Last September, we announced the MuckRock Thiel Fellowship, an opportunity for one journalist to dedicate their time, wit, and a whole lot of FOIA requests to studying the life’s work of Peter Thiel. Thanks to the generosity of Motherboard, The Outline, and a number of individual supporters, we were able to expand that to three inaugural Thiel Fellows, and I’m pleased to announce them today.
First, I’d like to thank all of those who applied: Scrutinizing and understanding the work of Thiel is perhaps more important now than ever: Part of Trump’s transition team, Thiel worries that the president-elect may not go far enough in his plans to reshape the country and the world, and he has already proven to be a major influence in the upcoming administration , albeit in an unofficial capacity .
I’m confident that the selected fellows will help illuminate Thiel’s work for the benefit of us all, and, indeed, they have already been hard at work on researching this singular figure.
The Thiel Fellows are:
Sara Beladi, a visiting scholar at the USC Annenberg School for Communication. She previously helped Robert Scheer write “They Know Everything About You: How Data Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.”
Mark Harris , an investigative technology reporter based in Seattle, who writes regularly for The Guardian, Backchannel, Recode, MIT Technology Review and IEEE Spectrum. In 2014, he was Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, and in 2015 he won the AAS Kavli Science Journalism Gold Award. Follow him on Twitter.
Elaine Ou , a blockchain engineer and Bloomberg View columnist. Previously she was a lecturer in the electrical and information engineering department at the University of Sydney. Follow her on Twitter .
While the current research focus of each fellow is currently private as they continue their investigations, we welcome tips and suggestions regarding the life and work of Peter Thiel to help guide their reporting, particularly from those who worked for him or at a company connected to him.
Send tips, documents, and FOIA suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org ( PGP key here ) or via Signal to 1-650-656-3417, and subscribe to MuckRock’s newsletter so that we can update you as the fellows report out their findings.