Abandoned metro riders crowd the platforms and the areas surrounding metro stations.11 May 2015

How Monday’s Metro Meltdown Turned Me Into an Action Hero (sortof)

Abandoned metro riders crowd the platforms and the areas surrounding metro stations. I hiked my skirt up, straddled the red bike and steeled myself for the task at hand. Just minutes into my commute from northern Virginia to downtown DC, Metro had had a meltdown. I had already spent 90 minutes on a train only to off-load onto a subway platform that was packed with the contents of the two trains ahead of mine. I

MaturOgDrykkur-613 Apr 2015

Matur og Drykkur

Its not every day that you get a personal restaurant recommendation from a world renowned food critic, but that's exactly what happened to me this week in Iceland.   For the past six days I've been in Reykjavik for the Iceland Writers Retreat, an event that is quickly becoming my favorite thing to do each year. One of the featured authors this year was Ruth Reichl, former restaurant critic of the New York Times and

Overhead view of boy ladling gravy onto a plate of food27 Nov 2014

Hunger and Hope in Warren, OH

I wasn’t nervous until I got there. Perhaps it was the imposing bearded figure standing guard at the gate, or the group of men gathered by an entrance, but as I circled the dilapidated building looking for a place to park, my mind started generating excuses to leave. I’d already tried twice to arrange getting photographs for the Hunger and Hope assignment for National Geographic’s Your Shot website. My calls to a soup kitchen in

Happy kids jumping21 Aug 2014

Joy in a Viewfinder

In 2006 I traveled to Kampala, Uganda for work. During my trip, I visited a school that was unique in that it accepted children with disabilities and their siblings.   When I arrived, the children were outside enjoying some recess and they decided to sing me some songs, so I pulled out my video camera to record them. What happens next is one of my favorite memories from that

View of Reykjavik from Perlan hill13 Jun 2014

My Ax Murderer Moment

When I was planning my trip to Iceland, I never imagined I’d be living out a scene from So I Married an Ax Murderer.   I was in high school when the campy mystery/comedy starring Mike Myers came out. I don’t remember that much about the storyline, beyond what the title gives away, but a short scene in the opening credits made an indelible impression.   In the sequence, the camera follows a huge cup

Social network map of Assad's network20 Sep 2012

Syrian Defector Tracker

I love a good social network analysis and The Syrian Defector Tracker, by Google and Al Jazeera is especially interesting. I learned about it at a Media and Technology in Syria discussion today at the Brookings Institute on Media and Technology in Syria. This particular network map shows who, in Syrian President Assad's network, has defected. The visualization tracks senior military officials, members of parliament and diplomats who have quit Assad's regime. What's particularly interesting,

GBIPortal_Screenshot2 Mar 2011

GBI Portal

Today, the project I've been working on, the Global Broadband and Innovations Program (GBI) announced the launch of the new GBI Portal, a multimedia resource portal and social network for development professionals interested in incorporating ICTs into their work. The portal brings together news, commentary, and updates from the field on cutting edge technologies and their applications to social and economic development. It also incorporates an extensive (and growing) library of documents and project descriptions

Wikis work wonders

I've had my fair share of group projects, and no matter how the groups get together (whether through work, class, or otherwise), its always been difficult to find meeting times. Do for me, wikis have been a lifesaver. Personally I like Wetpaint, but any wiki service will do. I usually set it up with the assignment details, and create pages for a rough draft, brainstorming, and resources. (Wetpaint has a template set up already for


Good news! I've just accepted a position as the Communications Director of the Global Broadband and Innovations Program, and USAID initiative focused on promoting ICT4D! Needless to say I'm thrilled! I'll continue to post here, but will likely be posting less often. Look for ICT4D related posts on upcoming program

Water crisis…coming soon, to a city near you!

  Often when we think about a lack of access to water, we get mental images of women and children spending half their day walking for miles through rural countryside to some distant water source. And that certainly is the case for many people throughout the world. But with half of the world's population living in rapidly expanding urban areas, the world’s cities are facing their own water crisis. The two main water concerns for