Award-winning journalist, news anchor, producer, philanthropist, and media CEO
Soledad O'Brien appears in sessions on these topics
Soledad O'Brien is an award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer. At the forefront of the biggest breaking news stories of the past two decades, O'Brien is one of the most sought-after journalists of current day. In June 2013, O'Brien launched Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company, dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at the often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, through personal stories.
O'Brien was the originator of the highly successful documentary series for CNN, "Black in America" and "Latino in America," which will continue to be produced under Starfish Media Group ("SMG"). Through SMG, O'Brien will contribute additional programming to CNN, as well as short-form segments for Al Jazeera America. Through SMG, O'Brien entered into a multifaceted partnership with HBO, joining the "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" team in June 2013, giving her the opportunity to further delve into the compelling storytelling for which she is known, except now through the vast prism of sports.
Earlier in her career, O'Brien co-anchored on "Weekend Today" and contributed to segments on "Today" show and "NBC Nightly News." In 2003, O'Brien transitioned to CNN, where she was the face of CNN's morning news shows for many years. O'Brien's coverage of race issues has won her two Emmy awards and she has a third Emmy for her reporting on the 2012 presidential election. Her coverage of Hurricane Katrina earned her and CNN a George Foster Peabody Award. She also received another Peabody Award for her coverage of the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill. Her reporting on the Southeast Asia tsunami garnered CNN an Alfred I. DuPont Award.
O'Brien was named journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists and one of Newsweek magazine's "10 People who Make America Great."
In 2013, O'Brien joined Harvard University as a Distinguished Fellow and was appointed to the board of directors of the Foundation for the National Archives.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, O'Brien and her husband, Brad, created the Soledad O'Brien & Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation to help disadvantaged young women get to and through college. This year, they will provide funding to 25 deserving young women.
O'Brien lives in Manhattan with her husband and four children.