Sam Kiley

Senior International Correspondent

Sam Kiley is a Senior International Correspondent based in the network's Abu Dhabi bureau.
Sam Kiley


Sam Kiley is a Senior International Correspondent based in the network’s Abu Dhabi bureau.

Since joining CNN in January 2018 Kiley has travelled to Somalia to expose how foreign aid has accidentally been diverted to funding terror, he’s investigated the epidemic of sex crimes in India and he’s reported from Haiti during violent protests against the government there.

This year Kiley travelled 4,000km around Houthi-held Yemen, investigating allegations that the rebel government was manipulating food aid to gain political power. With rare access, Kiley reported on the humanitarian crisis that has led to countless civilian deaths and hundreds protesting the United States’ and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the conflict.

Kiley reported from Venezuela on the transformation of Juan Guaido, the country’s self-declared president, and he went undercover in Venezuela’s hospitals, covering the worsening effects of the humanitarian crisis and visiting the last pediatric surgical ward in Caracas.

Following the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, Kiley reported live from the locations of the attacks and got an exclusive sit-down interview with Maithripala Sirisena, the President of Sri Lanka.

An award-winning journalist and author, Kiley began his career as a foreign reporter with The Sunday Times in Los Angeles before moving quickly on to Africa where he was The Times’ correspondent for nearly a decade.

He covered the Somali civil war and famine that led to the UN/US invasion there and culminated in the “Blackhawk Down” battle for Mogadishu. In 1994 he was the only correspondent to have reported from behind the lines of the genocidaires in Rwanda’s genocide. He went on to win international plaudits for his coverage of the genocide which included the discovery of the last significant Tutsi population left alive in Bisessero. His intervention is credited with forcing French forces to rescue the survivors as Hutu killers encircled them.

His reports from Rwanda, Zaire, and Sierra Leone’s civil wars won international acclaim as did his work in the wars in Liberia, Angola, Mozambique, Burundi’s mass killings, the fall of Mengistu Hailie Miriam in Ethiopia, and the civil war in Sudan.

He also covered the collapse of Yugoslavia into conflict – and was frequently dispatched to Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

He was shot and wounded in the arm while reporting on a coup in Lesotho. He was transferred to the Middle East Bureau of The Times After nearly nine years in Africa, and soon was deeply involved in reporting on the Second Intifada and the collapse of the Middle East peace process.

He went on to the Evening Standard as the chief foreign correspondent before joining Channel 4’s flagship “Dispatches” team in 2003 with a shocking under cover report from Iraq’s capital under Saddam Truth and Lies in Baghdad, which was also broadcast on PBS Frontline World.

At Channel 4 he went on to make documentaries in the UK and overseas in Iraq, in the early stages of the 2003 and after, the DRC, Afghanistan, Gaza and numerous other locations for Dispatches and Unreported Word, often in coproduction with PBS.

He later went on to write and present two series for Sky One – America Unsolved – with Sam Kiley and Guns for Hire – an investigation into mercenaries in the Congo and Afghanistan. He produced and reported close to 30 documentaries before taking a sabbatical to write a book.

In 2008 he was, and remains, the only reporter to have embedded with a NATO unit for an entire tour in Afghanistan where he researched and wrote Desperate Glory, an account of the British air assault brigade’s campaign in Helmand. Desperate Glory, published by Bloomsbury, was a 2009 Economist “Book of the Year”.

In 2010 he joined Sky News as Defense and Security Editor later serving at Middle East Correspondent and then Foreign Affairs Editor – specializing in the fall of Gadhafi in Libya, terror in Europe, the “Arab Spring” and revolution in Egypt, war in Syria and Iraq often reporting live from active front lines. He was the first television reporter to interview “ISIS brides” in a refugee camp outside of Raqqa.

He has written for The Economist, The Spectator, The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Times, Commentaries for The Times and The New Statesman and numerous other publications.

In addition to Desperate Glory, he wrote Journey through Jordan and contributed an essay on food in famines for the collection “Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar”. Other essays have appeared in Oxford Originals and Simple Pleasures.