Isha Sesay is an anchor and correspondent for CNN International. She is based at the networks global headquarters in Atlanta.
Sesay anchors CNN NewsCenter, a half-hour, weekday news program on CNNI that takes viewers through the days big stories of global importance. She also hosts BackStory, the weekly program that goes behind the scenes of CNNs global newsgathering operation, and often files reports for African Voices.
A seasoned journalist, Sesay has covered numerous breaking news stories and events of global interest. This year she reported from Nigeria on the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls from a school in Chibok, and the subsequent social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls to find them. She has also covered the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, interviewing a number of key officials about the crisis including Liberias Vice President Joseph Boakai and President Alpha Conde of Guinea.
Last year she reported on the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa. In 2012 she led CNNIs coverage of the United Nations General Assembly from New York, securing interviews with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. Having covered the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver, Colorado, she traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to report from the 2012 DNC as part of CNNIs coverage of the U.S. presidential race.
In 2011, she played an integral role in CNN/U.S. and CNNIs joint coverage of major global news events including the protests in Egypt, Japans nuclear reactor crisis, the fall of Tripoli, the trial of Amanda Knox and the royal wedding live from London.
In 2010, Sesay covered the World Cup from Johannesburg, South Africa, capturing the global impact of the month-long event. Later in the year Sesay headed to Nigeria for CNNs iList series. She reported from the countrys capital, Abuja, for a special week of coverage and landed an exclusive interview with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
Other major stories include Zimbabwes disputed 2008 election; the Russia-Georgia conflict; the assassination of Benazir Bhutto; the kidnapping of British toddler Margaret Hill in the Niger Delta; the death of Slobodan Milosevic; Liberias historic election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; the hospitalization of Ariel Sharon; the foiled transatlantic plane bomb plot; the Israeli-Hezbollah war; the arrest of John Mark Karr in connection with the death of Jon Benet Ramsey, and the Live Earth concert in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Complementing her role as anchor and correspondent, Sesay reprised her role as co-host of the 2012 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, the premier accolade for excellent journalism across the continent. She first co-hosted the annual event in 2009 from Durban, South Africa - a year that attracted entries from 836 journalists from 38 African countries - and has since traveled to Uganda and Zambia to host the ceremony.
As part of her anchoring and reporting duties, Sesay has interviewed a number of world leaders including Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga; President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal; President Lech Kaczynski of Poland; Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; and President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone.
She has also interviewed a host of newsmakers including David Beckham, Bill Gates, Bono, Richard Branson, supermodel Alek Wek, Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek and the Daily Beast Tina Brown, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, recording artist Akon, and actors Matt Damon, Hugh Jackman and Djimon Hounsou.
While on assignment in South Africa in 2007, she covered the launch of The Elders- an initiative founded by Nelson Mandela to tackle the worlds intractable problems. Sesay also travelled to Nigeria to cover the countrys historic presidential elections in April 2007. While there, she conducted one-on-one interviews with both the outgoing president Olusegun Obasanjo, and incoming president, Umaru Musa YarAdua.
Sesay joined CNN in November 2005 from the UK broadcaster ITN, where she anchored ITVs Early Morning News program, as well news bulletins for the UKs most watched breakfast program GMTV.
Prior to this, she spent more than three years presenting Good Morning Sports Fans for Sky Sports. From 1998-2001, Sesay presented a wide range of programs across the BBC networks.
A Briton of Sierra Leonean parentage, she holds a BA honors English degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University.
Follow Isha on Twitter: @IshaSesayCNN.