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Lyse Doucet

Lyse Doucet OBE
File:Lyse Doucet cropped.JPG
Lyse Doucet speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum 2014
Born (1956-12-24) 24 December 1956 (age 59)
Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada
Education University of Toronto
Queen's University at Kingston
Occupation Journalist, News Editor, presenter
Employer BBC
Notable credit(s) Newshour
Religion Catholic
Relatives Andrea Doucet (sister)
from the BBC programme From Our Own Correspondent, 8 June 2013.[1]

Lyse Marie Doucet OBE (/ls dˈsɛt/; born 24 December 1958)[2] is a Canadian journalist who is the BBC's Chief International Correspondent and an occasional Contributing Editor. She presents on BBC World Service radio and BBC World News television, and also reports for BBC Radio 4 and BBC News in the UK, including presenting and reporting for Newsnight.


Doucet is a native of Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, where she grew up in an anglophone family. Her sister is Andrea Doucet, a Canadian Professor of Sociology.[3] Their Acadian family traces its origins to a shipmate of Samuel de Champlain,[4] and she also has Irish and Migmaw ancestry.[5] She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University at Kingston in 1980, where she wrote for the university newspaper.[4] She gained a Master's degree in international relations from the University of Toronto in 1982.[6][7] The same year, she undertook a four-month volunteer assignment teaching English with Canadian Crossroads International in the Ivory Coast.[4][8] She is currently one of the organisation's honorary patrons.[8] Doucet speaks English and French, and is a less fluent speaker of Persian.


From 1983 to 1988, Doucet worked as a freelancer in West Africa for the Canadian media and for the BBC. This period proved a stepping stone to a longer term career with the BBC.[2][4] Doucet reported from Pakistan in 1988, and was based in Kabul from late 1988 to the end of 1989 to cover the Soviet troop withdrawal and its aftermath. She was the BBC correspondent in Islamabad from 1989 to 1993, also reporting from Afghanistan and Iran. In 1994 she opened the BBC office in Amman, Jordan. From 1995 to 1999 she was based in Jerusalem, travelling across the Middle East. In 1999, she joined the BBC's team of presenters but continues to report from the field.

Doucet is often deployed to anchor significant news events from the field, and to interview key players. She played a leading role in the BBC's coverage of the "Arab Spring", reporting from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. She has covered all major wars in the Middle East since the mid-1990s. Doucet has been a frequent visitor to Pakistan and Afghanistan since the late 1980s. Her work also focuses on the aftermath of major natural disasters, including the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 which took her to India and Indonesia.

In 2014 she made a documentary following children in Syria over six months.

Other activities

Doucet has been a Council Member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and is currently a Council Member of the International Council for Human Rights (ICHR) based in Geneva. She is also involved with Friends of Aschiana UK which supports working street children in Afghanistan. Doucet takes pride in her ancestry and attends the Acadian World Congress which is held every five years. She notes that "It would be hypocritical to spend all my time learning about other tribes if I were to neglect my own".[4]


Doucet won a Peabody and a David Bloom award in 2010 for her film on maternal mortality in Afghanistan, along with producer Melanie Marshall, Shoaib Sharifi and cameraman Tony Joliffe. She won Best News Journalist at the 2010 Sony Radio Academy Awards.

In 2002, she was the only journalist to accompany the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, to his brother's wedding, where an assassination attempt was made. She and her team were later nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for their exclusive coverage of the attempt. Doucet last interviewed Ahmed Wali Karzai in April 2011, shortly before his assassination.[9]

In 2003 she was awarded a Silver Sony Award for News Broadcaster of the Year for her interview with Yasser Arafat in his compound in Ramallah. In 2007, she was named International Television Personality of the Year by the Association for International Broadcasting. She also received the News and Factual award from the organisation Women in Film and Television.

Doucet has an honorary doctorate in Civil Law from the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of New Brunswick (2006),[4] an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from University College at the University of Toronto (2009),[4] and an honorary doctorate in journalism from Université de Moncton.

In Britain, Doucet has received Honorary Doctorates from the following universities: University of York in 2011, University of St Andrews in June 2014, and Liverpool Hope University in January 2015.

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to British broadcast journalism.[10][11] She also received a Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents.

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Lyse Doucet". From Our Own Correspondent. 8 June 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Wells, Matt (8 January 2002). "Shooting star". The Guardian (London: GMG). ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. 
  3. ^ Doucet, Andrea (2006). Do Men Mother?: Fathering, Care, and Domestic Responsibility. University of Toronto Press. p. xi. ISBN 9780802085467. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Gordon, Sheldon (2010). "With an accent on the news". Queen's Alumni Review (1). Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "BBC World Service – Institutional – Lyse Doucet". Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Lyse Doucet". BBC News (London: BBC). Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Reception hosted by The Hon. David R. Peters on, Chancellor". University of Toronto. 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Honorary Patrons". Canadian Crossroads International. 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  9. ^ BBC News South East Asia: "Ahmad Wali Karzai: Meeting Kandahar's Mr Fix-it"
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b26. 14 June 2014.
  11. ^ "BBC journalists Lyse Doucet and Tin Htar Swe made OBEs". BBC News. 13 June 2014. 

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Chief International Correspondent and Contributing Editor. BBC News
20?? -
Succeeded by