Clarissa Ward

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Clarissa Ward
Clarissa Ward 2012.jpg
Ward accepting a Peabody Award in 2012 for reporting from Syria
Born (1980-01-31) January 31, 1980 (age 43)
London, England
EducationYale University (BA)
Years active2003–present
Notable creditCBS News
Philipp von Bernstorff
(m. 2016)

Clarissa Ward (born January 31, 1980)[1] is a British-American television journalist, who is currently chief international correspondent for CNN.[2] She was 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 was born in London to a British father and American mother.[4][5] She grew up in London and New York City and attended the Godstowe and Wycombe Abbey boarding schools in England.[6][4][7] She graduated from Yale University in 2002 and holds an honorary doctor of letters degree from Middlebury College.[3][8]


Early career[edit]

Ward began her career as an overnight desk assistant at Fox News in 2003. From 2004 to 2005, she 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, she 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.[6]

ABC News[edit]

From October 2007[6] to October 2010, Ward was an ABC News correspondent based in Moscow.[citation needed] 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, she covered the 2008 Russian presidential election. She was in Georgia at the time of the Russian intervention into Georgian territory. She 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.[9]


On September 21, 2015, CNN announced that Ward was joining the network and reporting for all of CNN's platforms, and would remain based in London. With more than a decade as a war correspondent, on August 8, 2016, she spoke at a United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the civil war-torn Aleppo.[10][11]

In July 2018, CNN named her its chief international correspondent, succeeding Christiane Amanpour. In 2019, she became one of the first Western journalists to report on the life in areas controlled by the Taliban in Afghanistan.[12][13] In August 2020, reports emerged that she and her team were under surveillance while in the Central African Republic in May 2019.[14]

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.[15] 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 February 2022, CNN deployed Ward, initially, to the city of Kharkiv in order to cover the first moves from Russian Invasion in Ukraine. After the first days of war, she was relocated to Kyiv, where she engaged in a series of wartime reports on the advance of Russian troops and the flight of Ukrainian refugees away from Russian artillery strikes.[16] She was among the journalists who travelled to Ukraine to give insights into the humanitarian situation for children and wounded civilians in Ukrainian hospitals amidst the ongoing conflict.[17]


Ward received a Peabody Award on May 21, 2012, in New York City for her journalistic coverage inside Syria during the Syrian uprising.[18][19] In October 2014, Washington State University announced that she would receive the 2015 Murrow Award for International Reporting in April 2015.[20] She has also received seven Emmy Awards, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton, and honors from the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Ward was married in November 2016 at London's Chelsea Old Town Hall to Philipp von Bernstorff, a fund manager, whom she met at a 2007 dinner party in Moscow.[22][23] They have two children.[24][25] Ward speaks fluent French and Italian, conversational Russian, Arabic, and Spanish, and knows basic Mandarin Chinese.[19][21]


  • Ward, Clarissa (2020). On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist. New York: Penguin. ISBN 9780525561477. OCLC 1277023055.


  1. ^ Ward 2020, p. 18.
  2. ^ "International Correspondent Clarissa Ward Joins CNN". CNN. September 21, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Clarissa Ward". CBS News. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Clarissa Ward". The Female Lead Society. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  5. ^ Morrell, Michael (June 2, 2021). "Author and war correspondent Clarissa Ward on reporting from conflict zones". Intelligence Matters. CBS News. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "Clarissa Ward". ABC News. June 2, 2006. Archived from the original on September 7, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2022.
  7. ^ Ward 2020, pp. 20–22.
  8. ^ Ward 2020, p. 24.
  9. ^ "CBS This Morning episode". January 20, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  10. ^ Ward, Clarissa. "There are no winners in Aleppo". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  11. ^ "Aleppo Under Siege: Syria's Latest Tragedy Unfolds - Security Council Arria-Formula Open Meeting (8 August 2016)". United Nations. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  12. ^ "36 hours with the Taliban". Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  13. ^ "CNN's Clarissa Ward Spent 36 Hours With the Taliban. This is What She Learned". Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  14. ^ Dobrokhotov, Roman; Grozev, Christo; Lehberger, Roman; Schmid, Fidelius (August 21, 2020). "Russische Söldner sollen CNN-Team ausspioniert haben" [Russian mercenaries are said to have spied on CNN team]. Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  15. ^ Lister, Tim; Ward, Clarissa; Shukla, Sebastian. "CNN-Bellingcat Investigation Identifies Russian Specialists Who Trailed Putin's Nemesis Alexey Navalny Before He Was Poisoned". CNN. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  16. ^ "See moment that made Clarissa Ward stop reporting and help". Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  17. ^ "CNN makes heartbreaking visit to Ukraine's largest children's hospital". Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  18. ^ "The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley: Inside Syria". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved October 18, 2022.
  19. ^ a b Casserly, Meghan (April 19, 2012). "Dream Jobs: Clarissa Ward, CBS News Foreign Correspondent". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
  20. ^ "CBS News correspondent to receive Murrow College award". Washington State University. October 17, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Clarissa Ward". CNN. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  22. ^ Palmer, Anna; Sherman, Jake; Lippman, Daniel; Lacy, Akela (July 12, 2018). "Politico Playbook Power Briefing: Partisan Brawl Breaks out In Strzok Hearing". Politico. Retrieved December 26, 2020.
  23. ^ Kim, Leena (April 20, 2017). "An Award-Winning Journalist's London Wedding". Town & Country. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  24. ^ Katz, A. J. (March 7, 2018). "Clarissa Ward Gives Birth to Baby Boy". Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  25. ^ "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. Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Clarissa Ward at Wikimedia Commons