Clarissa Ward

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Clarissa Ward
Clarissa Ward 2012.jpg
Ward receiving the Peabody Award in 2012
Clarissa Ward

(1980-01-31) January 31, 1980 (age 41)[1]
London, U.K.
EducationYale University
Years active2003–present
Notable credit(s)
CBS News
Philipp von Bernstorff
(m. 2016)

Clarissa Ward (born January 31, 1980) is an American television journalist who is currently chief international correspondent for CNN.[2] She was formerly with CBS News, based in London. Before her CBS News position, Ward was a Moscow-based news correspondent for ABC News programs.[3]

Early life[edit]

Ward's family is from London, U.K. and New York City.[4] She graduated from Yale University and holds an honorary doctor of letters degree from Middlebury College.[5]


Early career[edit]

Ward began her career as an overnight desk assistant at Fox News in 2003. From 2004 to 2005, Ward was an assignment editor for Fox News in New York City. She worked on the international desk coordinating coverage for stories such as the capture of Saddam Hussein, the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and the deaths of Yasir Arafat and Pope John Paul II. In 2006, Ward worked as a field producer for Fox News. She produced coverage of the Israeli-Lebanese war, the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit and subsequent Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip, the trial of Saddam Hussein and the 2005 Iraqi constitutional referendum.

Prior to October 2007, Ward was based in Beirut and worked as a correspondent for Fox News. She covered the execution of Saddam Hussein, the Iraq War troop surge of 2007, the Beirut Arab University riots and the 2007 Bikfaya bombings. She conducted interviews with notable figures such as Gen. David Petraeus, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih and Lebanese President Emile Lahoud. She also spent time embedded with the U.S. military in Iraq, most notably in Baqubah.[4]

ABC News[edit]

From October 2007 to October 2010, Ward was an ABC News correspondent based in Moscow. She reported from Russia for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms, including World News with Charles Gibson, Nightline and Good Morning America, as well as ABC News Radio, and ABC News Now. On assignment in Russia, Ward covered the Russian Presidential elections. She was in Georgia at the time of the Russian intervention into Georgian territory. Ward was transferred to Beijing to serve as the ABC News Asian Correspondent, where she covered the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. She has also covered the war in Afghanistan.[3]

CBS News[edit]

Ward's CBS career started as the network's foreign news correspondent in October 2011. She was a contributor for 60 Minutes and served as a fill-in anchor on CBS This Morning beginning in January 2014.[6]

She covered many foreign news stories including the Syrian Uprising, Chinese civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng's stay at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and subsequent United States - China negotiations, and the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.

In her first 60 Minutes report in 2012, Ward and her team braved sniper-fire and aerial bombardments in the Syrian city of Aleppo to deliver one of the first reports examining the growth of Islamic extremism within the opposition. In July 2013, Ward reported on the unrest in Egypt, filming in the same area where CBS correspondent Lara Logan had been sexually assaulted a few years prior. In October 2014, Ward returned to Syria undercover to interview two Western jihadis - a young American man and a former Dutch soldier - about their paths to radicalism.


On 21 September 2015, CNN announced that Ward was joining the network and reporting for all of CNN's platforms. She will remain based in London. On August 8, 2016, she spoke at a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the civil war-torn Aleppo, based on her 10+ years' experience of being a war correspondent.[7][8]

In July 2018, CNN named Ward its chief international correspondent, succeeding Christiane Amanpour in the role. In 2019, she became one of the first Western reporters to report on the life in the Taliban controlled areas of Afghanistan.[9][10] In August 2020, reports emerged that Ward and her team were under surveillance while in the Central African Republic in May 2019.[11]

In December 2020, in a joint investigation by The Insider and Bellingcat in co-operation with CNN and Der Spiegel, she reported how Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) members stalked Alexei Navalny for years, including just before his poisoning in August 2020.[12] The investigation detailed a special unit of the FSB specializing in chemical substances and investigators tracked members of the unit using telecom and travel data.


In 2021, Ward's reporting in Myanmar was criticized by local journalists for "parachute journalism that serves no purpose other than chasing higher ratings" and for endangering the lives and families of 11 of her interview subjects. [13]


Ward received a George Foster Peabody Award on May 21, 2012, in New York City for her journalistic coverage inside Syria during the Syrian uprising.[14][15] In October 2014, Washington State University announced that Ward would receive the 2015 Murrow Award for International Reporting in April 2015.[16] She has also received seven Emmy Awards, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton, and honors from the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Ward is married to Philipp von Bernstorf, a fund manager,[18] whom she met at a 2007 dinner party in Moscow and married in November 2016 at London's Chelsea Old Town Hall.[19][20] They have two children together, Ezra Albrecht Nikolas Nour (born on 2 March 2018) and Caspar Hugo Augustus Idris (born on 29 June 2020).[21][22] Ward is fluent in French and Italian, conversational in Russian, Arabic[15] and Spanish and knows basic Mandarin Chinese.[17][23]


  • On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist. Penguin. 2020.


  1. ^ Ward, C. (2020). On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-525-56147-7. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  2. ^ "CNN Press Release". 21 September 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Clarissa Ward CBS Bio". CBS Broadcasting. 2012-06-04. Archived from the original on 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  4. ^ a b "Clarissa Ward Bio". ABC Broadcasting. 2011-09-29. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  5. ^ "Clarissa Ward Bio". CBS Interactive Inc. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  6. ^ "CBS This Morning episode". 20 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  7. ^ Ward, Clarissa. "There are no winners in Aleppo". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Aleppo Under Siege: Syria's Latest Tragedy Unfolds - Security Council Arria-Formula Open Meeting (8 August 2016)". United Nations. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  9. ^ "36 hours with the Taliban". Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  10. ^ "CNN's Clarissa Ward Spent 36 Hours With the Taliban. This is What She Learned". Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  11. ^
  12. ^ EXCLUSIVE By Tim Lister, Clarissa Ward and Sebastian Shukla. "CNN-Bellingcat investigation identifies Russian specialists who trailed Putin's nemesis Alexey Navalny before he was poisoned". CNN. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  13. ^ [1], April 2021
  14. ^ 72nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2012
  15. ^ a b Casserly, Meghan (2012-04-19). "Dream Jobs: Clarissa Ward, CBS News Foreign Correspondent". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  16. ^ "CBS News correspondent to receive Murrow College award". Washington State University. 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  17. ^ a b "CNN Profiles - Clarissa Ward - Chief International Correspondent". CNN. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
  18. ^ Palmer, Anna; Sherman, Jake; Lippman, Daniel; Lacy, Akela. "POLITICO Playbook Power Briefing: Partisan brawl breaks out in Strzok hearing". POLITICO. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Clarissa Ward Gives Birth to Baby Boy". Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  22. ^ "Clarissa Ward on Instagram: "On Monday June 29th, 2020 at 929am Caspar Hugo Augustus Idris von Bernstorff was born and three became four. The most blissful blessing!…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  23. ^ Ward, Clarissa (2017-02-28). "Clarissa Ward, Senior International Correspondent with CNN – Leads with Arabic ...and 5 others!". Lead with Languages. Retrieved 2021-01-05 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]

Media related to Clarissa Ward at Wikimedia Commons