Faisal Karimi is a John. S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. He is the founder and director of the Afghanistan Institute for Research and Media Studies (AIRMS), which includes the Afghanistan Women's News Agency (AWNA), a multimedia news platform to cover women's issues in that country, and Kaashi Media. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of both of those organizations. In 2021, after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and increasing threats to journalists, Karimi helped employees of his women's news agency — a team of female journalists and producers — escape to the U.S. and Canada. He continues to run his organization in exile, reflecting the voices of Afghanistani women and providing much-needed information and news to people in Afghanistan.
Before joining Stanford University, Karimi was a visiting scholar at San José State University Human Rights Institute from April 2022 to May 2023; he was researching journalism under Taliban rule. Prior to the Taliban takeover, he also taught in the School of Journalism and Communication at his alma mater, Herat University in western Afghanistan, as a tenure-track faculty member for 12 years. During his 22 years of experience in journalism industry and academia, Faisal Karimi worked as a social media lead researcher at Internews Network, Asia and Pacific regional coordinator at Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), chief editor of People's Radio, IWPR regional coordinator, vice president of Afghanistan's Journalists Center (AFJC), consultant at Equal Access International, journalism adjunct faculty at Kashkeshan-e-Sharq and Hariwa Universities and TOLONews multimedia journalist. He earned a B.A. in Journalism from Herat University, a Master of Arts in Journalism and Communication, a specialty in New Media Studies from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, and a one-year certificate program in journalism and curriculum development from San Jose States University in the United States.