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PCIM and the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) will host a roundtable discussion with Rodrigo Brandão and Sharon Lerner from investigative independent news outlet The Intercept on Wednesday, March 24, from 5:00–6:30 p.m.

The conversation will center recent stories by Sharon Lerner covering carcinogen emissions unchecked by the Environmental Protection Agency. Lerner covered the Trump administration’s gutting of toxics regulations in a feature story last year, and has followed the issue with recent reports, including two pieces on the EPA’s continued failings in regulating carcinogens and a video that covers the fallout of these failings in Texas. The conversation will interrogate the profiteering that allows for such public health disasters and the role of journalism to expose it.

Join our Facebook event here.


Rodrigo Brandão (’01)

Rodrigo Brandão is the Senior Director, Communications and Strategy at The Intercept. He was formerly the Director of Communications.


Previously, he oversaw media strategy for Kino Lorber’s feature film releases and established Cinema Slate, a label focused on Latin American cinema. At Kino Lorber, he executed successful campaigns for several fiction and nonfiction titles, including “Who is Dayani Cristal?” (director Marc Silver), “Finding Fela” (Alex Gibney), “Ixcanul” (Jayro Bustamante), “Machines” (Rahul Jain), “Tom of Finland” (Dome Karukoski), and the Academy Award-nominated “5 Broken Cameras” (Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi), among others.

Brandão has taught workshops on film publicity and participated in several film festival panel discussions and jury selection committees. He recently joined the board of directors at the Center for LGBTQ Studies at CUNY (CLAGS).

Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brandão began his communications studies at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and earned degrees from Ithaca College in Cinema and Photography (B.S.) and Art History (B.A.).


Sharon Lerner

Sharon Lerner is an Investigative Reporter at The Intercept covering health, science, and the environment. Her work focuses on how corporate pollution impacts ordinary Americans as well as failures within the environmental regulatory process.

She is also a recipient of the 2018 Izzy award for her reporting. 

Her stories have been used in congressional hearings, have helped lead the U.S. Air Force to discontinue use of PFC-containing firefighting foam, and have helped get PFOA listed in the Stockholm Convention. Her investigation of chlorpyrifos was the first to lay out how the Trump administration might reverse a long-awaited ban of the pesticide. Her stories have also appeared in the New York Times, The Nation, and the Washington Post, among other publications. Sharon’s reporting has received an Izzy Award and awards from the Society for Environmental Journalists, the American Public Health Association, the Women and Politics Institute, and the Newswoman’s Club of New York.

Sharon Lerner’s series about perfluorinated chemicals, “The Teflon Toxin,” was a finalist for a National Magazine Award and featured in the documentary, “The Devil We Know.” Her ongoing coverage of those chemicals, in the “Bad Chemistry” series, has won several awards. Sharon has also covered health issues and, in 2010, wrote a book on American family policy. She has worked in public radio and turned one of her investigative pieces for The Intercept, about an environmental activist who landed in prison, into a long-form radio piece.


Raza Rumi 

Raza Ahmad Rumi is a Pakistani policy analyst, journalist and an author. He is Director of the Park Center for Independent Media and teaches in the Journalism department at Ithaca College. 


His books include Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani TravelerThe Fractious Path: Pakistan’s Democratic TransitionIdentity, Faith, and Conflict; and Being Pakistani:  Society, Culture, and the Arts.  He is also Visiting Faculty at Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. During 2015-2017, he was a scholar in residence at Ithaca College through the Ithaca City of Asylum Program, where he taught courses in the journalism and writing departments. He has also  taught at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University. He has been a fellow at has been a fellow at the New America Foundation, United States Institute of Peace and the National Endowment for Democracy. He is a member of think tank at Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, Georgetown University; and a nonresident fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.