Noting how few women were viewed as experts or opinion-makers in their fields, Katie Orenstein founded the OpEd Project in 2008 to ensure women (and their priorities) shape discussion on important issues. After studying folklore at Harvard University, Orenstein traveled to Haiti as a journalist and folklorist, but the coup that erupted there during her stay (and an ensuing protest covered by the New York Times) had a profound impact on her. Upon investigating, she discovered that media coverage had mostly quoted diplomats and a handful of wealthy Haitian expatriates, leaving most Haitians’ concerns unheard. She contributed to the 1994 NACLA Report on the Americas, describing the situation in Haiti, and in 1996 worked with a human rights group helping victims of military and paramilitary groups seek justice. Orenstein went on to earn a master’s degree and became an op-ed contributor to the New York Times from 2003–2004. In 2008, she founded the OpEd Project, which trains women in business, government, and academia to serve as expert commentators in their fields and has increased women’s representation in top opinion forums from 15% to 21% since it began.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Katie Orenstein." (Viewed on March 8, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/orenstein-katie>.