BANGKOK (AP) — The Associated Press has named Elizabeth Kennedy, its chief of bureau for Lebanon and Syria, to the new position of South Asia news director, based in New Delhi.
The appointment was announced Tuesday in Bangkok by the news organization's Asia-Pacific news director, Brian Carovillano.
In her new role, Kennedy will manage AP's coverage in text, photos and video for India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as well as the Maldives and Bhutan. The appointment is part of a move to combine AP's management of the various media formats in its bureaus in Asia and around the world.
"Kennedy's experience overseeing multi-format journalists in her previous management positions has prepared her well for this exciting new role," said Santiago Lyon, AP's director of photography in New York.
Kennedy, 35, most recently led AP's coverage of the devastating civil war in Syria, the bloodiest and most complex conflict of the Arab uprisings. In 2012, the AP was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on the Syrian war.
The Syrian conflict has been a challenge to cover since the uprising began in March 2011, then swiftly transformed into a full-blown civil war. Kennedy helped guide the AP through tricky journalistic territory — including hype, hoaxes and spin from all sides — as the staff faced limited access and chaotic conditions.
Before moving to the Middle East, Kennedy was the bureau chief for East Africa, where she reported on and directed coverage of stories including Somalia's civil war, piracy off the African coast and the crisis following the 2007 Kenyan election. Kennedy also has reported from Iraq and Afghanistan.
In South Asia, she will lead a team of journalists covering a territory that encompasses some the most dynamic and visually arresting places on Earth.
"The region she will command is a natural canvas for her talents," said Sandy MacIntyre, AP's director of global video news. "I'm sure she will mentor and guide an already experienced group to new heights."
Kennedy joined AP in 1999 as an editor in the multimedia department. She later worked in the Trenton, New Jersey, bureau, where the stories she covered included the 2001 anthrax attacks and Sept. 11 detainees. She also worked as an editor on the AP's national and international desks in New York before moving to Nairobi in 2006.
She has twice received an Associated Press Gramling Award for outstanding staff members. She won the 2012 journalism award for her role in the Syria coverage, which included both directing staff coverage and working to verify user-generated content and social media reports from inside the country. In 2008, she received a Gramling scholarship to study French.
A U.S. national and native of Montclair, New Jersey, Kennedy holds an undergraduate degree in English literature from Barnard College in New York City.