Masha Gessen

Journalist, author and activist

Russian-American journalist, author and activist Masha Gessen is known for her outspoken criticism of Russian president Vladimir Putin (about whom she wrote the book The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin) and her equally determined championing of human rights and LGBT rights. She is the founder of Russia’s Pink Triangle campaign, which encourages supporters of LGBT rights to wear a pink triangle to show their solidarity.

Her other books include Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot, which profiles the Russian dissident art-punk group, some of whose members were jailed in 2012 for protesting against the Putin regime. She writes for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Granta and Vanity Fair, among many other publications.