NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT
In 2016, Lucy Kafanov joined NBC News as a foreign correspondent based in London, reporting for the TODAY Show, Nightly News and MSNBC. Fluent in Russian, Kafanov’s work takes her around the world. She has reported on terrorist incidents across Europe; covered the battle against ISIS from Iraq; covered the Korean nuclear crisis from the Korean Peninsula and in 2017, became the first American journalist to get access to Russia's newly-formed Arctic Military Brigade. Her first assignment at NBC News took her on board a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion as it searched for missing EgyptAir Flight MS804. A few months later, she became one of the first reporters on the scene in Amatrice after the deadly earthquake nearly wiped out the Italian town in 2016. Since then, she has reported on most major international news stories — from terrorist attacks in Paris and London and elsewhere in Europe, to Brexit, to the crisis in Iraq and Syria. Her feature story reporting for the TODAY Show has taken her from the Great Pyramid of Giza, to a dinosaur fossil dig in North Dakota (where the team found not one, but two T-Rex teeth!) to a chilly surfing adventure 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Prior to joining NBC News, Lucy Kafanov worked an independent multimedia reporter and foreign correspondent. Formerly based in Istanbul, Kafanov worked as a roving freelance journalist, focusing predominantly on the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia. She regularly contributed words and photographs from Turkey, the Middle East and Europe for outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, VICE News, Al Jazeera, Vocativ and USA Today. In 2016, Kafanov was awarded an International Reporting Project fellowship grant for an in-depth investigative reporting project in Myanmar -- focusing on human rights abuses faced by Burma's minority religious communities.
From Kabul to Caracas, Beirut to Kuwait, Baghdad to Karachi, Burma to Berlin, Kafanov strives to serve as the audience's eyes and ears on the ground. Much of her work focuses on the impact of violence and conflict on civilian communities. She has documented the refugee crisis, reporting on the plight of migrants in Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Germany. Kafanov spent several years covering politics in Turkey and the resurgent conflict between Turkish forces and the Kurds. Kafanov has also investigated the deaths of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, traveling thousands of miles across Russia to track down families affected by the Kremlin's undeclared war. Among other stories, she has covered the ISIS sweep across Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and the country's political transition, the rise of Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Yemen, the impact of drone strikes affect civilian communities in Pakistan and Yemen, the struggle of Syrian refugees in Jordan, and the Syrian conflict’s spillover into Lebanon.
Kafanov's on-the-ground coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement in the United States for RT earned the network an Emmy Award nomination, while her international reporting landed her on Foreign Policy's list of the most influential women on Twitter. Her report on Pakistani civilian victims of drone strikes in the tribal areas was highly commended by the Association for International Broadcasting global media excellence awards. In 2015, Kafanov was the recipient of a grant from the IWMF’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. The International Reporting Project (IRP) in 2016 awarded Kafanov with a fellowship in religion reporting, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, that funded investigative work in Myanmar.
Before moving abroad in 2011, Kafanov spent six years covering Washington politics as a print reporter on Capitol Hill, and later, as a television producer for the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Kafanov graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the George Washington University.
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