Robtel Neajai Pailey joins New Narratives as our first Opinion Writing Fellow. Robtel’s opinion pieces appear in FrontPage Africa and her commentaries air on radio stations across Liberia. Robtel was recently named one of the Top 99 Foreign Policy Leaders Under 33.
Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Robtel is an activist/writer who spent her formative years in Washington, D.C. She has worked in, collaborated with, and consulted for agencies such as the African Leadership Institute through the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Programme; the Ford Foundation; the Social Science Research Council; the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Initiatives of Change (formerly Moral Re-Armament); Amnesty International-USA; Oxfam America; the United Nations Development Programme, and the Government of Liberia.
A graduate of Howard and Oxford Universities, Robtel’s writing has appeared in international publications including The International New York Times and The Daily Beast. She has covered “new” news out of Africa as assistant editor of the Washington Informer Newspaper; worked in capacity building for the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND), a refugee rights organization with offices in Liberia and Sierra Leone; teaching and curriculum development at the Robben Island Museum in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Buduburam Refugee Camp School in Accra, Ghana; marketing and communications development for the American University in Cairo, Egypt; research and media analysis for TransAfrica Forum; multi-media production and broadcasting on “Africa Meets Africa,” a one-hour African Affairs news magazine; podcast interviewing/editorial writing on policy issues that affect Africa for Pambazuka News; and providing editorial guidance for the Sea Breeze Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writings, where she serves as a Board member and non-fiction editor.
Robtel is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Development Studies at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), specializing in Migration, Mobility, and Development, as a Mo Ibrahim Foundation Ph.D. Scholarship recipient.