Esther Chan joined First Draft in October 2020 as APAC Bureau Editor. She leads the editorial coverage of mis- and disinformation in the region and conducts, edits and publishes in-depth research about information disorder. Esther started her career in television as an investigative reporter before moving into digital journalism at Storyful and AFP FactCheck. She specializes in online newsgathering, verification, fact checking and conducting training workshops to help journalists and others to identify threat actors and deepen their understanding of the online disinformation landscape.
Director of APAC Operations
Anne Kruger launched First Draft’s Sydney bureau in early 2019 and became the Director of APAC operations. In 2020 Anne was co-chief investigator drafting Australia’s first disinformation regulatory code and now sits on the Complaints Sub-Committee and the Administration Sub-Committee. Anne was an anchor at CNN Hong Kong during SARS, and later a finance reporter and presenter at Bloomberg Hong Kong. In 2014 she established a verification lab at the University of Hong Kong collaborating with Meedan, and led media literacy projects with Unesco throughout APAC. She previously held senior editorial and presenter positions with ABC Australia. Anne has a Ph.D. in social media verification education.
Associate Editor for APAC Bureau
Stevie Zhang joined First Draft in August 2020 as a research reporter and in January 2022 became Associate Editor for the APAC bureau. Previously, they conducted research for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, helping launch a landmark report on Uyghur labor in China. Stevie also worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, producing for the nightly international news program “The World.” They have a Master of Journalism from the University of Melbourne.