Meet Viviana Mazza, Member of Guarini Institute Advisory Council

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Viviana Mazza is a writer and journalist who covers foreign affairs for the Italian daily newspaper Corriere Della Sera, for which she has been writing since 2006. At Corriere Della Sera, she specializes in the Middle East, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria. Viviana Mazza has been a member of the Guarini Institute Advisory Council since 2020.

Viviana Mazza

Viviana Mazza

What is your background?
I have a Master of Science in Journalism from The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (2004), where I was able to study thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship. I also studied in Egypt under a Rotary Foundation scholarship at the American University in Cairo, where I received a post-graduate certificate in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies (2005). While in Cairo, I also worked as deputy editor-in-chief for an English-language magazine called Egypt Today. I returned to Italy in 2006, when I was hired by Corriere Della Sera.

Tell us a bit about your experience covering foreign affairs for Corriere Della Sera.
In the United States, I covered the Obama and Trump elections and I regularly fill in for the newspaper’s US-based correspondents. I’ve been to Syria four times during the civil war, Iran, where I interviewed President Hassan Rouhani and former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Egypt, where I covered Mubarak’s trial and the Giulio Regeni case. I have also been to Israel and the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Haiti, Qatar and recently Saudi Arabia.

Can you tell us about your publications?
I have published six books for young adults with Mondadori between 2013 and 2019, including Storia di Malala (2013), about the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, which was also translated into German, French, Portuguese and Japanese, Ragazze Rubate (2016), a book about the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, and Il bambino Nelson Mandela (2014). I also wrote a book for adults, Le ragazze di Via Rivoluzione (Solferino, 2019), a non-fiction account of some of the stories of women I covered since 2006 in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Egypt.

As a specialist in the Middle East, what are your feelings regarding the current situation in Iran?
I was in Tehran during the most recent crisis between the United States and Iran. I believe that it is very important to have people who report on what is happening on the ground. It is important to be there to understand the complexity and listen to the different narratives and points of view. It is complex, but piece by piece, you can see the big picture and that is what we have to do as journalists. I think that readers also really want to know what is happening.