Charis Emily Shafer holds a B.A. in art history from New York University and a M.A. in film and literature from the University of Essex. She worked at the Columbia Center for Oral History from 2008-2012 before which she spent several years in Cambodia working on the documentary Resident Aliens that screened in New York at the Asian American International Film Festival. While in Southeast Asia, she also taught gender studies to Cambodian undergraduates and was associate editor of AsiaLife, writing about development and the arts.
She has served as associate producer on the television series Trabank Trek, a show about the journey of plastic cars from Germany to Cambodia, that aired on the Travel Channel International. Charis has filmed and assisted on works featuring Nobel Peace Prize-winner Wangari Maathai, famed singer Gladys Knight, and the video artist Joan Jonas. She is currently completing her M.A. in Oral History at Columbia University by creating a piece on the Occupy movement. She lives in Brooklyn.