Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

America's place in the post-Afghanistan world


Robin Wright, writer for The New Yorker; Jawad Sukhanyar, journalist

Date & time

Oct 27, 2021, 4:00-5:00 pm EDT


This is a Virtual Event.

What are the implications of the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan? Does it mark the "end of the American era?" What can the world community do for the thousands of Afghan refugees across the globe? How will the Taliban government treat women and Afghans who worked with Western organizations? Amid the continuing uncertainty, journalists Robin Wright and Jawad Sukhanyar will give their perspectives on the evolving situation, in conversation with Lynette Clemetson, Director of Wallace House. Watch this event on YouTube.

This event is co-sponsored by Wallace House and the Donia Human Rights Center.

From the speakers' bios

Robin Wright has written for The New Yorker since 1988 as a contributing writer and columnist. Her first piece on Iran won the National Magazine Award for best reporting. A former correspondent for the Washington Post, CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Sunday Times of London, she has reported from more than a hundred and forty countries. She is also a distinguished fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has been a fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as well as at Yale, Duke, Dartmouth, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Wright received the U.N. Correspondents Association Gold Medal for international coverage, and the Overseas Press Club Award for the “best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initia­tive,” for her coverage of African wars. The American Academy of Diplomacy named her journalist of the year for “distinguished reporting and analysis of international affairs.” She also won the National Press Club Award for diplomatic reporting and has been the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant.

Wright is the author of several books, including “The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran,” “Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam,” and “Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East,” which was selected by the New York Times and the Washington Post as one of the most notable books of 2008. Her book, “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” was selected as the best book on international affairs by the Overseas Press Club.

She received her BA and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, and was the first female sports editor for the Michigan Daily.

Jawad Sukhanyar, journalist and 2019 Knight-Wallace Fellow, was a reporter for The New York Times in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2019. He returned to Ann Arbor this month and will join the university as a journalist-in-residence with the Donia Human Rights Center and the International Institute. This research fellowship, sponsored by Wallace House, will commence once Sukhanyar receives full clearance from U.S. resettlement and immigration officials. He will study the implication of the U.S. departure from Afghanistan and new rule under the Taliban.

A target of the Taliban for his reporting and his affiliation with a U.S. media outlet, Sukhanyar faced grave danger when the Afghan capital fell to the extremist group. Escaping chaos and gunfire at the Kabul airport and hiding in the city for several days, Sukhanyar and his family were evacuated out of Afghanistan in August through an extraordinary effort led by The New York Times.

Sukhanyar first came to the university in September 2018 as a Knight-Wallace Fellow, where he studied issues related to women's rights in Afghanistan. Read more about Sukhanyar's journey. https://wallacehouse.umich.edu/wallace-house-welcomes-afghan-journalist…

Lynette Clemetson is the Charles R. Eisendrath Director of Wallace House, home of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists and the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists at the University of Michigan. She is a Knight-Wallace alum and came to the university from National Public Radio where she was Senior Director of Strategy and Content Initiatives, guiding projects across broadcast, digital and events. Lynette spent several years as a magazine and newspaper reporter before moving into media strategy and leadership. In addition to her work as a domestic correspondent for The New York Times and Newsweek magazine, she was also an Asia correspondent for Newsweek based in Hong Kong. A former Director of Content Strategy at Pew Center on the States, she was also founding managing editor of the website TheRoot.com. Lynette has a passionate interest in sustaining journalism in a variety of forms and supporting journalists in the pursuit of their craft.