Kathy Gannon


Past Joan Shorenstein Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School


Journalism Maybe

August 8, 2023 • Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

It was December 2001.

The U.S.-led coalition had taken control of Afghanistan and installed a government of warlords. It was led by Hamid Karzai, the only man among the Afghan allies without a private militia.

Karzai’s swearing-in ceremony had taken place, and he was ensconced in the presidential palace when a news conference was called.

Hundreds of reporters, who had swarmed into the Afghan capital after the collapse of the Taliban, attended the presser to find a member of the ousted, extraordinarily secretive movement on the stage before them, ready to answer their questions.…

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Afghanistan in Peril: Two Years After the U.S. Withdrawal
August 15, 2023

Afghanistan in Peril: Two Years After the U.S. Withdrawal

Foundation for Defense of Democracies Event

Nearly two years after the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban regime has reconstituted its Islamic Emirate and returned to draconian policies that are in grave violation of fundamental human rights. While President Biden and the Taliban alike claim al-Qaeda is not active in Afghanistan, recent United Nations monitoring shows al-Qaeda leaders are embedded in key Afghan ministries, with the group running training camps, safe houses, and media operations across multiple Afghan provinces. Terror groups such as the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan enjoy free reign, while threats from the Islamic State persist.…READ MORE


Kathy Gannon was a Joan Shorenstein Fellow for the 2022 fall semester at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. For 35 years she covered Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Associated Press as chief correspondent and later, news director. She has covered the 2006 war in south Lebanon, the Iraq war, the Central Asian States, and Azerbaijan. Gannon was the only Western journalist allowed in Kabul by the Taliban in the weeks preceding the 2001 U.S.-British offensive in Afghanistan.

In addition to her coverage of South Central Asia, she has covered the Middle East, including the 2006 Israeli war against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and war in northern Iraq.

In April 2014 Gannon was seriously wounded—hit by seven bullets—while covering preparations for Afghan national elections when an Afghan police officer opened fire on the car in which she was riding. Her colleague and close friend, AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, was killed in the attack.

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