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Kathleen Koch

KathleenKochKathleen Koch is a prize-winning journalist and author who for 18 years was a CNN Washington correspondent covering the White House, Pentagon and Capitol Hill as well as numerous disasters including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. She currently writes op-eds for CNN.com, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report and other publications. Koch is an international speaker on disaster and resilience and founder and executive director of LeadersLink, the first nonprofit to harness and share elected officials’ disaster lessons learned to help communities better prevent, prepare for and recover from similar crises. She moderates high-level panels at events including the Halifax International Security Forum, the CEO Global Leaders Forum and the International Disaster Conference and Exposition.

Koch’s best-selling book, Rising from Katrina, which traces her Mississippi hometown’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina and her experiences covering it, was named Best Non-fiction in the Southeast Region in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards. It also received an honorary mention for Book of the Year in the regional category from ForeWord Reviews.

Perhaps Koch’s most memorable work at CNN was her moving reports from the Mississippi Gulf Coast during and in the years following Hurricane Katrina. Her two documentaries on the recovery of Bay St. Louis – Saving My Town and The Town That Fought Back – received a New York Festivals gold medal. She also shared in the 2006 Peabody Award CNN received for its coverage of the hurricane.
Koch’s other awards include three silver and one bronze Telly for a 2010 Astrocast.TV report on the construction of Spaceport America in the New Mexico desert. In 2007, she won a New York Festivals gold medal and a bronze award for investigative reporting from the New York Association of Black Journalists for a CNN report in which she uncovered the apparent murder of a young inmate by guards at a Mississippi jail.

Before joining CNN, Koch was a general assignment reporter covering Washington D.C., for multiple news organizations. She was also a consumer and medical reporter for the Group W Newsfeed Network and a weekend reporter at WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. Koch was an anchor and State Department correspondent for America Today, the U.S. Information Agency's two-hour daily international news broadcast to Europe. She began her television career as a reporter and weekend anchor for the ABC affiliate WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Koch was a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of Dijon and was the 2014 winner of the Rotary Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award for Zone 31. She currently serves on the University of Southern Mississippi Mass Communications and Journalism Advisory Board.

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