After completing her Masters degree in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics at Free University Berlin, Ms.Petersen trained as a journalist at Axel Springer Journalism School in Berlin and became an editor for business and economics in the same company. Upon the inception of the German Financial Times, she joined their team in 2000 as editor for politics in South- and Southeast Asia in Berlin and later became their correspondent for South Asia.She moved to Kabul after the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan for the German FT, where she founded the Initiative Free Press (IFP), an NGO that specialises in the training of journalists in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan. During this time, she also served as media advisor to the Afghan Minister for Women’s Affairs, Dr. Massouda Jalal as part of the gender mainstreaming programme of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). She moved to New Delhi in 2006 from where she continued to report about India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.After five years as a correspondent in India, she became Country Director of the Heinrich Boell Stiftung in Pakistan, a political foundation affiliated with the German Green party in 2010. Cooperating with partners in Pakistan on topics such as climate change, nuclear issues, women’s rights, Sufi culture and alternative media, she lived for two years in Lahore and shifted to Islamabad with her newborn son in 2012.A prolilfic writer, Ms.Petersen’s articles were published not only in the German Financial Times but in many major German newspapers and magazines such as Die Zeit, Die Welt, tageszeitung, CICERO, Internationale Politik, Asia Pacific Times, Express Tribune (Karachi) and many others.She also published three books in German language on South Asia: "Mission at the Hindukush. Soldiers of he German Federal Army in Afghanistan" (2005), "Where the Gods live. Religion and Politics in India" (2006) and (together with photographer Johann Scheibner) the coffee table book "Highlights India. The 50 places you must have seen" (2008).
Ms. Petersen joined ORF in May 2104 as Senior Expert for Outreach and Development