Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Pick For Person of the Decade - Kimberly Dozier

Kimberly Dozier was mortally wounded in Iraq as she was covering a story for CBS news. Essentially she was dead, but her spirit refused to let go of her earthly bonds and mocked death by fighting back to live again. Her injuries were catastrophic, yet she learned to walk again and eventually returned to work for CBS news. Her strength of spirit, determination and courage makes me choose her as person of the decade - deservedly so.

(CBS) Kimberly Dozier is a CBS News correspondent working primarily in Baghdad since August 2003. She has covered Iraq and the Middle East extensively for the CBS Evening News, The Early Show and CBS Radio News.On Memorial Day 2006 (May 29), while reporting a story in Baghdad about American soldiers working with Iraqi security forces, Dozier, cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan were among the victims of a car bombing. Douglas and Brolan were killed, as were U.S. Army Capt. James Alex Funkhouser and his Iraqi translator, "Sam," whom the CBS News team was following. Dozier was seriously wounded, but recovered completely after multiple surgeries and months of physiotherapy.Prior to her CBS News appointment, she was the chief correspondent for WCBS-TV New York’s Middle East bureau in Jerusalem (February 2002-August 2003), from where she covered the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Iraq. Before that, Dozier served as the London bureau chief and chief European correspondent for CBS Radio News, as well as a reporter for CBS News television (1996-2002). Her assignments included the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the crisis and refugee exodus in the Balkans, Vladimir Putin’s election, the death of Princess Diana, Northern Ireland's peace process and the Khobar barracks bombing in Dhahran. Dozier has interviewed dozens of newsmakers, including Gerry Adams and Yassir Arafat. In addition to her work for CBS Radio News, she also reported for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, the CBS Evening News weekend editions, The Early Show and CBS Newspath, the Network’s 24-hour news service. Dozier was an anchor for BBC Radio World Service’s "World Update" (1996-98), a co-production with Public Radio International, where she anchored the hour-long, live foreign affairs broadcast, among other programs.While living in Cairo (from 1992-95), Dozier did freelance work for CBS Radio News and Voice of America and wrote for The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle. She served as a Washington, D.C.-based reporter for The Energy Daily, New Technology Week and Environment Week, covering Congressional policy and industry regulation (1988-91). Dozier is the recipient of a 2008 Peabody Award and the 2008 RTNDA/Edward R. Murrow Award for Feature Reporting for a CBS News Sunday Morning report on two women veterans who lost limbs in Iraq. She has also received three American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) Gracie Awards - in 2000, 2001 and 2002 - for her radio reports on Mideast violence, Kosovo and the Afghan war, as well as the organization’s Grand Gracie Award in 2007 for her body of work in Iraq. Dozier and ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff were honored with the 2007 Radio and Television News Directors Association and Foundation’s Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award. She was honored by the Overseas Press Club in 2007 and spoke on behalf of journalists who have been killed and injured in Iraq. In 2008, Dozier became the first woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation’s Reagan "Tex" McCrary’s Award for Excellence in Journalism. She also received the Association for Women in Communication’s 2007 Helen Duhamel Achievement Award for media professionals who have made significant achievements in their professions while overcoming extreme hardships or challenges and who have used their First Amendment rights to give back to society.Dozier is the author of "Breathing the Fire: Fighting to Report and Survive the War in Iraq," (Meredith, 2008), a memoir that recounts the car bombing and its aftermath. She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dozier was graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in human rights and Spanish and from the University of Virginia in 1993 with a master’s degree in foreign affairs, Middle East. She has residences in Jerusalem and London and is currently on assignment in CBS News’ Washington, D.C. bureau.

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