Emi Kolawole

Emi is the editor-in-residence at the d.school, also known as The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University. She is currently on leave from The Washington Post where she was the founding editor of Innovations, a content vertical dedicated to the cross-section of technology and society and covering stories relating to space exploration, the “maker movement” and corporate product development, among many other topics. Emi led live coverage of the NASA rover Curiosity’s landing on Mars, covered the South by Southwest conference in 2013, and has twice interviewed Richard Saul Wurman, the founder of the Technology, Entertainment, Design conference – TED. Emi also co-hosted the Post’s live coverage of the 2012 presidential election as well as the weekday news program “59 Seconds.” 

Her work with The Washington Post started on the Politics desk, where she worked as a producer for PostPolitics and wrote occasionally for blogs on politics, policy and technology. Prior to this position, Emi was the Associate Producer for “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill,” and was a Staff Writer for FactCheck.org, a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. Her other work includes serving as a Researcher for Congressional Quarterly and as a Production Assistant for Bill Moyers’s Public Affairs Television in New York City. 

A graduate of Wellesley College, Emi holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Theatre Studies. She holds a Master’s degree from American University in producing for film and video. Emi was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers in 2011 and attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in 2012. She was named among The Grio 100 in 2013. Emi enjoys running, swimming, singing and a good story.  

Why did you apply to the Young Leaders Program?  What are you seeking to get out of it?
The Young Leaders Program allows me to rekindle my connection to France and its people, having studied in Paris as a college student.  My membership in the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers also inspired my application, since the Forum’s network has been incredibly beneficial in expanding my professional and personal network outside of the United States –a critical asset in today’s world.
 

What is an interesting fact about you that some people might not know?
Given the nature of my work, I keep few secrets.  But one thing people may not know about me is that I am a first-generation American on my father’s side of the family.
 

What did you aspire to be when you were young?
I wanted to be a lawyer when I was very young. That aspiration evolved into wanting to become an actress, and then a newscaster.