Obi Anyadike to Receive Kroc Institute 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award

Author: Amy Pracht

Obi Anyadike, M.A. ’97, will receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. This award honors Notre Dame graduates in peace studies whose careers and lives exemplify the ideals of international peacebuilding.

Based in Nairobi, Anyadike is editor-at-large and Africa editor of IRIN, the world’s leading humanitarian news service. IRIN reports from the frontlines of conflicts and natural disasters with the aim of driving a more effective response to crises. It has a unique audience profile, reaching influential decision-makers in government, the UN, and international NGOs; as well as the direct responders on the ground. IRIN promotes transparency and accountability in the complex and under-scrutinized multi-billion-dollar aid sector.

In his current role with IRIN, he is working on two year-long coverage projects: on climate change, and violent extremism in Sahelian West Africa. From 2009-14, Anyadike served as IRIN’s editor-in-chief, overseeing text and multimedia production across five regional desks in Johannesburg, Dakar, Nairobi, Dubai, and Bangkok, reporting on emergencies in some 70 countries. He is also responsible for creating PlusNews, a global HIV/AIDS news service that provided unique human-centered multimedia reporting on the epidemic.

Anyadike will accept the award and deliver a lecture entitled “Fake News and ‘Post-Truth’: Challenges to Global Journalism” at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium.

“Obi Anyadike’s career provides a great example of the critical role journalism can play in peacebuilding. He brings experience with reporting and analysis of complex humanitarian issues and deep commitment to focusing more attention on under-represented areas of the world,” said Ruth Abbey, interim director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “At this time of transition we especially look forward to hearing a voice from the Global South addressing issues which are critical for us all.”

Originally from Nigeria, Anyadike received his undergraduate degree from Coventry University in the United Kingdom. Anyadike came to the Kroc Institute in 1996 to earn a master's degree after working as the Africa editor for Inter Press Service, a global news agency based in Harare, Zimbabwe. “Most of my work as a journalist has been focused on conflict,” he said. “Graduate school in peace studies at the Kroc Institute gave me a chance to step back, analyze and research the underlying causes of those conflicts.”

He currently serves as board member of the Graça Machel Trust Women in Media Network, promoting women journalists in Africa.

Previous recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award have included:

(job titles reflect position at the time of the award)

Karsonya Wise Whitehead, M.A. ’93. Associate Professor of Communication and African and African American Studies; Loyola University Maryland.

Jian Yi, M.A. ’98. Independent filmmaker, cultural activist, founder of IFChina Studio, Beijing.

Vienna Colucci, B.A. ’90, M.A. ’91. Director of Policy for Amnesty International USA, overseeing human rights policy development, review, and guidance, Chicago.

Adriana Quiñones, M.A. '99. Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist, UN Women, Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office, Panama City, Panama.

Molly Kinder, B.A. ’01. Director of Special Programs, Development Innovation Ventures, a USAID initiative funding innovative approaches to solving global development challenges, Washington, D.C.

Rosette Muzigo-Morrison, M.A. ’01. Legal Officer with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in The Hague, Netherlands.

Irene Perurena, M.A. ’91. Director of International Organizations and Cooperation, City of Knowledge/Ciudad del Saber, Panama.

Xabier Agirre, M.A. ’95. Senior Analyst, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC), The Hague, Netherlands.

George Wachira, M.A. ’91. Senior Research and Policy Advisor, NPI-Africa, and Founder, Concerned Citizens for Peace, Nairobi, Kenya.

Oana-Cristina Popa, M.A. ’96. Ambassador of Romania to Croatia.

Hannah Wu, M.A. ’89. Human Rights Specialist, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva.

Emil Bolongaita, M.A. ’88. Technical Director, Management Systems International, managing USAID’s Rule of Law Effectiveness Project and Economic Governance Technical Assistance Project in the Philippines

Contact: Anne Hayner, (574) 631-5014,