Afghanistan: The Human Factor

Presented in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, IPDGC hosted reporters and writers to discuss the human factor in the Afghanistan conflict.


  • Vanessa Gezari, author of the forthcoming book, The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice, which assesses the US military's Human Terrain program involving embedded social scientists and anthropologists with troops in Afghanistan. Her reporting has been featured on NPR and in The Washington Post Magazine.
  • Jason Motlagh, reporter featured in TIME, The Economist, Virginia Quarterly Review and The New Republic. His reporting has focused on civilian casualties, with on-the-scene accounts on the aftermath of coalition attacks in western Afghanistan last summer. 
  • Jon Sawyer, founder of the Pulitzer Center. After a 31-year career with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that included 13 years as the newspaper's Washington bureau chief, he founded the center in 2006. His assignments have taken him to around five dozen countries


Sean Aday, Director, Institute for Public Diplomacy & Global Communication