Noy Thrupkaew

Noy Thrupkaew cooking and smiling

Senior Fellow

Noy Thrupkaew is an independent journalist who has researched human trafficking and labor exploitation since 2006. As an Open Society Fellow, she investigated the largest human-trafficking cases in the United States, and explored ways to develop greater accountability in law-enforcement initiatives against forced prostitution. A member of the University of British Columbia’s Hidden Costs of Global Supply Chains project, Thrupkaew is the recipient of International Reporting Project, Fund for Investigative Journalism, Investigative Fund, and Fulbright grants. She has reported from Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iran, Morocco, and Cuba and written for outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, National Geographic, The Boston Globe, Radio Netherlands, Reveal Radio, and Marie Claire. In 2015, she taught a seminar on transnational investigative journalism at Princeton University and gave a TED talk on human trafficking. In 2017, she was the Greeley Scholar for Peace Studies at University of Massachusetts-Lowell.


“How much time do you want for your ‘progress?'” – James Baldwin

Me in Three

What are you currently obsessed with?
Words: Freedom, coercion, essential. Metaphors: Light and sight, as applied to journalism. Argentinian tango. Perfumes, particularly those that smell a bit…unfriendly. I’ve never met a dumpling I didn’t like, and I have seven kinds of cheese in the fridge at the moment. There were more before, but I ate them all already, :D.

What scent evokes the best memories for you?
What a wonderful question! Creosote in the Mojave Desert, right before a rain.

Do you have a nickname? If so, how did you get it?
Kitty, because I meow a lot. WHAT.

This pretty much sums up my existence