In 2011, Sawyer sat down for exclusive interviews with some of the year's biggest newsmakers, including Commander Mark Kelly in the wake of the tragic shooting of his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson, AZ, Donald Rumsfeld in his first interview since leaving the Bush Administration, the first interview with Jaycee Dugard, and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who shared her remarkable story of recovery for the first time since the tragic shooting in Tucson. In addition, Sawyer brought viewers audio recordings of the never-before-heard interviews with former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy recorded in the months after her husband's assassination and spoke exclusively with Caroline Kennedy. In June, she conducted the first joint interview with outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and General David Petraeus in Afghanistan, and conducted the first interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after the U.S. took military action in Libya.
When Japan was hit with a devastating combination of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear emergency in March 2011, Sawyer was the only evening news anchor to report on the aftermath live from Japan - shining a light on the stories of those who were directly affected. In November 2010, she took "World News" on a rare trip to China, traveling from Shanghai to Beijing, she reported on the progress the Chinese have made in the areas of education, transportation and green technologies. During the summer of 2010, when controversy over the building of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero sparked a nationwide conversation about Islam, Sawyer anchored a special primetime hour, "Diane Sawyer Reporting: Islam Questions & Answers," to address misconceptions about Muslims and the religion of Islam.
Sawyer kicked off her tenure at "World News" in December 2009 by traveling to Copenhagen, where she confronted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about Iran's nuclear ambitions. In January 2010, she reported the latest installment of "Afghanistan: Where Things Stand." She travelled with General Stanley McChrystal as he surveyed the battlefield and sat down with Afghan President Hamid Karzai for his first interview after his highly contested reelection. From Afghanistan Sawyer traveled to Haiti to cover the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
During the historic presidential election in 2008, Sawyer co-anchored ABC News' coverage of the political conventions, Election Night and the Inauguration. Over the course of the campaign, she conducted wide-ranging interviews with the candidates and also reported "Portrait of a President," two hour-long specials that revealed new insight into Barack Obama, John McCain and their families. In June 2009, along with Charles Gibson, Sawyer moderated "Questions for the President: Prescription for America," a conversation with President Obama about healthcare reform at the White House.