Amna Nawaz joined PBS NewsHour in April 2018 and serves as senior national correspondent and primary substitute anchor.
Prior to joining the NewsHour, Nawaz was an anchor and correspondent at ABC News, anchoring breaking news coverage and leading the network’s digital coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Before that, she served as a foreign correspondent at NBC News, reporting from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, and the broader region. She is also the founder and former managing editor of NBC’s Asian America platform, built to elevate the voices of America’s fastest-growing population.
At the NewsHour, Nawaz has reported politics, foreign affairs, education, climate change, culture and sports. Her immigration reporting has taken her to multiple border communities in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico. She’s investigated the impact of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, including following the journey of a single toddler as she left her home in Mexico, was separated from her family at the U.S. border, and later reunited with her family several weeks later. She also regularly covers issues around detention, refugees and asylum, and migrant children in U.S. government custody.
Nawaz has interviewed international newsmakers -- including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Brazilian leader Eduardo Bolsonaro; lawmakers and Trump administration officials – including then-ICE Director Mark Morgan’s first interview after President Trump announced mass raids across the U.S., Acting Secretary of DHS Kevin McAleenan, and former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in her first interview since leaving the Trump administration; and influential voices including Reba McEntire, Gloria Estefan, and Dev Patel. Domestically, her reporting has taken her to Appalachia to cover healthcare and the economy, the Pacific Northwest to cover gentrification and discrimination in housing, and communities across the country to take the political pulse of the nation. Internationally, she’s traveled to Brazil to report on climate change from within the Amazon, and the Venezuelan refugee crisis.
In 2019, her reporting as part of a NewsHour series on the global plastic problem was the recipient of a Peabody Award.
While at ABC News, Nawaz reported the documentary, “Roberts County: A Year in the Most Pro-Trump Town,” following four families’ lives over President Trump’s first year in office, and hosted the podcast series, “Uncomfortable,” featuring in-depth, one-on-one conversations with thought leaders on the issues dividing America.
Earlier, at NBC News, her work appeared on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, MSNBC, and MSNBC.com. She was NBC’s Islamabad Bureau Chief and Correspondent for several years, and was the first foreign journalist allowed inside North Waziristan, the then-global hub of Al Qaida and the Taliban. She covered the Taliban attack on Malala Yousafzai, the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, and broke news in a series of exclusive reports on the impact of U.S. drone strikes. Nawaz reported for the network’s investigative unit, covering the U.S. housing crisis and the BP oil spill, and also covered the election and inauguration of Barack Obama, the earthquake in Haiti, and Hurricane Katrina.
Nawaz began her career as a Nightline Fellow at ABC News. When the Sept. 11 attacks happened just weeks into her first job, Nawaz was given the opportunity to work on one of the most important news events in recent times, which set the precedent for the rest of her career.
Nawaz has also been honored with an Emmy Award for the NBC News Special “Inside the Obama White House,” a Society for Features Journalism Award, and was a recipient of the International Reporting Project fellowship in 2009. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she captained the varsity field hockey team, and later earned her master's degree from the London School of Economics.
She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Washington, D.C. area.
Amna’s Recent Stories
Nation Dec 13Epilogue: Life after life in prison
Ricky Kidd is finally free -- thanks to his pro bono legal team, led by law professor Sean O’Brien. In this bonus episode, Ricky and Sean tell us about adjusting to life after prison and we talk through some loose…
Politics Dec 092020 Democrats compete over transparency as next debate approaches
On the 2020 campaign trail, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg have been challenging each other over transparency and potential connections to corporate interests. Another major issue is support among African American voters, with whom former Vice President Joe Biden…
Politics Dec 09Introducing: Broken Justice
We’re briefly interrupting your regular podcast feed to offer a sample of our newest podcast series: Broken Justice. In 1997, Ricky Kidd was sentenced to life without parole for a double homicide he says he didn’t commit. And, he argues,…
Nation Dec 03Episode 5: Where do we go from here?
After 23 years behind bars, and a crushing defeat in 2009, Ricky Kidd finally gets a new day in court. Plus, we take a look inside a new St. Louis County prosecutor’s campaign to uproot the process that fuels the…
Nation Nov 28How Nixon, Clinton and Johnson dealt with the threat of impeachment
Impeachment is a rare event in American politics. Amid the past few weeks of public hearings, we have wondered how this episode compares to previous instances of impeachment. Amna Nawaz spoke with three historians, each focused on a former president…
World Nov 27The Plastic Problem
In “The Plastic Problem: PBS NewsHour Presents”, Amna Nawaz and her PBS NewsHour colleagues look at this now ubiquitous material and how it’s impacting the world, why it’s become so prevalent, what’s being done to mitigate its use, and what…
Science Nov 26How innovation and small steps can help us solve The Plastic Problem
On Wednesday night, PBS will air a one-hour special report, “The Plastic Problem,” that examines how our global dependence on plastic has created one of the biggest environmental threats to our planet. Amna Nawaz hosts the program, and she joins…
Nation Nov 26Episode 4: Public defenders fight back
The most common tool used to attack problems in public defender systems is the class action lawsuit. But what if there’s a better strategy? Steve Hanlon, a longtime advocate for systemic legal reform, has a big idea about big data.
Politics Nov 21In 5th Democratic debate, Buttigieg faces questions about his experience
Ten candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination met on stage Wednesday night for their fifth debate of the campaign. But in Atlanta, nearly a thousand miles from the impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill, that was still the first topic…
Nation Nov 19Episode 3: When things go wrong
The American justice system is based around the idea that you can get to the truth when two opposing sides make their cases in court. But what happens if your defense attorney is so overloaded they can’t handle the case…