The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) and The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page are pleased to announce Carine Hajjar as the 2022 recipient of the Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism.
Hajjar grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, and went to high school at Ursuline Academy in Dedham. She graduated from Harvard College in May 2021, earning a degree in government with a focus in data science and a minor in economics.
Joe Rago was an exceptional writer with the rare ability to fuse wit, humor, and thoughtful commentary. I am humbled to accept a position in his memory.” – Carine Hajjar, Rago ’22
At Harvard, Hajjar was a member of The Harvard Crimson’s editorial board. Frustrated by ideological homogeneity on campus, she penned a column for the Crimson called “Always at Odds.” Hajjar shared her experience as a conservative student at Harvard and became a vocal advocate for free speech and ideological diversity, co-founding the Harvard Institute of Politics’ Conservative Coalition.
She spent the summer of 2020 as an editorial intern at National Review writing about foreign policy and national security. She has also been published in the Daily Signal and CapX.
In 2019, Hajjar was a Capitol Hill intern for Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. She worked with the defense team, reporting on Armed Service hearings and researching national security affairs. She also worked as a research assistant for the Adam Smith Institute in London and attended an American Enterprise Institute Summer Honors Program seminar on Middle Eastern affairs.
At the end of her senior year, Hajjar was awarded the Finley Fellowship from Harvard’s Eliot House to visit convents and monasteries across Europe. Along with completing the Camino de Santiago in Spain, she visited Ireland, England, Scotland, France and Poland. She recorded her faith experiences in her travel blog, “Girl on the Loose.” She is currently conducting another editorial internship with National Review and will return to Europe in the spring to visit Catholic organizations across Italy.
As a Rago Fellow, Hajjar will work with the Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal through a nine-month internship beginning this fall. This Fellowship is named in honor of Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer Joseph Rago, who was a rising star at The Wall Street Journal and a key member of its editorial page team before he passed away at the age of 34 in 2017.
Hajjar says she is honored to have this rare opportunity to continue Joe’s legacy while working at center of the world’s biggest debates.
“Joe Rago was an exceptional writer with the rare ability to fuse wit, humor, and thoughtful commentary,” she said. “I am humbled to accept a position in his memory.”
Hajjar says she is most looking forward to learning from the writers that work on and contribute to the Journal’s opinion pages.
“These are writers unafraid to ask the hard questions and engage in the difficult conversations that lead to meaningful change,” she said. “As much of the media becomes consumed in political narratives, the Journal continues to facilitate free and honest inquiry in its opinion pages. It puts its principles before politics, backed by an unwavering and unabashed commitment to free society, free markets and individual autonomy. I am honored to play a role in facilitating those conversations.”
With the endorsement of the Journal, the Rago family chose TFAS to establish the Fellowship in 2018 as a permanent remembrance of Joe’s contributions to journalism.
Hajjar is the fifth annual recipient of the Fellowship. She will join former Fellows Elliot Kaufman, Matthew Taylor King, Alessandra Bocchi and Faith Bottum on the path of continuing Joe’s legacy.
There aren’t enough people in this country that are promoting Fellowships and teaching young adults how to write and edit to be a voice in this country. And I’m eternally grateful [to TFAS for doing] that.” – Faith Bottum, Rago ’21
Current Rago Fellow Faith Bottum has been editing and writing under her own byline at the Journal since fall 2021. Upon her acceptance, she acknowledged the important work of TFAS programs and the value the experiences bring for young journalists.
“There aren’t enough people in this country that are promoting fellowships and teaching young adults how to write and edit to be a voice in this country,” she said. “And I’m eternally grateful [to TFAS for doing] that.”
TFAS will formally present Hajjar with the 2022 Rago Fellowship during the TFAS Journalism Awards Ceremony on Nov. 15, 2022, in New York City. Paul Gigot, editorial page editor and vice president of the Journal, will help honor the memory of his late colleague by providing remarks on Joe’s accomplishments and lasting impact. TFAS will honor prominent leaders in journalism with the Thomas L. Phillips Career Achievement Award and the Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Award for Outstanding Journalism.
During the dinner, TFAS will also honor the 2022 Novak Fellows. Applications are open for the Novak Fellowship, and journalists with less than 10 years professional experience are encouraged to apply at TFAS.org/Novak.
To learn more about the awards dinner, please visit TFAS.org/Jawards22.