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Isabel Schayani

John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow 2017

Residency Dates: March 22 - April 11, 2016


Isabel Schayani

Isabel Schayani is editor for WDR ( Westdeutscher Rundfunk) and since December 2015 has overseen the network’s WDRforyou web and social media news channel for refugees arriving in Germany. She is also an international news presenter for the program "Weltspiegel" for ARD, one of Germany's leading national broadcasters. Prior to creating WDRforyou, Schayani served as the New York correspondent for ARD.

Schayani studied international law, modern history and Oriental studies at the University of Bonn with a concentration in Islamic law. In 1985, she started first as a reporter then became a news presenter for public radio (WDR, Cologne). Later, she hosted the children’s television news show LOGO (ZDF) and wrote for the German national newspapers Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Tageszeitung. In 1996, she started working as a TV reporter and editor for the morning program on ARD, Germany’s largest national broadcaster. She then developed and hosted Cosmo TV, a TV program for immigrants. From 2005 until 2014, Isabel was a reporter and one of the executive producers for the investigative television program Monitor. Isabel Schayani received the Deutscher Sozialpreis 2014 and was nominated for the CIVIS Media Prize for her documentary New Slums of Germany about Roma migrants. She received the Hartmannbund Film Prize for an investigation about shoddy practices in joint replacement surgeries.

This information is accurate for the time period that the scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Project Leader, WDRforyou
  • Editor, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow 2016-2017, CES, Harvard University

Presentation at CES