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Soledad O'Brien Named Distinguished Visiting Fellow

Soledad O'BrienHarvard Graduate School of Education has named award-winning journalist and author Soledad O’Brien Distinguished Visiting Fellow for the 2013-14 academic year.

“Through her work on Black in America, Latino in America, and other journalistic endeavors, Soledad has focused America’s attention on the important issue of education inequality,” said Dean Kathleen McCartney. “In addition, with her husband Brad, she founded and leads the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation, which provides funds and support for young women with leadership potential to attend college despite facing economic or personal challenges. We are tremendously excited to welcome Soledad to the Harvard Graduate School of Education community and look forward to working with her to ensure that all children have access to a high quality education.”

At HGSE, O’Brien will explore a wide variety of topics related to public education in America – including the influence of income on educational equality, the role of gender specific education, and efforts to overcome racial and ethnic achievement gaps in education.

“It is an honor to join the esteemed scholars of the Harvard Graduate School of Education community next year,” said O’Brien, a 2000 graduate of Harvard College. “On Appian Way, in the heart of the Ed School campus, a banner reads, ‘Education Is a Civil Right.’ I believe this passionately and look forward to ensuring that right is a reality by working with the students, faculty, and staff at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the rest of the Harvard University community. This appointment is both honor and opportunity.”

Over the past decade, O’Brien was integral in hosting and developing many award-winning documentaries for CNN, including Latino in America and Black in America, among the network's most successful international franchises. She recently announced that she would be launching Starfish Media, a documentary production company that will develop programming for CNN and other media outlets.

A critically acclaimed journalist, O'Brien has reported on breaking news from around the globe. In 2011, she won an Emmy for Crisis in Haiti in the category of Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story Long Form. O'Brien was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for its BP oil spill and Katrina coverage and an Alfred I. duPont Award for its coverage of the Southeast Asia tsunami. The National Association of Black Journalists named O'Brien the Journalist of the Year and Edward R. Murrow Awards lauded her with the RTDNA/UNITY award for Latino in America in 2010. In 2010, she wrote a critically acclaimed memoir, The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities, which chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences.

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