Sarah Smiles Persinger

Publications and Media OfficerUnited States Studies Centre

Sarah Smiles Persinger is the USSC’s Publications and Media Officer. Previously, she worked for The Age newspaper in Canberra, covering defence, foreign affairs, and national security from Parliament House.
Sarah Smiles Persinger
Biography

Sarah Smiles Persinger is the USSC’s Publications and Media Officer.

She began her career as a freelance journalist in the Middle East, reporting on the Iraq war and political upheaval in Lebanon for the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Radio, and the South China Morning Post among other outlets. She then worked for The Age newspaper in Canberra, covering defence, foreign affairs, and national security from Parliament House. At The Age, she had assignments in Afghanistan and Lebanon, covering the aftermath of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war from Beirut.

In 2009, she moved to the US and worked as a research associate at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for Peace Studies, co-authoring Afghan Women Speak, a report on the impact of war on Afghan women involving fieldwork in Kabul. She presented the findings at a panel at the United Nations in New York and testified before the Canadian Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights. She also worked as a researcher at the Kellogg Institute of International Affairs, on a symposium exploring democratization in Latin America and the Middle East.

More recently – in between raising her three children – Sarah has worked as a media advisor on a mayoral campaign in northwest Pennsylvania; a freelance editor for academic publications; and in the resettlement program for refugees at the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

She has a BA in Communications (Journalism) from the University of Technology and a MA in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the American University of Beirut. An extract from her MA thesis on the impact of war on Iraqi women was published in the book Middle Eastern Belongings.

She lives now in Sydney with her husband and three children.