NEW YORK (APP) — Amna Nawaz, an upcoming Pakistani-American journalist, has been selected to moderate a US presidential debate, the first woman of South Asian origin to win this honour, according to media reports.
Nawaz, 40, a senior correspondent for the Public Broadcasting Service news programme “NewsHour”, along with Judy Woodruff, PBS anchor and managing editor, and colleague PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, and Politico chief political correspondent Tim Alberta, will co-moderate the sixth Democratic primary debate, scheduled for December 19 at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.
Amna is the daughter of Shuja Nawaz, a former Pakistan Television (PTV) journalist and currently a Distinguished Fellow, South Asia Center, at Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think-tank.
Nawaz, who joined PBS NewsHour in April 2018, besides serving as its senior national correspondent is also its primary substitute anchor.
Prior to joining the NewsHour, Nawaz was an anchor and correspondent at ABC News, anchoring breaking news coverage and leading the network’s digital coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Before that, she served as a foreign correspondent at NBC News, reporting from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, and the broader region.
She is also the founder and former managing editor of NBC’s Asian-America platform, built to elevate the voices of America’s fastest-growing population.
At the NewsHour, Nawaz has reported politics, foreign affairs, education, climate change, culture and sports. Her immigration reporting has taken her to multiple border communities in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico. She’s investigated the impact of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, including following the journey of a single toddler as she left her home in Mexico, was separated from her family at the US border, and later reunited with her family several weeks later. She also regularly covers issues around detention, refugees and asylum, and migrant children in US government custody.
Earlier, at NBC News, her work appeared on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, MSNBC, and MSNBC.com.
She was NBC’s Islamabad Bureau Chief and Correspondent for several years, and was the first foreign journalist allowed inside North Waziristan. She covered the Taliban attack on Malala Yousafzai, the US raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, and broke news in a series of exclusive reports on the impact of US drone strikes. Nawaz reported for the network’s investigative unit, covering the US housing crisis and the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill, and also covered the election and inauguration of Barack Obama, the earthquake in Haiti, and Hurricane Katrina.
Nawaz has also been honoured with an Emmy Award for the NBC News Special “Inside the Obama White House,” a Society for Features Journalism Award, and was a recipient of the International Reporting Project fellowship in 2009.
She’s an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania–where she earned a bachelor’s degree, majoring in politics, philosophy and economics, and also where she captained the varsity field hockey team—and the London School of Economics—from where she received her master’s degree majoring in comparative politics.
Asked about the effect of her being an Asian American woman on her career, Nawaz told Jade magazine.com, , “Sure, in the parts of the world I’ve covered, there have been a lot of times when I’m the only woman at the protest, or in the briefing room, or on the military embed.”
“I’m certainly not the first woman to be any of those places and was actually really lucky to have the support and encouragement of female journalists before me who’d been there and done that.”
But she acknowledged, “I’ve had people make assumptions about me – because I’m a woman, because I’m Asian, because my family’s from Pakistan, because I’m Muslim – but I can’t control what others think. All I can do is bring my whole self to this job, to report the stories as I see them, and try to treat others’ stories with the same care and respect I’d want someone to treat mine.”