Senior international correspondent
Clarissa Ward is a multi-award winning senior international correspondent for CNN in London.
Clarissa Ward is a multi-award winning senior international correspondent for CNN based in the network'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 two George Foster Peabody Awards - one of which she received this year for her 2016 series, 'Undercover in Syria'; an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award; four Emmy Awards; two Edward R. Murrow Awards for distinguished journalism; honors from the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association; and the 2017 David Kaplan Award from the Overseas Press Club for 'Undercover in Syria.'
In November last year she received the prestigious Excellence in International Reporting Award from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) for her outstanding war reporting in hotspots like Iraq and Syria.
Ward has distinguished herself with her in-depth, high-risk reporting from Syria. She has entered the country more than 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.
Ward returned to Syria in her first assignment for CNN, reporting on the Kurdish YPG driving out ISIS in the northern part of the country.
She later traveled undercover to rebel-held areas in Syria -- where almost no Western journalists had visited in over a year -- in late February 2016 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. The entire 'Undercover in Syria' series of exclusive reports from behind rebel lines can be found here. To date, 'Undercover in Syria' has been recognized with a Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award for 'News Series' and the Overseas Press Club's David Kaplan Award.
In October 2016 Ward traveled to Iraq when the Iraqi-led offensive to liberate Mosul from ISIS control started. At one point she was one of five CNN correspondents on the ground in Iraq covering the ongoing military operation.
Ward also contributed to CNN's Election Night in America 2016 coverage from Moscow, where she has since made many trips covering reaction to Donald Trump's victory and U.S.-Russia relations moving forward.
Additionally, Ward reported extensively on the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris -- contributing to CNN's award for Best Breaking News Coverage from the Royal Television Society (RTS) -- and subsequent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Nice in 2016, Manchester in 2017.
Following the Brussels attack, Ward began an almost year-long investigation of a Belgian altar boy who joined ISIS in Syria and then returned home to Belgium. 'ISIS: Behind the Mask' -- Ward's first primetime special for CNN -- gives a rare, unfiltered look at the life and mind of a foreign fighter after leaving Syria.
Ward joined CNN in September 2015 from CBS News, where she served as a foreign correspondent for four years and contributed regularly to '60 Minutes.'
On an undercover assignment to Syria in 2014, 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 joining CBS Ward spent 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 seven 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.