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Crime and Corruption as a Tool for Autocratic Leaders: Evidence from the Pandora and Panama Papers

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Drew Sullivan

Event Description

Drew Sullivan, co-founder, editor, and publisher of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), will discuss how corruption and organized crime have become integral parts of governance systems in Russia and elsewhere. He will draw from the Pandora and Panama papers, Suisse Secrets, etc., to demonstrate this. 

Additionally, investigative reporters, Debbie Cenziper (Washington Post) and Emilia Díaz-Struck  (ICIJ), as well as counter-corruption policy expert, Paul Massaro (CSCE), will provide brief remarks on Drew Sullivan's talk informed by their own work on the subject.

This is a joint-event of the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) at the School of Public Policy and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

A Zoom link will be sent out to all those that register 30 minutes prior to the start of the event.


Drew Sullivan, co-founder, editor and publisher of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)

Drew Sullivan is a social entrepreneur and co-founder and publisher of OCCRP. He founded the organization in 2007 with Paul Radu. Before that, in 2004, he founded and edited the Center for Investigative Reporting, the leading investigative center in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Under his direction, OCCRP has won numerous awards, including the Daniel Pearl Award, the Global Shining Light Award, the Tom Renner Award for Crime Reporting, the European Press Prize, and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. OCCRP’s work on the Panama Papers with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists won a 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism.

Previously, Drew was an investigative reporter for The Tennessean newspaper and the Associated Press’s Special Assignment Team. He has served on the boards of Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, and Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism.

Before becoming a journalist, he was a structural dynamicist on the space shuttle project for Rockwell Space Systems. He has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University. He has also been a professional standup comedian, acted in four films, and plays bodhran in the only authentic Irish/Celtic band in the Balkans.


Debbie Cenziper, Investigative Reporter, The Washington Post

Paul Massaro, Senior Policy Advisor, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) - Paul Massaro serves on the staff of the U.S. Helsinki commission. The views expressed here are his own and do not represent an official position of the U.S. government.

Emilia Díaz-Struck, Research Editor and Latin America Coordinator, International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ)

For Media Inquiries:
Devin Entrikin
Communications Manager, CISSM
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