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Jill Dougherty is a journalist and academic from the United States. She is widely regarded as a leading expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union. Dougherty worked as a journalist for most of her career before deciding to pursue a career in academia in 2014. She is currently a Centennial Fellow at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she also serves as an instructor.
Over three decades, she worked as a CNN correspondent. She has worked as a White House Correspondent, a Foreign Affairs correspondent covering the United States State Department, a US Affairs Editor, a Managing Editor for CNN Asia/Pacific, and, for nearly a decade, as the Moscow Bureau Chief for CNN International.
Dougherty began her broadcasting and writing career as a Russian-language broadcaster and writer for Voice of America's Soviet Union Division in Moscow. She left CNN in 2013 after more than three decades of service, but she continues to report on Russia as an analyst and independent consultant.
Born in 1949, Dougherty studied at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She received her Bachelor's degree in Russian Language and Literature there. She also studied at the Leningrad State University situated in the erstwhile USSR. She is also the Benton Fellow in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago. Dougherty underwent treatment for breast cancer in 1999, when she was 50 years old. She recovered from her illness after vigorous treatment that extended for many years. She reminisces that her condition had revealed the true essence of her character and made her behave more genuinely than before.
Jill Dougherty started her career as a reporter and writer for the USSR division of Voice of America. She then moved to WMAQ-TV, where she worked as a correspondent. She also did a brief stint as freelancer doing assignments for TIME magazine and National Public Radio. She later joined CNN in 1983 as the Midwest correspondent based in the Chicago bureau of CNN. Dougherty also served as the White House Correspondent of CNN for nearly six years, starting from 1991 to 1996. She was appointed as chief of the Moscow bureau of CNN in 1997.
Dougherty has covered many major news stories in Russia as well as the erstwhile USSR, including the economic transition after the change from the Soviet Union to Russia, the condition of Russia during Vladimir Putin and Boris Yelstin's presidencies, the Chechnya war, arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky (the Yukos Oil company founder), the Beslan school massacre, and the Rose Revolution in Georgia. As a White House Correspondent, she has traveled with US presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. She covered the 1991 coup, the attack on the Russian White House in 1993, and the civil war in Soviet Georgia.
Dougherty also covered news events related to business, culture, and politics when she worked as the US affairs editor at CNN International. She also did a brief stint as the managing editor of the Asia Pacific Bureau of CNN International based in Hong Kong. She has received many honors and awards during her career, including the American Journalism Review's award for Best White House Coverage in 1993.
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