Soledad O’Brien

CNN Anchor & Special Correspondent
November 10, 2009 - 5:30pm
Diversity in the Media: Behind the Scenes and In Our Lives
Yale Law School, Levinson Auditorium See map
127 Wall Street

About Soledad O’Brien

Soledad O’Brien is an anchor and special correspondent for CNN Worldwide. Since joining the network in 2003, O’Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe and has produced award-winning and record-breaking documentaries on the most important stories facing the world today. She also covers political news as part of CNN’s “Best Political Team on Television.”

O’Brien’s most recent projects include CNN Presents: Black in America, a groundbreaking initiative that focused on the state of Black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She reported and anchored a CNN documentary featuring a never-before-seen look at King’s private writings and notes in Words That Changed a Nation and investigated his assassination in Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination. She has also explored the untold stories of the survivors’ of Jonestown which included a return to Guyana in CNN Presents: Escape from Jonestown. Her initiative Children of the Storm and documentary One Crime at a Time demonstrate O’Brien’s continued commitment to covering stories out of New Orleans.

In addition, she has provided live breaking news coverage from around the world. For CNN’s Katrina coverage, O’Brien’s reports on the hurricane’s impact included an in-depth interview with former FEMA chief Michael Brown. She also covered the London terrorism attacks in July 2005, and in December 2004, she was among a handful of CNN anchors sent to Thailand to cover the disaster and aftermath of the tsunami. Earlier that fall, she anchored the live coverage of the burial of Yasser Arafat. In the fall of 2003, O’Brien was the only broadcast journalist permitted to travel with first lady Laura Bush on her trip to Moscow.

O’Brien was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for its Katrina coverage and an Alfred I. duPont Award for its coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia. Her numerous other awards include a Gracie Allen Award in 2007 for her reporting from Cyprus on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict as well as her reports from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. She also won an Emmy for her work as a co-host on Discovery Channel’s The Know Zone.

In 2005, O’Brien was awarded the Hispanic Heritage Vision Award, considered one of the highest honors for Hispanic Americans. The NAACP honored her with its President’s Award in 2007 for her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence. O’Brien was also the recipient of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay’s 2007 Clara Barton Humanitarian Award. In 2006, the National Urban League awarded her its Women of Power award. The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity honored O’Brien in 2008 with the Alpha Award of Honor, the highest recognition for a non-member, for her work with media coverage of issues affecting the African-American community. O’Brien was also included in Crain’s Business Reports’ “40 under 40,” Essence magazine’s “40 under 40” and Black Enterprise’s “40 under 40.” O’Brien has been named several times to Irish American Magazine’s “Top 100 Irish Americans” and in 2006 was featured in Newsweek’s cover story “15 People Who Make America Great.” In 2007, she received the first annual “Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award,” created in her honor by Community Voices at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

In 2008, O’Brien was the first recipient of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Goodermote Humanitarian Award for her efforts while reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the Southeast Asia tsunami.

O’Brien is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She is a graduate of Harvard University.