Seasoned and award-winning journalist Isha Sesay has covered global events and major breaking news of the past decade, with a special interest in stories of social injustice and their impact on women and girls. Of Sierra Leonean descent, Sesay grew up in Britain and holds a B.A. honors English degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University.
She is currently the host of Home with Isha Sesay, a weekly, live 90-minutes digital news show. Originally created during the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic, Sesay initially focused exclusively on in-depth, analytical coverage of the outbreak in Africa, before expanding the program to include the most critical and under reported stories from across the world. Smart and always engaging, Home with Isha Sesay, which airs across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, is a must-watch for its range of insightful conversations that bring together Africans, African Americans and a myriad of other voices, that are all too often not heard.
After graduation, Sesay began her career in television as a researcher on Kilroy- once one of the UK’s most highly rated daytime talk shows, followed by several years at BBC Scotland, where opportunities arose to move in-front of the camera. In 2002, she joined Sky Sports News and became the co-host of Good Morning Sports Fans. Sesay left the world of sports behind in 2005, to join CNN International as an anchor and correspondent, where she quickly became a viewer favorite. As part of her anchoring and reporting duties, Sesay’s impressive roster of interviews include numerous global leaders - the Prime Ministers of the UK, Kenya and Australia, as well as the Presidents of Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, and a host of newsmakers including Desmond Tutu, Nancy Pelosi, David Beckham, Bill Gates, Bono, Richard Branson, Matt Damon, Michelle Obama, Lupita N’yongo, Will.i.am, Akon, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates - Wangari Maathai, Malala Yousafzai, Leymeh Gbowee, and Denis Mukwege.
Reporting from Nigeria in 2014, Sesay led the CNN team that covered the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in north-eastern Nigeria. The network’s in-depth reporting was recognized with a Peabody Award. Sesay also received a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor, in recognition of her coverage of the story. These are among multiple accolades she won during her tenure at CNN.
Sesay is also the Founder, and President of W.E. (Women Everywhere) Can Lead, a non-profit organization working in her native country of Sierra Leone, to nurture and empower teenage girls to become Africa’s next generation of dynamic female leaders.
Her first book, Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram (Dey Street Books) is the first definitive account of the Nigerian schoolgirls’ kidnapping. It was published to rave reviews in July 2019 and released in paperback in April 2020. Sesay lives in Los Angeles