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Cynthia McFadden

Cynthia McFadden

Cynthia McFadden is the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News.

Before joining NBC in 2014, she worked for 20 years at ABC News where she was the co­anchor of ABC News’ N​ightline​for nearly ten years, having previously served as the network’s legal correspondent and as a correspondent and co­anchor of Primetime.

She has reported from around the world including from Rwanda, Bosnia, El Salvador, China, Israel, South Africa, Liberia, India and Sierra Leone. In addition to covering a vast array of legal issues, her work has often focused on human rights most particularly abuses faced by women and children.

Beginning with the network’s inception in 1991, McFadden was an anchor and senior producer at the Courtroom Television Network, where she anchored live coverage of more than 200 trials.

From 1984 to 1991, McFadden was the executive producer of Fred Friendly’s Media and Society seminars based at Columbia University. More than 30 of her programs were broadcast on PBS, including series on ethics, the military, medicine, terrorism and the presidency.

Her work has received most of journalism’s highest honors. As part of ABC’s 9/11 reporting team, McFadden received a 2001­2002 Dupont Award. For ABC’s Millennium coverage, she reported from Cuba and was part of the team that was awarded a 2000 Emmy; in 2009 she was awarded an Emmy as part of the 2008 Inauguration coverage. Her work has also received a Peabody Award (Hurricane Sandy) and an Overseas Press Club Award (abuses in psychiatric hospitals in Mexico), as well as eight CINE Golden Eagle Awards and the Grand Award at the New York Festivals (death row hour) among many other honors. In 2014 she was presented with the prestigious Matrix Award.

This year she and her colleagues won a Sigma Delta Chi Investigative reporting award from the Society of Professional Journalist, for their probe of the U.S. Navy’s dangerous and obsolete fleet of Sea Dragon helicopters. The judges said of the story which aired on NBC’s Nightly News, “it exposed a systemic problem and prompted powerful results­ saving lives.”

McFadden holds a law degree from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College. Bowdoin recognized her with an honorary degree in 2013.