“Isha Sesay is an anchor and reporter for CNN International based at the network’s global headquarters in Atlanta. She anchors the 1000 ET / 1500 GMT edition of ‘International Desk’, the weekday program that brings viewers into the heart of the largest newsgathering operation in the world, immersing them in the latest stories of the day.
She also hosts and reports for ‘Inside Africa’, CNN International’s award-winning, weekly program dedicated to providing viewers with an inside look at political, economic, social and cultural affairs and trends in Africa.
In 2009, Sesay provided live daily coverage from Mecca and Mina during CNN’s coverage of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Sesay reported from both the Democratic and Republican conventions, and spent election night reporting from John McCain’s headquarters in Arizona. Following Barack Obama’s election, she covered the president’s first ever address to the UN General Assembly.
A seasoned journalist, Sesay has covered numerous breaking news and world news events including Zimbabwe’s disputed 2008 election; the Russia-Georgia conflict; the assassination of Benazir Bhutto; the kidnapping of British toddler Margaret Hill in the Niger Delta; the death of Slobodan Milosevic; Liberia’s historic election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; the hospitalization of Ariel Sharon; the foiled transatlantic plane bomb plot; the Israeli-Hezbollah war; the arrest of John Mark Karr in connection with the death of Jon Benet Ramsey, and the Live Earth concert in Johannesburg, South Africa.
As part of her anchoring and reporting duties, Sesay has interviewed a number of world leaders including Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga; President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal; President Lech Kaczynski of Poland; Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; and President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone.
She has also interviewed a host of newsmakers including actors Matt Damon, Hugh Jackman and Djimon Hounsou; musicians Angelique Kidjo, Emmanuel Jal and K’Naan; former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker; Arab League Secretary general Amre Moussa; 2008 U.S. presidential candidate Governor Bill Richardson; former Iraqi hostage Giuliana Sgrena; five-time Grammy winner Gloria Estefan; and acclaimed author Khaled Hosseini.
While on assignment in South Africa in 2007, she covered the launch of ‘The Elders’- an initiative founded by Nelson Mandela to tackle the world’s intractable problems. Sesay also travelled to Nigeria to cover the country’s historic presidential elections in April 2007. While there, she conducted one-on-one interviews with both the outgoing president Olusegun Obasanjo, and the new leader, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
Complementing her role as anchor and correspondent, Sesay has moderated events for the United Nations, Coca Cola, the Carter Center and the IMF. In 2009, she co-hosted the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, the premier accolade for excellent journalism across the continent. Sesay will return to co-host the 2010 awards in Kampala, Uganda.
Sesay joined CNN in November 2005 from the UK broadcaster ITN, where she anchored ITV’s Early Morning News program, as well news bulletins for the UK’s most watched breakfast program ‘GMTV.’
Prior to this, she spent more than three years presenting ‘Good Morning Sports Fans’ for Sky Sports. From 1998-2001, Sesay presented a wide range of programs across the BBC networks.
A Briton of Sierra Leonean parentage, she holds a BA honours English degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University.”
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