I was born in Hong Kong but somehow ended up in Chicago.  I went to college in Grinnell, Iowa, but that then lead me to Burundi, the “Heart of Africa” (it really does look like a heart!), where I spent five years in the region as an aid worker and…a radio host ( Now I am halfway through a dual-degree program at Columbia in Journalism and International Affairs.

My future posts will probably focus on some mix of media objectivity, international events, data-driven journalism, photography and the odd update on my dog, Chauncey, who is from Burundi. If all goes well, I will someday retire to Japan and have a small tomato garden-robot.

This blog started in 2008 and for the first couple years captures. As that work progressed (and I blogged more selectively), the focus has shifted to issues that provoke me in one way or another: human rights issues that trace back to my legal aid work with asylum seekers, development aid – of course -, American social politics, data graphics, and occasionally, my dog, the poverty-fighting hero. I also have a visual portfolio at, which is a work-in-progress.


All images on this blog Copyright © 2010 Jefferson Mok.


4 Responses to “about me”

  1. October 28, 2008 at 11:59 pm


    Do you know of any Kirundi/English interpreters in Chicago area? Needed for refugee medical appointments. I love your writing…very familiar, like the reader already knows you. Thanks. Susan Trillet,

  2. November 9, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Hello Jefferson,

    Until what year did you live in Hong Kong? I’m looking forward to more of your writing on Africa.

  3. 3 Elsa
    January 30, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Hong Kong. Chicago. Iowa (Clark 3rd). Burundi. Well done Jeff.

  4. May 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Enjoyed your blog so much! thanks for sharing and good luck!!!!

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