Our team

Forbidden Stories teamBoard of Directors

Forbidden Stories team

Laurent Richard

Founder and executive director

Laurent is a French award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer, and founder of Forbidden Stories, a network of investigative journalists devoted to keeping stories alive. Richard has directed documentaries for 20 years.

He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow in 2017 at the University of Michigan and was named European Journalist of the year 2018 by the Prix Europa in Berlin. Read more.

Sandrine Rigaud


Sandrine Rigaud is a French investigative journalist. As editor of Forbidden Stories since 2019, she coordinated the “Pegasus Project” published in July 2021 and the “Cartel Project,” a massive cross-border collaboration to finish the investigations of a murdered Mexican journalist that won a George Polk Award and the Maria Moors Cabot Prize.

Before joining Forbidden Stories, she directed feature length documentaries for French television. Read more.

Audrey Travere


Audrey Travère joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in 2019. After obtaining her master degree in Journalism, she worked for the French public radio station France Inter and “Les Décodeurs,” the data and investigative journalism desk at the French newspaper Le Monde.

For Forbidden Stories, she participated in the Green Blood project and coordinated the Miroslava Project. For the Cartel Project in 2020, she reported on illegal drug trafficking around the world, from Mexico to Europe and Asia, and coordinated several stories.

Paloma de Dinechin


Paloma de Dinechin joined Forbidden Stories in 2019.

In 2017, she went to the state of Guerrero in Mexico for the Mexican media Tercera Vía. In 2018, her documentary « Los niños lloran » denounced police violence against indigenous people in Araucania (Señal 3 La Victoria). In august 2019, she wrote various articles in the international section of the Monde.

Phineas Rueckert


Phineas Rueckert joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in September 2020. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Global Citizen in New York City, where he reported on humanitarian issues.

He holds a joint master’s degree in journalism and human rights with a focus on Latin America from Sciences Po in Paris, and his previous work has been published in AFP, News Deeply and Atlas Obscura.

Clément Le Merlus

Journalist and web editor

Clément Le Merlus joined Forbidden Stories as a journalist in 2020. He is also in charge of web editing and is the Safebox Network’s project officer.

He previously worked in New Zealand, within the New Zealand Olympic Committee communication department, and then as a journalist for the country’s largest daily newspaper, The New Zealand Herald. Graduated in investigative journalism in Sciences Po Rennes, he also reported for Libération.

Léa Peruchon


Léa Peruchon joined Forbidden Stories as an investigative journalist in September 2021.

After obtaining her master’s degree in journalism, she wrote various articles for the French regional daily “37 Degrés.” She has also collaborated with a number of press agencies, including Premières Lignes Télévision on the programme Cash Investigation and Zed Productions on a France 5 documentary about vacationers in North Africa in the 1980s. In 2021, she assisted in the production of a documentary on post-traumatic stress disorder for France 3.

Sara Guglielmi

Development manager

Sara Guglielmi has been in charge of administration, finance and fundraising for Forbidden Stories since August 2020.

She previously worked for three years as a project manager at CFI, the French agency for media development, on projects in South East Asia, Caucasus and Arab world. Then, she worked one year as a consultant at UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) on projects related to journalism education.

Board of Directors

Edouard Perrin

Edouard Perrin


Edouard Perrin is a French investigative reporter. In 2014, He brought to the ICIJ the Luxembourg Leaks investigation, based on secret documents, that revealed widespread aggressive tax avoidance by some of the world’s biggest companies. Read more.

Photo Bastian Obermayer

Bastian Obermayer

General secretary

2017 Pulitzer prize winner, Bastian Obermayer is the deputy head of the investigative unit of the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s biggest newspaper. He’s also member of the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Read more.

Lynette Clemetson


Lynette Clemetson is the Director of Wallace House, Knight-Wallace Fellowships and the Livingston Awards at the University of Michigan. A longtime journalist, she worked as a correspondent for Newsweek magazine, and for The New York Times, and senior director of strategy and new initiatives at NPR. Read more.

Laurence Franc-Menget


Doctor in Law and Member of the Paris Bar, Laurence Franc-Menget is a partner in the Disputes group in the Paris office of Herbert Smith Freehills. She has extensive experience both in international commercial arbitration and investment arbitration. Read more.

Rémi Labed


Rémi Labed is a French investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker. He advises and assists Forbidden Stories since its creation, both on its use of investigation and collaboration software and on its digital security. Read more.

Joanne Levine


Joanne Levine is an award winning producer and media executive with three decades of experience working, reporting and leading teams around the world. Her distinguished career includes more than 10 years at ABC News, garnering myriad awards along the way, including two Emmys for her work in Iraq, and a Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for her reporting on rape as a weapon of war during the Rwandan genocide. Read more.

Luisa Handem Piette


Luisa Handem Piette is a highly regarded communications executive with vast experience as a broadcaster, human rights activist, media development officer and broadcaster. She has served in senior media positions with various organizations over the past three decades, including United Press International, UNESCO, the BBC World Service, Voice of America (VOA) and, in the private sector, with Fortune 50 companies in the high-tech industry. Read more.