Marcela Gaviria is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker with RAINmedia in New York City. Over the past fifteen years she has produced more than 30 documentaries for FRONTLINE, covering the rise of Al Qaeda, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the use of psychiatric medications to treat children with behavioral problems, and the culture of risk taking on Wall Street.
Gaviria has earned every major award in broadcast journalism, including most recently a 2014 Emmy for The Retirement Gamble (2013) and a 2013 Emmy for Money Power and Wall Street. The latter, a landmark series on the economic crisis, was awarded the 2013 George Polk Award and 2013 Writers Guild Award. Previously, Gaviria earned the 2011 Writer's Guild Award for WikiSecrets; the 2010 Overseas Press Club's Edward R. Murrow Award for Obama's War; a 2009 Emmy and George Foster Peabody Award for The Madoff Affair; a 2005 Emmy for The Storm; the 2003 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for Truth, War, and Consequences; the 2002 duPont-Columbia Gold Baton for two post-9/11 films Looking for Answers and Saudi Time Bomb?; and an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award for the four-hour series Drug Wars. She is also the recipient of the 2008 Peter S. McGhee Fellowship award, which honors an individual whose work reflects excellence, intelligence, fairness, passion and scholarship.
Gaviria first worked for FRONTLINE in 1994 with renowned producer William Cran on Godfather of Cocaine, a film about the drug baron Pablo Escobar. After the production of that hour, Gaviria stayed on in her native Colombia and continued to field produce documentaries for PBS, BBC and CBS News. In 1997 she was awarded a MacArthur grant to set up the first natural history filmmaking unit in Latin America.
In 1999, she returned to FRONTLINE to work on the four part series, Drug Wars. That began a 15-year collaboration with veteran FRONTLINE producer/correspondent, Martin Smith. Together, this now-husband-and-wife team, have produced scores of documentaries including Egypt in Crisis (2013); Money Power and Wall Street (2012); WikiSecrets (2011); The Spill (2010); The Quake (2010); Obama's War (2009); The Madoff Affair (2009); Gangs of Iraq (2007); The Storm (2005); Private Warriors (2005); The Choice (2004); Beyond Baghdad (2004); Truth, War and Consequences (2003); Kim's Nuclear Gamble (2002); In Search of Al Qaeda (2002); Looking for Answers (2001); Saudi Time Bomb? (2001); and Medicating Kids (2000).
Independently, Gaviria has also produced several documentaries for FRONTLINE, including most recently the 90-minute blockbuster film Firestone and the Warlord (2014); The Retirement Gamble (2013); The War Briefing (2008); The Medicated Child (2008) and two FRONTLINE/Worlds, Inside Hamas (2006) and Iraq: Reporting the War (2005).
Gaviria was born in Bogota, Colombia, and obtained her BA from Brown University and her MA from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.