Rukmini Maria Callimachi is a Romanian-American journalist who was born on June 25, 1973. She is now employed with The New York Times.
Rukmini Callimachi Background
Due to her family’s ties to Indian theosophist Rukmini Devi Arundale, founder of the Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai, India, Callimachi was given the name “Rukmini.”
She and her mother and grandmother fled Romania during the communist era, first to Switzerland, then to the United States. She went to The Oak Grove School and The Thacher School in Ojai, California, in the United States. She received her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in linguistics from Exeter College, University of Oxford.
Rukmini Callimachi Career
Callimachi became a freelance writer in New Delhi, India, after publishing some poetry, including for Time magazine. She started working for the Associated Press in Portland, Oregon, in 2003.
She spent a year in New Orleans photographing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina before joining the Associated Press as a West African correspondent in Dakar, Senegal, in 2006.
She spent her time there looking into child trafficking in West and Central Africa, for which she was awarded a Pulitzer Finalist in International Reporting in 2009. Later, Callimachi became noted for her work on extremism, and in 2014, she was designated a Pulitzer Finalist for “her discovery and brave study of internal papers that destroyed misconceptions and increased comprehension of al-global Qaida’s terrorist network.”
Callimachi was employed by The New York Times in 2014.
 Her research on Islamic extremism earned the New York Times a Pulitzer Finalist award as part of a collective entry in 2016.
In 2016, Callimachi received the inaugural International Center for Journalists’ Integrity in Journalism Award for her “extraordinary contribution to uncovering crimes against humanity,” as well as other honours.
Callimachi was relocated to the New York Times in 2020 and will no longer cover terrorism.
Rukmini Callimachi Reporting by ISIS
Caliphate is a serialised audio documentary that follows Callimachi as she reports on the Islamic State and the claims of Abu Huzaifa al-Kanadi, a man who claimed to have murdered people while fighting for the Islamic State but has since returned to Canada and is living freely.
That year, the podcast received a Peabody Award in the radio/podcast category. “[f]or deconstructing the potency and resilience of the ISIS terror campaign, via tireless on-the-ground and internet research, and brilliant use of podcast storytelling,” she was named a Pulitzer Finalist for her work on Caliphate.
Huzaifa’s storey had been questioned by television journalist Diana Swain of CBC News in May 2018, who hinted that he might be “lying” to The New York Times.
The Canadian Abu Huzaifa, whose real name was Shehroze Chaudhry, was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in September 2020 and charged under Canadian hoax laws for fabricating his storey of travelling to Syria and joining ISIS on social media, which was covered by The New York Times’ Caliphate podcast. His lawsuit is still pending. The Times declared on September 30 that it would launch a “new evaluation” of the series’ reporting in response to criticism of Caliphate’s portrayal of Chaudry’s storey.
The New York Times confirmed in December 2020 that most of the podcast was based on incorrect material, that the newspaper had made serious errors, and that the Caliphate “audio as a whole should not have been published with Mr. Chaudhry as a central narrative figure.”
As a result, Callimachi was reassigned.
The New York Times also declared on December 18, 2020 that, based on the findings of its investigation, it will return the Peabody Award to the Caliphate podcast.
The ISIS Documents
The New York Times and George Washington University collaborated to digitise, translate, analyse, and publish over 15,000 files known as “The ISIS Files,” which were obtained by Callimachi and her “Iraqi colleagues during embeds with the Iraqi army.” The two parties revealed their intentions in 2018, and the files were online by 2020. 
The manner in which Callimachi obtained the ISIS Files has been questioned.
It is claimed that the records were removed from Iraq without permission, demonstrating a “neo-imperial mindset.”
Rukmini Callimachi Awards
• 2018 Peabody Award for News, Radio, and Podcasting (The New York Times later returned it)
• The Aurora Prize for Journalism Integrity in 2016.
• Finalist in 2009 and 2012 Michael Kelly Awards.
• Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s 2012 McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage
• Ball State University’s Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award for her essay “Haiti-Hotel Montana” in 2011.
• Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 2009 “for her in-depth examination of the exploitation of destitute children in West and Central Africa”.
• “Coverage of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath,” 2007 Sidney Hillman Foundation Award The Associated Press is a news organisation based in the United States.
• The Daily Herald (Ill.) won the 2004 John M. Templeton Religion Story of the Year award for “Passage from India”.
• The 1998 Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize