Valerie Plesch (b. 1979, Washington, DC) is a freelance journalist and documentary photographer focusing on international affairs in post-conflict and transitional countries. She has produced multiple feature stories and reported breaking news from Kosovo and Afghanistan, including coverage of the 2014 presidential election in Kabul for USA Today. Her other multimedia work from Afghanistan, Kosovo and the U.S. has appeared in The Washington Post, Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera English, Open Society Foundations, AJ+, Photo District News, The Washington Times, GlobalPost, Religion News Service, VICE, Christian Science Monitor and others.
Before pursuing her passion for visual storytelling, she held a decade-long career in international development. In 2002, she moved to Saigon, Vietnam, her mother’s homeland, and volunteered with CARE International and Street Vision, a local NGO that teaches photography to street children. After returning to the U.S., she worked as a program manager for an international development consulting firm that provides technical assistance to countries around the world on behalf of USAID. Her work took her to post-conflict and post-disaster countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Haiti.
Valerie graduated from Colorado College in 2002 with a B.A. degree in Political Science and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2013 with a M.S. degree in Journalism.
She is currently based in Pristina, Kosovo and available for freelance assignments.