Leyla Santiago is a correspondent for CNN based in Washington, D.C.
Leyla Santiago is a correspondent for CNN based in Washington, D.C. She joined the network in 2016 and was previously based in Mexico City.
Prior to joining CNN, Santiago was an anchor and reporter for WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she and her team won the prestigious Alfred I. DuPont award for the documentary 'The Journey Alone,' about the surge in illegal immigration of unaccompanied minors from Central America and Mexico. Santiago traveled to the Rio Grande Valley, traced the path of the children and investigated how the crisis impacted North Carolina. Most recently, Santiago extensively covered the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which garnered a Peabody Award nomination as well as an Edward R. Murrow Award for CNN. She was one of the first to reach some of the most remote parts of the island and following her investigation into the death toll, the government added more cases to the official list of hurricane-related deaths.
In April, Santiago traveled with a caravan of migrants for a month through México and telling their stories, and reported on the complexities of the journey and the immigration system.
Santiago has also served as a morning anchor for KBAK/KBFX in Bakersfield, California; and as a reporter for KTUU in Anchorage, Alaska, and for NBC29 in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has won Emmy awards for her coverage of wildfires in California in 2010 and the crippling winter storm in Raleigh in 2014. In 2011, the Associated Press presented her with the Mark Twain award for best anchor.
Santiago earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Florida and she is bilingual in English and Spanish.