American Women for International Understanding is pleased to announce that our Honorary Chair for the International Women of Courage Celebration 2019 is Norah O’Donnell, an award-winning journalist and advocate for women.
Ms. O’Donnell will join a list of other distinguished women on the Honorary Committee offering their support to AWIU’s Celebration in the spring of 2019. The exact date of the International Women of Courage Celebration will be determined by the US Department of State in early February 2019, but our committee is honored to work with Ms. O’Donnell as we plan our event.
Norah O’Donnell is the co-host of “CBS This Morning.” She also contributes to “60 Minutes.” O’Donnell joined “CBS This Morning” in July 2012. Prior to that, she served as CBS News Chief White House Correspondent. As a journalist for more than two decades, she has covered six presidential elections and traveled around the globe to interview some of the world’s most notable figures.
Since joining “CBS This Morning,” O’Donnell has conducted numerous interviews with newsmakers including President Donald Trump, President Barack Obama, Vice President Mike Pence, and Speaker Paul Ryan. She has sat down with some of the world’s most influential leaders including South Korean President Moon Jae-in, His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and the Dalai Lama. In March, O’Donnell spent a week reporting in Saudi Arabia where she interviewed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The conversation was his first American television interview. The last time a Saudi leader gave an interview to a U.S. network was in 2005. She won The Merriman Smith Memorial Award for excellence in presidential news coverage for her exclusive “60 Minutes” interview with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden on his decision not to run for president in 2016. O’Donnell also landed exclusive interviews with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise for “60 Minutes” and an interview with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the height of the league’s domestic violence scandal. She covered the historic election of Pope Francis in Vatican City as well as his first Apostolic Voyage to the United States. She also reported from the scenes of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Houston; the country’s worst mass shooting in Las Vegas; the terror attack in San Bernardino, and the Boston Marathon bombing. She was also part of the CBS News team that received an Alfred I. DuPont Award for the network’s coverage of the 2012 Newtown massacre.
O’Donnell earned a Gracie Award and was named best national news on-air talent for the year 2018 and 2016. Her reporting on sexual assaults in the United States Air Force Academy was nominated for an Emmy award and won an honorable mention in the Edgar A. Poe Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association. She was also named “Broadcaster of the Year” by the New York State Broadcasters Association in 2014 and received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast of 2017. Prior to joining CBS News, O’Donnell worked for more than a decade at NBC News, where she covered the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House. Her assignments took her around the globe: she reported from every continent except Antarctica with the either the President of the United States or the Secretary of Defense.
O’Donnell has covered a number of breaking news stories throughout her career. She reported from the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001, and received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Breaking News Coverage for a “Dateline NBC” story titled, “D.C. In Crisis.” In the months following the attacks, she traveled extensively with then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, including on his first trip to Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks.
O’Donnell was NBC News White House Correspondent during the 2004 presidential elections, covering the campaigns of then-President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry. Prior to covering the White House, O’Donnell was NBC News Congressional Correspondent, reporting on the lead-up to the Iraq War. She also covered the 2000 presidential campaign. In all, O’Donnell has covered six presidential campaigns and reported from every political convention since then.
She began her career as a print reporter for Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, for which she covered the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and traveled the country covering congressional elections.
A firm believer in empowering women, O’Donnell sits on the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Media Foundation.
Born into a military family, O’Donnell grew up in San Antonio, Texas; Landstuhl, Germany; Seoul, South Korea; and Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy as well as a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. She is married to Geoff Tracy, a restaurateur in Washington, D.C. They have three children.