Birgit Schwarz is Communications Manager Africa at Human Rights Watch. Based in Johannesburg, she is responsible for media advocacy and outreach in Southern, Central and West Africa. Before joining HRW in 2011, she held positions as editor, host and reporter with Germany’s biggest public broadcaster WDR, opened and managed the first dpa (German Press Agency) office in South Korea; worked as an investigative reporter and editor for Die Zeit and as Asia editor and foreign correspondent for Der Spiegel, Europe’s major investigative news magazine. A German national, she came to South Africa in 1997 as Der Spiegel’s Africa Correspondent. In 1996, Schwarz was awarded the Emma award for best female journalist. Her reportage about the practice of female genital mutilation in Europe was shortlisted for the Egon-Erwin-Kisch award. Schwarz studied in Germany, Wales and Canada and has an MA in English and French.