Skip to main content

Ray Suarez

Guest Speaker

Professional affiliation

Independent Journalist

Full Biography

Veteran journalist Ray Suarez was most recently the host of Al Jazeera America’s daily news program, Inside Story. Before coming to AJAM, Suarez spent 14 years as a correspondent and anchor at public television’s nightly newscast, The PBS NewsHour where he rose to become chief national correspondent. During his years at The NewsHour, Suarez covered the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, four presidential elections, among hundreds of other stories. In 2004, and again in 2008, Suarez moderated presidential candidates debates broadcast on PBS and HDnet. Before PBS NewsHour, Suarez was the Washington-based host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation for six-and-a-half years. The New York Times called Suarez the “thinking man’s talk show host,” and “a national resource.” Along with years of daily deadline journalism, Suarez has done extensive work in long-form broadcast storytelling. During his decades as a broadcaster, Suarez also did extensive work as a writer. He wrote the 2013 companion volume to the PBS documentary series, Latino Americans. In 2005 he published an examination of the tightening relationship between religion and electoral politics, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America. His first book looked at the decades of transition in urban America, The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration (Free Press, 1999). Over the years many organizations and institutions have recognized and honored Suarez and his work. He was a co-recipient of two DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton awards, for coverage of the 1994 South African elections, and the Gingrich Revolution and the 1995 Republican takeover in the House of Representatives. UCLA’s School of Public Policy awarded Suarez its Public Policy Leadership Award for his coverage of urban America, and his coverage of global public health has won national and international citations, including four CINE Golden Eagle Awards. The National Council of La Raza gave Suarez its Ruben Salazar Award, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists inducted him into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2010. Suarez holds a BA in African History, from New York University, where he won the Parke Honor in History and the K.Y. Daaku Prize in African Studies. He began his studies at the University of Chicago after winning a Benton Fellowship there in 1991, and later completed an MA in the Social Sciences. In 2005, NYU named Suarez a Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences. He holds 14 honorary doctorates from colleges and universities across America.