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NPR Reporter to Address Afghanistan Situation in W&L Lecture

You may have never seen her, but you probably know her voice.

For more than two decades, Jackie Northam has covered the world as a radio correspondent, working for such networks as CBC Canada, Monitor Radio, and the BBC. Since 2000, her home base has been National Public Radio, where she is currently National Security Correspondent.

Northam will be at Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 5 p.m. in Room 327 of Huntley Hall where she will give a talk entitled “Afghanistan: Surge Without a Cause.” The event, which is sponsored by the department of journalism and mass communications, is free and open to the public.

Over the years, Northam has specialized in hot spots, so it’s unsurprising that, for the past two years, she has spent much of her time in Pakistan and Afghanistan, reporting on the war, the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the international military forces in the region. Her reporting resume includes Rwanda during the genocide, Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Guantanamo Bay, Beirut, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Two days after the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti she was on a plane to Port-au-Prince.

A native of Canada, Northam began her career as a radio correspondent based in London. For seven years, she reported on the Britain of Margaret Thatcher as well as the creation of the European Union and other stories from the continent. Northam’s next stop was Budapest, where she covered the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. After that, it was on to Bangkok, from where she covered Southeast Asia and Indochina.

In 1993, working from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, she reported on the United Nations’ effort to bring democracy to the country, and disarm the Khmer Rouge. It was a year later, while based in Nairobi, Kenya, that she began covering Rwanda, entering the country days after the massacres had begun.

Northam has received a number of awards for her reporting, including three regional Edward R. Murrow awards, a Unity award, a Gabriel award, and several Associated Press awards. She was part of a team that won an Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University award.