storytelling & social impact


Short story:

I'm the Audience Engagement Editor at the Center for Public Integrity. I got my MA in International Media from American University and my BA in Journalism and BA in Global Studies from Arizona State University. I love creative writing, building community, tea and donuts.

Long story:

I've always been a writer since I was a kid.  Yes, I'm one of those weird people that knew what they loved but unfortunately loving and living the creative life becomes increasingly harder as you get older. Being a woman of color and daughter of immigrants also made it challenging to boldly claim my identity as a writer.

During my undergrad years, I led the largest feminist organization on campus, conducted research on religion and conflict, worked at a social enterprise in rural Guatemalan cities, interned at a refugee agency, wrote articles for a millennial culture news site and had tried repeatedly to stick to my schedule of daily novel writing, but still wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do next.

I decided that I wanted to be closer to the pulse of innovation and changemakers so after graduation, I went to San Francisco to learn about social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management. I was a New Sector Fellow and worked in communications and marketing at a local nonprofit.

Ultimately, I realized my core mission: using storytelling as a tool to help us understand the way things are and creative writing to imagine how they could be.

As a writer, I am passionate about social impact, global affairs, identity,  justice and conflict resolution. I believe that my voice and the voices that I capture are important to hear and understand.

I'm currently an Audience Engagement Editor at the Center for Public Integrity, where I work with an awesome team of investigative reporters and help strategize how to produce and distribute stories that matter and connect readers to the news in a compelling way.

Some of my future plans include shooting a documentary, starting a podcast, producing my own improv/sketch comedy show, doing voiceover work, and travel writing.

In my spare time, I write and perform with a bunch of really cool artists in The Sanctuaries. I'm a 2015 alum of the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation writer's workshop in Fiction and will finish my novel eventually.

Photo credit: Sana Ullah

Photo credit: Sana Ullah


Hi there! My name is Nesima. I’m a writer, storyteller and engagement strategist based in Washington D.C. 

I’m passionate about the intersection of media and social impact. I’m also interested in social entrepreneurship and philanthropy and thinking about how everyone can design a life that contributes the most good in the world.

In my spare time, I'm writing a novel, dabbling in poetry, and pursuing various creative projects including a multimedia exploration of the untold stories of the Eritrean diaspora.

If you want to make me happy, please bring me a cup of tea and a fresh donut.