About 

  • David McKenzie is an award-winning international correspondent for CNN based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    With a reporting career that has spanned five continents, McKenzie has reported from more than 30 African countries and brings a deep experience to his reporting on the continent.

    For CNN, McKenzie has reported on some of Africa's most significant and talked about stories including the downfall of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the death of Nelson Mandela.

    In 2019, McKenzie won the prestigious Royal Television Society Award for Best Breaking News Coverage as a lead member of the CNN team reporting on Mugabe's ouster from power. The judges called it a "model of how to cover an unpredictable breaking news story."

    McKenzie has reported numerous investigative projects for all of CNN's platforms, including accessing white supremacist groups in South Africa and exposing Chinese involvement in the ivory smuggling -- part of an ongoing focus on conservation reporting.

    Since joining CNN, McKenzie has interviewed many high-profile personalities and leaders including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Nobel Prize winners Wangari Maathai, Denis Mukwege and Desmond Tutu, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

    McKenzie was CNN's Beijing-based correspondent until 2015. He was one of the first reporters to cover the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 and spent weeks with Chinese families trying to get closure on their loved ones.

    He gained exclusive access to China's space program for a CNN International special: Inside Space City.

    Previous to this, McKenzie reported from Nairobi, Kenya.

    McKenzie was the first international reporter to gain access to Sudan's controversial oil fields to report on alleged pollution and was one of the first foreign correspondents to uncover the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia.

    In 2011, McKenzie investigated the plight of the mentally ill in Kenya for CNN's documentary series "World's Untold Stories." "Locked Up and Forgotten," won the Amnesty International Media Awards in the "International Television and Radio" category.

    In the same year, he won a National Headliner award for his contribution to reporting on Somalia's deadly famine. McKenzie was also part of Peabody award-winning teams during the Haiti earthquake and Libyan uprising.

    McKenzie's career started in New York as a freelance producer and writer for international broadcasters and newsgathering organizations including ABC News, BBC and Reuters. He joined CNN from UNICEF, where he served as a correspondent and producer with their Africa Services Unit.

    McKenzie graduated from Duke University with degrees in Public Policy and Psychology and received a Masters in Journalism from New York University, where he was on a full scholarship (Broadcast and Knight Foundation Scholarship).