Lily spoke about her investigative reporting during a panel discussion at Alfred Friendly’s annual graduation event Sept. 5 in Washington at the National Press Club

TRACE, through its Foundation, which supports projects that encourage greater commercial transparency, sponsored Russian investigative reporter Lily Dobrovolskaya to participate in a six-month journalism fellowship program administered by Alfred Friendly Press Partners.

As the inaugural TRACE Journalism Fellow, Dobrovolskaya joined the Alfred Friendly program’s Class of 2019 and trained at the Missouri School of Journalism for three weeks in the spring. She then went to work for five months at The Wall Street Journal, joining a team of Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigative reporters who specialize in computer-assisted reporting.

Dobrovolskaya, 30, has worked for six years as a journalist in Russian and Armenian independent media and now heads the North American Investigations Division at Transparency International in Russia.   

Dobrovolskaya’s recent work includes a co-authored article published in the Miami Herald focusing on a Russian general who owned $38 million in Florida real estate and an article published through her anti-corruption nonprofit about a U.S. gas exporter’s lobbyists who failed to disclose Russian interests.

“I want to explore the new tools, resources and new technologies used by American media and apply this knowledge in my organization in Russia,” Dobrovolskaya said. “Since corruption is one of the major issues inherent to the Russian government precluding the country from moving forward, it has become my major focus and goal to fight corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society.”

Miami Herald reporter Nicholas Nehamas called Dobrovolskaya “an inspirational journalist. At great personal risk, she reports on high-level corruption and wrongdoing among the highest levels of Russian government and business. She is a natural collaborator with a keen eye for detail and an irrepressible instinct for obtaining crucial documents.”

“We are delighted to help Lily hone her journalistic skills through the TRACE fellowship. Investigative reporting is key to increasing commercial transparency and holding business and government accountable,” said TRACE President Alexandra Wrage. “TRACE supports journalists undertaking this difficult and dangerous work through its Prize for Investigative Reporting and is pleased to further support individual reporters through this new fellowship.”

The TRACE Foundation was established to promote, support and fund anti-corruption initiatives, research projects, investigative journalism, publications, videos and related undertakings that encourage greater commercial transparency and advance anti-bribery education.

Alfred Friendly President Randall Smith said, “Our foundation is celebrating its 35th birthday in 2019, and our work has never been more important.” 

“The Friendly training is unique and demanding, and we are delighted to have Lily in this year’s class,” Smith, an endowed chair in business journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism, said. “Our deepest thanks to TRACE and Alexandra Wrage. Your investment in journalism will help enlighten our world.’’

Since 1984, Alfred Friendly Press Partners has trained more than 330 journalists from some 80 countries and placed them in more than 60 news organizations across the United States, from newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times to broadcasters including CBS 60 Minutes and affiliates of National Public Radio and PBS.