4th Annual UNC Hispanic/Latino Forum Keynote Address: Ray Suarez
Veteran journalist Ray Suarez is the permanent host of Al Jazeera America’s daily program “Inside Story.”
He joined the news channel after an extensive television and radio career in which he excelled at delivering, as Al Jazeera America president Kate O’Brian put it, “compelling coverage of the most challenging news stories and events with objectivity and depth, punctuated by Ray’s own brand of thoughtful analysis. That’s exactly what ‘Inside Story’ is all about.”
Suarez came from PBS’ “NewsHour,” where he worked from 1999 to 2013, most recently as its chief national correspondent. He also served as the lead correspondent for the program’s global health coverage, reporting on some of the world’s most threatening health crises from Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Before joining PBS, he hosted National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” for six years.
Among his other on-air credentials, Suarez hosted the monthly foreign-affairs radio program “America Abroad” for Public Radio International and co-hosted the nationally broadcast weekly political program “Need to Know” for PBS. From 2008 to 2011, he anchored the weekly Latino politics show “Destination Casa Blanca” for HITN TV.
Prior to his public-broadcasting career, he spent seven years reporting for Chicago’s NBC-owned station, WMAQ-TV. He began his career as a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, a producer for the ABC Radio Network in New York and a reporter for CBS Radio in Rome.
Suarez is the author of the critically acclaimed “Latino Americans,” the companion book to the PBS documentary series of the same name, published in September 2013. He also is the author of “The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America” and “The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration” and has contributed to several other books.
In 2010 he was inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame. He is a co-recipient of two Alfred I. duPont–Columbia Awards for NPR’s on-site coverage of the first multiracial elections in South Africa and of the first 100 days of the 104th Congress. His other honors include the Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza, the Distinguished Policy Leadership Award from UCLA's School of Public Policy and the Studs Terkel Award from the Community Media Workshop.
He earned a B.A. in African history from New York University and an M.A. in the social sciences from the University of Chicago and has been awarded more than a dozen honorary degrees.
A native of Brooklyn, Suarez lives in Washington, D.C.