O'Brien sitting on a chair smiling

Women in Government Series: Soledad O'Brien

Event information

October 23, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Presented By: Soledad O'Brien

Location: Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts

Event details

Soledad O'BRien, an award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist will be the next speaker in the Women in Government (WIG) speaker series at Pittsburg State University.

Her lecture, titled “Diversity: On TV, Behind the Scenes, and In Our Lives,” will be at 7 p.m. on Oct. 23 in the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. There is no charge for the presentation, which is open to the public. 

It will be followed by a Q&A and a brief meet and greet. Earlier in the day, she also will participate in a panel discussion with selected student leaders from PSU. 


O'Brien is the host and executive producer of the new 13-episode true crime series Mysteries & Scandals on OXYGEN, and host of Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, a weekly political magazine show syndicated across the country on hundreds of TV stations 

She also is the contributing editor for PBS News Hour and a correspondent for HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. A champion of diversity, she has won Emmy awards for her reporting in her acclaimed documentary series, Black in America and Latino in America. 

She also is the founder of PowHERful, a foundation that mentors and funds college tuition and expenses for young women — particularly those who may be the first in their families to pursue a higher education. 

Born in 1966 in New York as the fifth of six children born to a black Cuban mother and an Australian father of Irish descent, she can claim multiple heritages, and embraces them all.  

She attended Harvard University from 1984 to 1988, returning to graduate in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature. 

In 1989, she began her career as a broadcast reporter. Her experience ranges from working as a field producer for NBC’s Nightly News and Today, co-hosting the Discovery Channel’s The Know Zone, and hosting a number of CNN documentary shows. 

She has authored two books: 2009’s Latino in America and the 2010 memoir, The Next Big Story: My Journey Through the Land of Possibilities. 

In 2011, she won an Emmy for Crisis in Haiti (Anderson Cooper 360) in the category of Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story - Long Form. O'Brien was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for coverage of the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina, and an Alfred I. duPont Award for coverage of the Southeast Asia tsunami.  

In 2013, she established the Starfish Media Group production company, which has produced segments for CNN, HBO, and Al Jazeera America. And, she and her husband created the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation to help disadvantaged young women get to and through college. This year, they will provide funding to 25 deserving young women.  

On stage, O'Brien draws from her life and career to stimulate thoughtful conversation on the roles each person plays within communities and organizations, leaving audiences with memorable takeaways on the power of individuals and companies to make meaningful and lasting change. 

Contact information

Kathleen Flannery, President/CEO of the PSU Foundation