Clarissa Ward is CNN’s chief international correspondent. She has spent nearly two decades reporting from front lines in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and Ukraine for CNN, ABC, CBS and Fox News.
A recipient of multiple journalism recognitions including nine Emmy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards and a George Polk Award, Ward is the author of ‘On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist’ (Penguin Press), which details her singular career as a conflict reporter and how she has documented the violent remaking of the world from close range.
Known for her in-depth investigations and high-profile assignments, Ward was on the ground in Ukraine as Russia began its invasion in February 2022 and has since spent more than 15 weeks crisscrossing the country to cover the war.
Last year she reported from Kabul on what life is like one year after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, a story she covered live on the streets of the capital as it played out in August 2021. Nearly two months after a military coup in February 2021, Ward and her team were the first foreign journalists permitted to enter Myanmar. In late 2020 Ward led the two-time Emmy Award-winning investigation of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s poisoning, even confronting a suspected member of the elite Russian toxins team at his home outside Moscow.
In 2019 her months-long, Emmy Award-winning investigation into Russia’s growing use of mercenaries – Putin’s Private Army – included the first on-camera interview with a former fighter for Wager, Russia’s most notorious private military contractor. After visiting a diamond mine with ties to a Russian oligarch in the Central African Republic, Ward and her team were followed and intimidated by a car full of Russians. After their reports came out, they were targeted by a Russian media propaganda campaign trying to discredit their reporting.
Ward has reported extensively in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011, making multiple undercover assignments to the country. As one of the last Western reporters to visit rebel-held Aleppo, Ward was asked to address a UN Security Council meeting on the embattled Syrian city in 2016, stating “there are no winners in Aleppo.”
Ward graduated with distinction from Yale University, and in 2013 received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Middlebury College in Vermont. She speaks fluent French and Italian, conversational Russian, Arabic and Spanish and basic Mandarin.