Alexandra Fuenmayor Starr has reported on immigration, poverty, and education for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, New York magazine, Slate, The New Republic, and The American Scholar. Her piece for Harper’s about African teenagers who were trafficked to play basketball in the U.S. South was included in the 2016 edition of Best American Sports Writing and sparked a Department of Homeland Security investigation.
Starr has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and the Brian Lehrer show. She authored a special report on Latino immigrant entrepreneurship for the Council on Foreign Relations in 2012 and frequently moderates discussions about migration and social policy for the organization.
Starr has served as an immigration correspondent for National Public Radio and reported on the Puerto Rican diaspora for WNYC. As the Capitol Hill reporter for Business Week she wrote about then-President George W. Bush’s education reforms. She has been a visiting journalist at the Russell Sage Foundation, an Emerson fellow at the New American Foundation, a fellow at the Center on Law and Security at New York University Law School, a Milena Jesenska fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge in Vienna, a Casey Journalism fellow in Child and Family Policy, and a Japan Society fellow. Her work has also been supported by a Ford Foundation Travel Fellowship.
In addition to her work as a journalist, Starr has taught graduate and undergraduate students at the City University of New York and New York University.
As a Spencer fellow, Starr reported on the educational experiences of teenage Latino immigrants in New York City and on Long Island, with an eye towards highlighting promising approaches to educating older English language learners. This is a subject with deep personal resonance: Starr is Venezuelan and lived in Latin America for several years. She attended public schools in Northern Virginia, where many of her classmates were recently arrived immigrants from Central America.
Her first Spencer supported pieces on the impact of mandatory retention on English Language Learners aired on NPR in June, 2019: