Clarissa Ward is a senior international correspondent based in CNN’s London bureau.
For more than a decade Ward has reported from front lines across the world from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen to Georgia – during the Russian incursion in 2008 – and Ukraine. She has won multiple awards for her reporting including a George Foster Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, four Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award for distinguished journalism, as well as honors from the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association.
In her first assignment for CNN, Ward returned to Syria and reported on the Kurdish YPG driving out ISIS in the northern part of the country. She also reported extensively from Paris following the November 2015 terror attacks, contributing to CNN’s recent award for Best Breaking News Coverage from the Royal Television Society (RTS).
This past February Ward traveled undercover to rebel-held areas in Syria – where almost no Western journalists have visited in over a year – to report on what life is like there under the bombs. Less than 24 hours after arriving, Ward along with CNN producer Salma Abdelaziz and Syria-based filmmaker Bilal Abdul Kareem witnessed an airstrike that left 11 dead. This entire series of exclusive reports from behind rebel lines can be found at CNN.com/Syria.
Ward comes to CNN from CBS News, where she served as a foreign correspondent for four years and contributed regularly to ’60 Minutes.’ She distinguished herself with her in-depth, high-risk reporting from Syria. She has entered the country nearly a dozen times since the civil war started in March 2011, interviewing opposition activists, members of the Free Syrian Army and ordinary Syrians caught in the crossfire.
On an undercover assignment to Syria last year, she interviewed two Western fighters about why they joined the jihad there. One of the jihadists was a young Somali-American from the Midwest, making Ward the only Western journalist to have interviewed an American jihadist fighter inside Syria since the start of the civil war.
Before CBS Ward spend two years in Moscow and two years in Beijing for ABC News. She covered the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the 2008 global food crisis, where her coverage received an Emmy Award for Business and Financial Reporting.
Ward’s career in journalism started in 2002 as an intern at CNN’s Moscow bureau. She has since been based in Baghdad, Beijing, Beirut, Moscow, New York and London.
Ward, who speaks six languages including Arabic, French, Italian, Russian, Mandarin and Spanish, graduated with distinction from Yale University. In 2013 she received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Middlebury College in Vermont.
Follow Clarissa on Twitter: @ClarissaWard.