Molly O’Toole

Print Journalist @mollymotoole

Molly O’Toole is a freelance international correspondent and an Investigative Reporters and Editors fellow. She contributes to The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, The Intercept, The New Republic, and others. O’Toole is currently based in Sofia, Bulgaria, and she focuses on the global intersection of migration and security, from Mexico and Central America, West Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia. Previously, she was a senior reporter at Foreign Policy, and its first-ever presidential campaign correspondent. She has also worked as a politics reporter at The Atlantic’s Defense One, a news editor at The Huffington Post, and reporter at Reuters, The Nation, The Associated Press, and Newsweek. She earned her dual master’s degree in journalism and international relations from New York University, and bachelor's degree from Cornell University. She is also a Foreign Policy Interrupted fellow, two-time IWMF Adelante fellow, and Californian.

En Español

Molly O’Toole es una corresponsal internacional independiente y una becaria con la organización Investigative Reporters and Editors. Ella contribuye a The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, The Intercept, The New Republic y otros medios. Actualmente O'Tolle está basada en Sofia, Bulgaria y se enfoque en la intersección global de migración y seguridad, desde México y Centroamérica, África Occidental, Europa del Este, el Oriente Medio y Asia meridional. Previamente, fue reportera en Foreign Policy y su primer corresponsal de la campaña presidencial. Ella ha trabajado como una reportera cubriendo asuntos políticos para Atlantic Media’s Defense, como una editora para The Huffington Post y como reportera en Reuters, The Nation, the Associated Press y Newsweek. Ella recibió una doble maestría en periodismo y relaciones internacionales de New York University y su licenciatura de Cornell University. Ella es una becaria de Foreign Policy Interrupted, una becaria de dos veces de la iniciativa Adelante y una californiana.

Reporting Locations


| Nadège Mazars, Molly O’Toole

Can Megachurches Save El Salvador?

In a country torn apart by gang violence—forcing many to flee to the United States—evangelicalism is offering gang members a way out. By MOLLY O’TOOLE Photographs by Nadège Mazars At a small jail outside San Salvador,…

| Molly O’Toole

As Trump Blocks Refugees, Africans Fleeing Violence Make the Treacherous Trip to the U.S. through Mexico

The hostel in Tapachula looked at first like any other border town flophouse. Dark back rooms with naked mattresses. Dust unspooling in the sunlit lobby. A bird cage under a dirty towel. A few tenants…

| Molly O’Toole

El Salvador’s Gangs Are Targeting Young Girls

And the Trump administration’s immigration policies are certain to make it worse. Red Cross volunteers help Claudia at the Red Cross in Apopa, on the outskirts of San Salvador July 6, 2013. Claudia was raped…

| Molly O’Toole

Micro-extortion by gangs is costing El Salvador $4 billion a year, $10 at a time

Micro-extortion by gangs is costing El Salvador $4 billion a year, $10 at a time SAN SALVADOR – At , Katie had already been working for hours, clapping dough between her hands with clouds of…

| Molly O’Toole

Lidio Javier’s Long Journey Home

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico – Several months ago, Mercedes de María Santiago Gomez set one too many places at the table for the last time. Her youngest child, Lidio Javier de la Cruz…

| Molly O’Toole

Trump’s Top Officials Seek to Sell Mexico on New Immigration Crackdown

The Mexican border police officer hung from the back of the truck rumbling through the streets of Tapachula, near the border with Guatemala, one hand on the overhead roll bar and the other on his…

| Molly O’Toole

Cuban Migrants on Deadly Journey to U.S. Wrongfooted by Obama

TAPACHULA, Mexico – The couple wiped away beads of sweat as they sat in the December sun outside of the 21st Century Migration Station, Mexico’s largest immigration detention facility. Other clusters, with people from Haiti,…

| Molly O’Toole, Megan Alpert

Why Do Internationally Backed Peace Processes Fail?

In this episode of The Backstory, FP senior reporter Molly O’Toole moderates a conversation between former FP fellow Megan Alpert and FP staff writer Siobhán O’Grady, who reported from Colombia and South Sudan, respectively, through…