Kaj Larsen // is an American journalist who worked for Vice News. He worked for the Vanguard international news documentary investigative reporting show on Current TV beginning in 2005. In 2010, he became a producer and correspondent for CNN until he was laid off in 2012 after CNN abolished their investigative news departments.
Larsen was born in Santa Cruz, California. His father was formerly a U.S. Marine. He initially attended the United States Naval Academy where he played water polo, but he transferred to the University of California, Santa Cruz after two years. He originally aspired to be a Naval Aviator, having taken flying lessons growing up. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a degree in political science and later received a master's degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was awarded a fellowship from the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. He was also a joint fellow at Tufts University Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism studies. He was a Navy SEAL for five years and left active duty as a lieutenant.
Larsen helped develop the Vanguard journalism series, which received an Emmy Award. He had himself waterboarded on TV and was the first western TV journalist in Mogadishu in over a decade. He has reported from Yemen, Cambodia, Colombia, and Haiti.
In 2010, Larsen joined CNN as a correspondent for the Special Investigations and Documentary Unit covering the drug war in Mexico, the floods in Pakistan and WikiLeaks. He has appeared as a guest on ABC, NBC, MSNBC, and The Huffington Post. He was the senior correspondent and host of Current TV's The Current Election and has consulted on Aaron Sorkin's HBO fictional news program The Newsroom. As a producer Larsen worked on US Navy Pirate Hunters, a one-hour special for Spike TV, and Lockup, the MSNBC show about life in an American prison. He has received an Emmy nomination, a Peabody nomination, two Telly Awards, and several Golden Cine Awards. A two time national champion open-water swimmer, he placed third in the Escape from Alcatraz duathalon. He helped launch The Mission Continues, providing fellowships to veterans, and continues to serve on the group's board of directors. He is close friends with Eric Greitens, founder of The Mission Continues, as both completed SEAL training together and served together in Iraq.
Kaj Larsen was accused of sexual misconduct by a Vice News associate producer, as documented by The Daily Beast in an exposé on Vice New's culture of indifference to sexual misconduct by male employees. Larsen's name was added to Vox's running list of influential people from a variety of industries who have faced public accusations of sexual assault or sexual harassment. Larsen no longer works for the Vice News.
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- Zadrozny, Brandy (November 15, 2017). "'Unsafe and Just Plain Dirty': Women Accuse Vice of 'Toxic' Sexual-Harassment Culture". thedailybeast.com.
- North, Anna (2017-12-22). "Sexual misconduct allegations against Kaj Larsen, former Vice bureau chief". Vox.com. Retrieved 2018-08-21.