Lyse Doucet

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Lyse Doucet

Lyse Doucet cropped.JPG
Doucet speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum in 2014
Born (1958-12-24) 24 December 1958 (age 60)
OccupationJournalist, television presenter
Notable credit(s)
RelativesAndrea Doucet (sister)

Lyse Marie Doucet OBE, CM (/ls dˈsɛt/; born 24 December 1958)[2] is a Canadian journalist who is the BBC's chief international correspondent and an occasional contributing editor. She presents on BBC World Service radio and BBC World News television, also reports for BBC Radio 4 and BBC News in the United Kingdom, including reporting and occasionally presenting for Newsnight and World News Today. She also makes and presents documentaries.

Early life and education[edit]

Doucet is a native of Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, where she grew up in an anglophone family. Her sister is Andrea Doucet, a Canadian professor of sociology.[3] She has Acadian, Irish and Micmac ancestry.[4] She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Queen's University at Kingston in 1980, where she wrote for the university newspaper.[5]

She gained a master's degree in international relations from the University of Toronto in 1982.[6][7] The same year, she undertook a four-month volunteer assignment teaching English with Canadian Crossroads International in the Ivory Coast.[5][8] She is currently one of the organisation's honorary patrons.[8] Doucet speaks English and French, and is a less fluent speaker of Persian.


Doucet during the MSC 2017

From 1983 to 1988, Doucet worked as a freelancer in West Africa for the Canadian media and for the BBC. This period proved a stepping stone to a longer term career with the BBC.[2][5] Doucet reported from Pakistan in 1988, and was based in Kabul from late 1988 to the end of 1989 to cover the Soviet troop withdrawal and its aftermath. She was the BBC correspondent in Islamabad from 1989 to 1993, also reporting from Afghanistan and Iran. In 1994 she opened the BBC office in Amman, Jordan. From 1995 to 1999 she was based in Jerusalem, travelling across the Middle East. In 1999, she joined the BBC's team of presenters but continues to report from the field.

Doucet is often deployed to anchor significant news events from the field, and to interview key individuals. She played a leading role in the BBC's coverage of the Arab Spring, reporting from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. She has covered all major wars in the Middle East since the mid-1990s. Doucet has been a frequent visitor to Pakistan and Afghanistan since the late 1980s. Her work also focuses on the aftermath of major natural disasters, including the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 which took her to India and Indonesia.

In 2014 she made the documentary Children of Syria with film-maker Robin Barnwell, which was nominated in the Best Single Documentary category at the 2015 BAFTA Awards.[9]

In 2015 she made the documentary Children of the Gaza War with film-maker James Jones.

Starting on New Year's Day, 2018, Doucet presents Her Story Made History; a five-part series on BBC Radio 4 featuring in-depth interviews with five remarkable women. The theme is the relationship between women and democracy.[10]

Other activities[edit]

Doucet has been a council member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and is currently a council member of the International Council for Human Rights (ICHR) based in Geneva. She is also involved with Friends of Aschiana UK which supports working street children in Afghanistan. Doucet takes pride in her ancestry and attends the Acadian World Congress which is held every five years. She notes that "It would be hypocritical to spend all my time learning about other tribes if I were to neglect my own".[5]


Doucet won a Peabody and a David Bloom award in 2010 for her film on maternal mortality in Afghanistan, along with producer Melanie Marshall, Shoaib Sharifi and cameraman Tony Jolliffe. She won Best News Journalist at the 2010 Sony Radio Academy Awards.

In 2002, she was the only journalist to accompany the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, to his brother's wedding, where an assassination attempt was made. She and her team were later nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for their exclusive coverage of the attempt. Doucet last interviewed Ahmed Wali Karzai in April 2011, shortly before his assassination.[11]

In 2003 she was awarded a Silver Sony Award for News Broadcaster of the Year for her interview with Yasser Arafat in his compound in Ramallah. In 2007, she was named International Television Personality of the Year by the Association for International Broadcasting. She also received the News and Factual award from the organisation Women in Film and Television.

Doucet has an honorary doctorate in civil law from the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of New Brunswick (2006),[5] an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from University College at the University of Toronto (2009),[5] and an honorary doctorate in journalism from Université de Moncton.

In Britain, Doucet has received honorary doctorates from the University of York (2011), University of St Andrews (2014), and Liverpool Hope University (2015).

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to British broadcast journalism.[12][13] She also received a Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents.

In 2015, Doucet won the Sandford St Martin trustees’ award[14] "for her commitment to journalism and her intelligent and clear reporting of the religious elements of global events".[15]

At the 2017 International Media Awards, Doucet was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Award. The award is given to journalists whose body of work has led to better understanding, and as a consequence increased prospects for peace.[16]

She was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in December 2018.[17]


  1. ^ "Lyse Doucet". From Our Own Correspondent. 8 June 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b Wells, Matt (8 January 2002). "Shooting star". The Guardian. London: GMG. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878.
  3. ^ Doucet, Andrea (2006). Do Men Mother?: Fathering, Care, and Domestic Responsibility. University of Toronto Press. p. xi. ISBN 9780802085467.
  4. ^ "BBC World Service – Institutional – Lyse Doucet". Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Gordon, Sheldon (2010). "With an accent on the news". Queen's Alumni Review. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Lyse Doucet". BBC News. London: BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Reception hosted by The Hon. David R. Peters on, Chancellor". University of Toronto. 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Honorary Patrons". Canadian Crossroads International. 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Television in 2015 - BAFTA Awards".
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Ahmad Wali Karzai: Meeting Kandahar's Mr Fix-it". BBC News.
  12. ^ "No. 60895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2014. p. b26.
  13. ^ "BBC journalists Lyse Doucet and Tin Htar Swe made OBEs". BBC News. 13 June 2014.
  14. ^ "BBC's Lyse Doucet wins religious broadcasting award". The Guardian. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  15. ^ "2015 Award Winners". Sandford St Martin Trust. 27 May 2015. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  16. ^ "The Next Century Foundation". The Next Century Foundation. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  17. ^ Governor General Announces 103 New Appointments to the Order of Canada

External links[edit]