Kelli Arena is a Justice Department and Supreme Court correspondent for CNN. Arena reports for CNN's Washington, D.C.-based America Bureau, a unit that combines the network's Justice Department, homeland security and national security beats to examine the state of security in the United States.
Arena has reported on the domestic wiretapping program, Alberto Gonzales and the controversy that led to his resignation as attorney general, the war on drugs in light of new trafficking tactics, and the U.S.'s ongoing war on terrorism. In 2006, Arena covered the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the CIA leak investigation and the rise of methamphetamine addiction and child pornography cases in the United States. She also spoke to the family of alleged terrorist Majid Khan in an exclusive interview.
In 2005, Arena reported on the London bombing attacks, the law enforcement angle of Hurricane Katrina and the rapid expansion of MS-13, a violent Los Angeles-based gang. In 2003, Arena reported on multiple domestic aspects of the war in Iraq, and, in 2002, she filed multiple reports on the Beltway sniper story.
In 2001, Arena played an integral part of the networks Emmy award-winning coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks. Arena has covered numerous other breaking news stories and topics for the network, including U.S. terror threats, the investigation into the Al Qaeda presence in the United States, the threat of cyberterrorism, and the post-Sept. 11 anthrax threats against the United States.
Previously, Arena was a Washington, D.C.-based business and economics correspondent for CNN, contributing to reports on CNN and CNNfn. Before this position, she was news editor for CNN Financial News, responsible for all news coverage and the assignment desk. She was also a supervisor for all daytime and prime-time financial-news programming.
Arena joined CNN in July 1984 as an intern in the features unit. In July 1985, she joined the staff as production assistant for Financial News. Since then, she has served as a guest booker, an associate producer, a writer, a field producer and the producer for Business Morning, Business Day, Moneyweek, Inside Business and Moneyline. Arena is responsible for the launch of the international Financial News updates, which are seen in more than 200 countries and territories. She also assisted in the launch of the first international Financial News programs, World Business Today and Business Asia. She has reported and produced international stories from Asia, South America and Europe.
Arena is the recipient of numerous broadcast industry awards, most recently winning the "Best Correspondent" Award at the New York Festivals. Other awards include a Peabody Award and a CableAce Award. She was named to The Journal of Financial Reporting's list of top financial journalists under the age of 30 for four consecutive years.
Arena earned a bachelor's degree from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.