Learn more about the 2012 Fellows. View full bios and videos via the profiles below.

Natalia Almada

Natalia Almada ›

  • Documentary Filmmaker
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Age: 37

Documentary Filmmaker Capturing complex and nuanced views of Mexican history, politics, and culture in insightful and poetic works that affirm the potency of documentary film as both an art form and a tool for social change. More ›

Uta Barth

Uta Barth ›

  • Conceptual Photographer
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Age: 54

Conceptual Photographer Exploring the nature of vision and the difference between how we see reality and how a camera records it in evocative, abstract compositions that focus attention on the act of looking and the process of perception. More ›

Claire Chase

Claire Chase ›

  • Arts Entrepreneur
  • Brooklyn, New York
  • Age: 34

Arts Entrepreneur Forging a new model for the commissioning, recording, and live performance of classical music and opening new avenues of artistic expression for the twenty-first-century musician. More ›

Raj Chetty

Raj Chetty ›

  • Public Economist
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Age: 33

Public Economist Elucidating key policy issues of our time in theoretical and empirical studies that refine our understanding of the impact of public finance on economic activity. More ›

Maria Chudnovsky

Maria Chudnovsky ›

  • Mathematician
  • New York, New York
  • Age: 35

Mathematician Investigating the fundamental principles of graph theory and laying the conceptual foundations for deepening connections between graph theory and other major branches of mathematics, such as linear programming and geometry. More ›

Eric Coleman

Eric Coleman ›

  • Geriatrician
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Age: 47

Geriatrician Addressing system-wide deficiencies in patient transitions from hospitals to homes and other sites of care and improving the health outcomes of millions of older adults suffering from chronic illness. More ›

Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz ›

  • Fiction Writer
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Age: 43

Fiction Writer Using raw, vernacular dialogue and spare, unsentimental prose to draw readers into the various and distinct worlds that immigrants must straddle. More ›

David Finkel

David Finkel ›

  • Journalist
  • Washington, DC, District of Columbia
  • Age: 56

Journalist Pushing beyond the constraints and conventions of traditional news writing to craft sustained narratives that heighten the reality of military service and sacrifice in the public consciousness. More ›

Olivier Guyon

Olivier Guyon ›

  • Optical Physicist and Astronomer
  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Age: 36

Optical Physicist and Astronomer Designing telescopes and other astronomical instrumentation that play a critical role in the search for Earth-like planets outside our solar system. More ›

Elissa Hallem

Elissa Hallem ›

  • Neurobiologist
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Age: 34

Neurobiologist Exploring the physiology and behavioral consequences of odor detection and chemoreception in invertebrates and identifying interventions that may eventually reduce the scourge of parasitic infections in humans. More ›

An-My Lê

An-My Lê ›

  • Photographer
  • Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
  • Age: 52

Photographer Approaching the subjects of war and landscape from new perspectives to create images that blur the boundaries between fact and fiction and are rich with layers of meaning. More ›

Sarkis Mazmanian

Sarkis Mazmanian ›

  • Medical Microbiologist
  • Pasadena, California
  • Age: 39

Medical Microbiologist Illuminating the complex interplay between microbes and the host immune system and the role certain bacteria may play in the development, or mitigation, of a broad range of human diseases. More ›

Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw Mengestu ›

  • Writer
  • Washington, District of Columbia
  • Age: 34

Writer Enriching understanding of the little-explored world of the African diaspora in America in tales distilled from the experience of immigrants whose memories are seared by escape from violence in their homelands. More ›

Maurice Lim Miller

Maurice Lim Miller ›

  • Social Services Innovator
  • Oakland, California

Social Services Innovator Designing programs of mutual support and self-sufficiency that break the cycle of economic dependency for low-income families and build more resilient communities from the ground up. More ›

Dylan C. Penningroth

Dylan C. Penningroth ›

  • Historian
  • Evanston, Illinois
  • Age: 41

Historian Unearthing evidence from widely scattered archives to shed light on shifting concepts of property ownership and kinship among African American slaves and their descendents following emancipation. More ›

Terry Plank

Terry Plank ›

  • Geochemist
  • New York, New York
  • Age: 48

Geochemist Probing the usually invisible but remarkably powerful thermal and chemical forces deep below the Earth’s crust that drive the motion of tectonic plate collisions. More ›

Laura Poitras

Laura Poitras ›

  • Documentary Filmmaker
  • New York, New York
  • Age: 48

Documentary Filmmaker Revealing the consequences of military conflict abroad in illuminating documentaries that portray the lives and intimate experiences of families and communities largely inaccessible to the American media. More ›

Nancy Rabalais

Nancy Rabalais ›

  • Marine Ecologist
  • Chauvin, Louisiana
  • Age: 62

Marine Ecologist Documenting the environmental and economic consequences of hypoxic zones in the Gulf of Mexico and informing strategies for restoring the degraded waters of the Gulf and the Mississippi River basin. More ›

Benoît Rolland

Benoît Rolland ›

  • Stringed-Instrument Bow Maker
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Age: 58

Stringed-Instrument Bow Maker Experimenting with new designs and materials to create violin, viola, and cello bows that rival the quality of prized nineteenth-century bows and meet the artistic demands of today’s musicians. More ›

Daniel Spielman

Daniel Spielman ›

  • Computer Scientist
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • Age: 42

Computer Scientist Connecting theoretical and applied computing to resolve issues in code optimization theory with implications for how we measure, predict, and regulate our environment and behavior. More ›

Melody Swartz

Melody Swartz ›

  • Bioengineer
  • Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Age: 43

Bioengineer Bioengineer enhancing understanding of the dynamic processes of tissue vascularization and immune responses to tumor invasion using a large toolbox of concepts and methods from biophysics, cell culture, molecular genetics, engineering, and immunology. More ›

Chris Thile

Chris Thile ›

  • Mandolinist and Composer
  • New York, New York
  • Age: 31

Mandolinist and Composer Creating a new musical aesthetic and a distinctly American canon for the mandolin through a lyrical fusion of traditional bluegrass orchestrations with a range of styles and genres. More ›

Benjamin Warf

Benjamin Warf ›

  • Pediatric Neurosurgeon
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Age: 54

Pediatric Neurosurgeon Revolutionizing treatment of hydrocephalus and other intra-cranial diseases in very young children and advancing standards of and access to health care in both the developed and poorest regions of the world. More ›