Gerard Ryle is the director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington, DC.
When journalists at the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in Germany got hold of the documents from a whistleblower, their volume and complexity pushed them to turn to the ICIJ, which brought together 376 investigative journalists from more than 100 news organizations in 76 countries.
The reporters spent months collaborating in researching and checking the documents, using protected communication channels, bespoke search engines and other specialized tools built by ICIJ, and ICIJ coordinated the release of the information across the world. It was the biggest cross-border collaboration in journalism history. The Panama Papers resulted in resignations or political outcries in Britain, Iceland, Spain, Malta and Pakistan and triggered dozens of official inquires around the world.
Before joining as the ICIJ's first non-American director in September 2011, Ryle spent more than 25 years working as an investigative reporter, author and editor in Australia and in Ireland. He has more than 60 journalism awards from six countries, including honors from the George Polk Awards, Harvard University and the University of Liege. Reporters Without Borders has described his work with ICIJ as "the future of investigative journalism worldwide."
(Photo: Le Monde / Melissa Golden)