Communications Director for North America
Washington, DC, USA
Ms. Abbott is the Communications Director for North America at the International Crisis Group, anindependent, nongovernmental organization working to prevent and resolve deadly conflict through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy. There she is responsible for developing and leading the U.S. media strategy to advance Crisis Group’s policy prescriptions and to raise awareness of conflict situations in the U.S. media. She also produces video and documentaries for Crisis Group’s high-profile events, for which she has interviewed foreign policy luminaries such as President Bill Clinton and General Colin Powell. She conducts podcast interviews about conflict situations around the world with Crisis Group analysts, which have been featured in outlets such as the Washington Post, Toronto Star, All Africa.com and the Huffington Post. From her unique position overseeing Crisis Group’s U.S. media presence, she has studied and published commentary on the growing role of NGOs as news producers, and the increasing cooperation between traditional news organizations and non-profits, particularly in foreign coverage.
She joined Crisis Group from InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations, where she was the communications and media manager, working with the national and international media to bring attention to under-reported humanitarian stories. She also helped InterAction’s 160 member organizations develop their media and public policy advocacy campaigns on collective humanitarian and development priorities. She published articles on a range of international development issues, including debt relief, the MDGs, tsunami recovery efforts in Thailand and the role of women in post-conflict situations.
Prior to her work with NGOs, she spent over a decade as a journalist. During her seven-year tenure at CNN, she covered breaking news around the country, including the 2000 presidential election recount in Tallahassee, FL, and the immediate aftermath of September 11, and helped launch American Morning with Paula Zahn. She was an on-air reporter for the education program CNN Newsroom, where she filed stories from Bosnia and Berlin, and interviewed luminaries such as former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and opera legend Luciano Pavarotti, as well as hundreds of newsmakers. She began her journalism career as a local news reporter in Rome, Georgia, and also worked internationally at Radio France, BFM Radio and France 3 TV.
Her career has also included time on Capitol Hill as a Communications Director and work in U.S. presidential politics, as well as work as an envoy and translator for the Centennial Olympic Games. She is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Communications Advisory Board Member at the Women’s Refugee Commission, a Board Advisor to HUM News, a Board Member at Generation i, and the recipient of numerous European fellowships in journalism and international affairs. She earned a bachelors degree in journalism from Boston University and studied French media and culture at the Ecole Francaise des Attaches de Presse.
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