Ian Pannell Official Biography

Chief Foreign Correspondent

ByABC News
December 1, 2022, 4:37 PM
PHOTO: Ian Pannell
Ian Pannell
ABC News

Ian Pannell is chief foreign correspondent for ABC News, stationed in the London Bureau.

Throughout his storied, 30-plus-year career as a journalist, Pannell has been on the frontlines covering some of the most important and compelling stories across the world. As Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, he reported from Kyiv as the first missile strikes hit and has spent months on the ground there documenting the tragic developments and the devastating impact on the people inside the country.

During his tenure at ABC News, he has reported on the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the fight to retake Mosul, the killing of U.S. soldiers in Niger, the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico, and the fight and famine in Yemen.

Prior to joining ABC News in 2017, Ian worked at the BBC for over 25 years. When the Taliban fled Afghanistan in 2001, he was the very first journalist to enter the capital, Kabul, with the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance and was stationed there from 2008-2010 for the BBC. He was in Kabul the day it was liberated, and he was there for ABC News 20 years later when it fell to the Taliban once more. He reported from Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Syria on the Arab Spring uprisings and subsequent wars, the frontlines of Crimea and Donbas in 2014 and 2015, and extensively across the Middle East. He also covered the Israel-Lebanon War in 2006 and reported from Gaza during the Hamas-Israel conflict in 2014.

Pannell has pursued enterprise reports in the United States and Latin America. In the U.S., he covered the heroin epidemic, the lives of families affected by homelessness, the trafficking of children into a lifetime of forced sex slavery and the rising gun crime in Chicago. While in Latin America he covered the war on drugs affecting Columbia’s cocaine business.

His reporting has won many major awards in journalism. He was awarded an International Emmy for his contribution in covering the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, the Royal Television Society Award for International News Coverage on his 2013 report of Syrian rebel-held areas, and an International Press Award for his enterprise stories on displaced families in Syria. Pannell has been honored with several Emmys and Peabody awards for his excellence in reporting. He also holds several other awards for his dedication to honest, authentic storytelling.

Pannell began his career working in radio at the BBC and went on to anchor news shows for BBC World as well as its domestic equivalent in the U.K., The BBC News Channel. He is married and the proud father of three boys.

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