In her 18 years as an international correspondent, Amanpour has reported on all the major crises from the world’s many hotspots, including Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, Rwanda, the Balkans and the United States during Hurricane Katrina.
Amanpour joined CNN in 1983 as an entry-level assistant on the network’s international assignment desk in Atlanta. She worked her way up to correspondent in CNN’s New York bureau before becoming an international correspondent in 1990. Her first major assignment was the Gulf War, and she has since covered wars, famine, genocide and natural disasters around the globe.
She has secured exclusive interviews with world leaders from the Middle East to Europe to Africa and beyond, including Iranian Presidents Mohammad Khatami and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as the presidents of Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria and Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat among others. After 9/11 she was the first international correspondent to interview British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.
Her body of work has earned an inaugural Television Academy Honor, nine News and Documentary Emmys, four George Foster Peabody Awards, two George Polk Awards, three duPont-Columbia Awards, the Courage in Journalism Award, an Edward R. Murrow award and other major journalism awards as well as honorary degrees from The American University of Paris, Georgetown University, New York University, Smith College, Emory University and the University of Michigan.
In 2007, Amanpour was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her “highly distinguished, innovative contribution” to the field of journalism. In 1998, the City of Sarajevo named her an honorary citizen for her “personal contribution to spreading the truth” during the Bosnia war from 1992 to 1995.
Amanpour graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor of arts in journalism.