DC Forum Series: The Role of the Media in Financial Transparency
Massive secrecy structures in the financial system enable tax evasion, money laundering, and corruption. These realities drive inequality in both rich and poor countries, undermining political cohesion. Capitalism operating in secrecy and democracy attempting to operate transparently are incompatible. Urgent reforms are required if the democratic-capitalist system is to survive.
The DC Forum, a new project of Global Financial Integrity, will address this scourge with two goals in mind. First, it will fill a gap in the public discourse by arguing that a transparent, equitable capitalist system is a prerequisite for strong and stable democracies. Second, the project will convene, collaborate and catalyze action that will work to deconstruct the offshore secrecy system.
On September 29, in the first of a series of conversations with global thought leaders, the DC Forum will host Gerard Ryle, Jennifer Gould, and Kiran Maharaj.
- Gerard Ryle, the Director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), has led the groundbreaking work which produced the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers and an array of investigations that bring to light the opacity that permeates the financial system.
- Jennifer Gould is a reporter and columnist with the New York Post where she covers corruption and real estate
- Kiran Maharaj is the President and Co-Founder of the non-profit Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) and the Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network (CIJN).
Members of the DC Forum’s Executive Committee will provide remarks, followed by an audience Q&A with Ryle, Gould, and Maharaj.
Please join us for what will be a fascinating conversation on where we go from here.
Gerard Ryle is the Pulitzer Prize and Emmy-Award winning director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington, DC.
He led the worldwide teams of journalists working on the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, FinCEN Files and Pandora Papers investigations, the biggest in journalism history. Under his leadership over the past 11 years, ICIJ has become one of the best-known journalism brands in the world, convincing more than 150 of the world’s biggest and smallest media companies to join forces to work together on global stories.
His work with the ICIJ has helped trigger the downfall of four world leaders. It has led to multiple arrests and prompted government inquiries and legislative reform in more than 70 countries.
He and his ICIJ colleagues were nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in combating illicit financial flows, and he has won or shared in more than 80 journalism awards from eight different countries, including three Polk Awards.
Reporters Without Borders described Ryle’s work with ICIJ as “the future of investigative journalism worldwide” when naming him as one of “100 information heroes” of worldwide significance.
Jennifer Gould is a reporter and columnist with the New York Post, where she covers corruption and real estate, including the February 2022 article “Here’s where Russian oligarchs and their families own property in NYC.”
This month, she also wrote about her dinner with Mikhail Gorbachev the night he lost the 1996 presidential election. In Vanity Fair’s September issue, she penned “The Magic Mountain,” which in part looks at how money pilfered from Kuwaiti state coffers ended up in a billion dollar Los Angeles real estate property.
Back in 2009, Jennifer co-wrote the first article about Jho Low, architect of the 1MDB money laundering scandal, and she continued to report on Low and many aspects of the fraud, including how 1MDB-linked money funded the construction of New York’s first ‘billionaires’ building,’ 157 W. 57th St. She has also written on how lax laws and exemptions transformed New York real estate into a personal piggy bank for global money launderers. And as Kazakhstan burned last January, she brought it home to readers with her feature on dirty Kazakh money in New York City real estate.
Jennifer is the author of “Vodka, Tears and Lenin’s Angel: A Young Journalist Discovers the Former Soviet Union.” (St Martin’s Press, 1997.) She lived in Moscow in the early 1990s and is revisiting that era now as she works on a new book about how Russian money is used to influence Western politics.
Kiran Maharaj is President and Co-Founder of the non-profit Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) headquartered in Jamaica, and the Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network (CIJN). She currently serves on the Advisory Council of the OAS Centre for Media Integrity in the Americas.
She is the senior vice president of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce. She is also the Managing Director of several successful radio stations including Heartbeat Radio 104.1FM which she founded as the world’s first radio station for women. She is a former President of the Trinidad & Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) after serving three consecutive terms.
She is a member of the Alliance for Women in Media who featured her as “an island of one” in their magazine. She was awarded a Fellowship in Broadcast Leadership and Management from the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington, D.C., as the only non-U.S. citizen selected to be part of their program.
Ms. Maharaj holds degrees in literature, political science, business administration, and journalism, and is an alumni of Harvard Business School’s Executive Education programmes in Effective Media Management and Strategy and The Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports.
With over 30 years of experience in media and entertainment, she also enjoys mentoring and assisting NGOs where she can lend her expertise.
In 2019, the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago recognized her philanthropic and professional work with the Woman of Courage Award. In May 2022, she completed the UNESCO pilot study on Media Viability Indicators with Jamaica as the case study. This study sets the global benchmark for implementation with a view of media viability from an economic perspective of maintaining an independent media and ensuring the public’s right to information within the context of traditional and digital media ecosystems.