Columnist, Al Hayat
Area of Expertise: International Relations, Media
Geographical Expertise - Region: Asia, North Africa and Middle East, North America
Languages: Arabic, English
Field of Work: Journalist/Commentator
City: New York
Continent: North America
Raghida Dergham is Columnist and Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for the London-based Al Hayat, the leading independent Arabic daily, and has held this post since 1989.
Ms. Dergham is also a Political Analyst for NBC, MSNBC and the Arab satellite LBC. She is a Contributing Editor for LA Times Syndicate Global Viewpoint and has contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune and Newsweek magazine.
As one of the few women political commentators, Ms. Dergham has been a frequent guest on PBS’ ‘Charlie Rose’ and ‘The News Hour’, CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, Canada’s CBC, Al-Jazeera as well as a radio guest on NPR and the BBC.SPACE. During her distinguished journalistic career, Ms. Dergham covered the crucial American-Soviet summits in the 1980s and the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Besides breaking major news stories, such as the Oslo secret talks, she was the only journalist to interview Ramzi Youssef, the alleged mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. During her time as a reporter at the United Nations, Ms. Dergham’s assignments have included the Madrid-Middle East Peace Conference, Islamic summits, Nonaligned Movement summits, the Casablanca Economic Summit, the Denver Summit of Eight and the Extraordinary Amman Summit. She has accompanied former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on his tours of the Middle East, and carried out exclusive interviews with over fifty foreign ministers and twenty statesmen including Jordan’s King Abdallah and late King Hussein; Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; Palestinian presidents Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat; Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Yemeni President Abdallah Saleh; Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir; Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. Ms. Dergham has also interviewed US President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and her predecessor Colin Powell.
A Lebanese-born American Citizen, in 1997 Ms. Dergham was co-chair of the Council on Foreign Relations conference: ‘In the National Interest: Does diversity make a difference?’ She is a member of the Council, and also serves on the board of the International Women’s Media Foundation, and the Advisory Council of Princeton University’s Institute for Transregional Studies of the contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. She was also a member of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group. Ms. Dergham has been inducted into SUNY’s Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Alumna and received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 2003.
Ms. Dergham is a frequent participant in policy conferences and a regular participant in the World Economic Forum. She addressed the UN General Assembly on World Press Freedom Day in 1997 as president of the United Nations Correspondents Association, and was appointed to the Task Force on the Reorientation of Public Information by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. She moderated a roundtable of eight presidents and prime ministers for UNCTAD at Bangkok in 1991. Ms. Dergham served as chair of the Dag Hammarskjold Fund Board in 2005.
Ms. Dergham is a frequent lecturer at universities, think tanks and business councils throughout the United States. She is a member of the International Media Council of the World Economic Forum, composed of 100 of the most respected and influential media figures worldwide. Her articles are available at raghidadergham.com.