CEO of Rappler, Journalist, Author, Winner 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

Maria Ressa – Winner 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

A journalist in Asia for nearly 35 years, Maria Ressa co-founded Rappler, the top digital only news site that is leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines. As Rappler’s executive editor and CEO, Maria has endured constant political harassment and arrests by the Duterte government, forced to post bail eight times to stay free. Rappler’s battle for truth and democracy is the subject of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary, A Thousand Cuts.

Most recently, Maria Ressa co-founded The Real Facebook Oversight Board – composed of 25 academics, journalists, and activists that will rival the social media platform’s own board.

Maria Ressa Lecture Topics

  • Corporate Governance: How Companies Thrive with Transparency
  • Big Date and Fake News: Fighting Back with Data
  • Technology’s Impact on Democracy

For her courage and work on disinformation and ‘fake news,’ Maria Ressa was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, named Time Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year, was among its 100 Most Influential People of 2019, and has also been named one of Time’s Most Influential Women of the Century. She was also part of BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2019 and Prospect magazine’s world’s top 50 thinkers.

Among many awards, Maria Ressa received the prestigious Golden Pen of Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Knight International Journalism Award from the International Center for Journalists, the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Shorenstein Journalism Award from Stanford University, the Columbia Journalism Award, the Free Media Pioneer Award from the International Press Institute, and the Sergei Magnitsky Award for Investigative Journalism.

Before founding Rappler, Maria Ressa focused on investigating terrorism in Southeast Asia. She opened and ran CNN’s Manila Bureau for nearly a decade before opening the network’s Jakarta Bureau, which she ran from 1995 to 2005. She wrote “Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia” and “From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism”.

Maria Ressa was featured in the 2020 documentary “A Thousand Cuts,” which profiles her fearless reporting on the abuses of Duterte’s presidency, while also illustrating social media’s capacity to deceive and entrench political power.


Maria was a delight to work with and a stand-out speaker at the conference. Her speaking style is engaging and her story is compelling – and frightening. Thank goodness she injects humor from time to time! Our survey results are not all in yet, but I know from verbal feedback that she was the crowd favorite.
Charlotte Singleton, Chair, Program Committee (Camden Conference)

Your keynote created goosebumps – that truly was a very special DLD moment. We really need role models like you to create awareness about what’s going on in our world and there’s still so much work to do to ensure free speech and fight fake news.
DLD Munich 2020

Thank you for joining us as a plenary speaker at the 2021 Skoll World Forum and for your thoughtful preparation in developing your keynote. The Closing Plenary aired this morning to a community of 1000+ and the admiration for you and your work was off the charts. There were more than 100 comments from attendees during your segment – I won’t post them all, but these encapsulate the sentiments:

– Maria Ressa is our hero
– I’m utterly in awe of this woman’s courage
– What a voice of reason and strength! Thank you @MariaRessa
– “Without facts we don’t have truth, without truth we don’t have trust” ..Amazing Maria
– Maria Ressa is an absolute legend, inspiration, and champion. #iLike3sToo
– This woman is just so amazing. It’s great to hear from her here.
– I am bowing deeply to Maria Ressa and her amazing courage, inspiration, and crystal clear message. WOW!!!
– Thanks, I accept the assignment! Pulling for you!

So, on behalf of our audience of social innovators and the Skoll Foundation, thank you—and your team—for your contribution. I’m so glad we were able to share your work, your courage, and your message with the Skoll Community look forward to hosting you on stage in Oxford soon.
Jessica Fleuti, Director & Curator, Convenings (Skoll Foundation)

Maria’s interview was my favorite during the festival. We have received great feedback about it. She gave us a good range of both very specific examples when answering questions, and context by connecting those to the bigger, global picture– esp on freedom of the press as it relates to our predominantly American audience.
Katie Cassetta, PM (Aspen Ideas Festival)