Brianna Keilar is an Australian news correspondent, who currently works as a senior political correspondent and anchor for the Washington, D.C. bureau of 'CNN' network. She has been working for the channel since 2006, and is now a senior ‘White House and Congressional Correspondent.’ Brianna began her career with a 'CBS' affiliated channel. Apart from serving as a congressional correspondent for 'CNN,' Brianna has also covered the activities of the U.S. House and Senate, which earned her the 'National Press Foundation's 'Everett McKinley Dirksen Award.' Brianna is known for her bold interviews. Her unflinching style has got her several verbal spats with some of the biggest names.
Childhood & Early Life
Brianna was born Brianna Marie Keilar on September 21, 1980, in Canberra, ACT, Australia, to Australian father, Glenn, and his American wife, Miriam. She was just two when her family settled in Orange County, California, USA.
Brianna attended 'Mission Viejo High School' and graduated in 1998. She was voted homecoming queen in her senior year and was a sports reporter for the school's bimonthly news magazine. Keilar holds dual bachelor's degrees in mass communications and psychology from the 'University of California,' Berkeley. She was a 'Phi Beta Kappa Society' member.
At the university, Brianna once attended a session addressed by the–then main anchor at 'KTVU News' in San Francisco, Dennis Richmond. She later interned as a production assistant for 'KTVU Channel 2' in Oakland, California.
In 2001, Brianna joined the 'CBS' affiliated channel, 'KIMA-TV' in Yakima, Washington, as their general assignment reporter. She simultaneously worked in radio as a morning show host and weekend news reader.
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Brianna moved to New York In 2003 to pursue a career as an anchor, reporter, and producer. She joined 'CBS News' on an 'MTV' college network's newscast. She also worked as a freelance reporter for 'CBS Evening News Weekend Edition.' She filled in for the existing anchor on 'CBS News' segment, 'Up to the Minute.'
Brianna began her stint as a correspondent for 'CNN Newsource,' fetching breaking news coverage for the channel and then reported from the nation's capital for approximately 800 'CNN Newsource' partner stations.
As a general assignment correspondent for the network, she covered a wide range of stories, including the 2007 'Virginia Tech' massacre, where she was the first 'CNN' correspondent on the ground.
Brianna covered the $700 billion bank bailout in the fall of 2008 for which she was awarded the 2009 'National Press Foundation Everett McKinley Dirksen Award' for distinguished reporting of the Congress. In 2011, 'CNN' named her as a White House correspondent.
In 2013, Brianna gave a speech in honor of her alma mater at the commencement ceremony. As a 'CNN' White House correspondent, she had covered the Obama White House, that earned her the 2014 'Aldo Beckman Memorial Award' by the 'White House Correspondents' Association' for her excellent report of the rollout of Obamacare.
During the 2016 presidential election, Brianna interviewed the 'Trump Organization' attorney Michael Cohen who went viral, and she was dubbed as a hero for displaying the true picture of the election polls, that, too, in the prevailing scenario of "alternative facts." Brianna led 'CNN's coverage of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Brianna appeared in a 'CNN' video titled 'Girls on the Bus' that featured the channel's women journalists who covered the 2016 election. In her segment, Brianna shared the tragic story of her mother, who died within 24 hours after she came to know that her mother had acute leukemia. The segment also featured a few of her wedding planning moments.
On November 12, 2018, 'CNN' launched its dayside news program that replaced Wolf Blitzer's eponymous show, 'Wolf.' As the network's senior Washington correspondent, Brianna was given the full charge of the program.
In 2019, Brianna started writing a column 'Home Front,' which chronicles the stories of military families. Being a military spouse herself, she understands the emotions of their families well, and hence tries to share the same with civilians to bridge the civilian-military gap. However, she also projects the corrupt side of the military as well, like she exposed the military officials and administration officials who deliberately hid late Senator John McCain's name from President Donald Trump while he was on his trip to Japan.
Family & Personal Life
Brianna first married Dave French on May 2, 2009, whom she later divorced. She then announced her engagement to Fernando Lujan, director of 'National Security Council' at the White House, in July 2016. The two got married in December in Las Vegas that year, and fellow 'CNN' correspondent Brooke Baldwin announced the wedding the following day, on December 31, During 'CNN's New Year's Eve special.
Brianna and Dave welcomed their first child, their son, Antonio, on June 8, 2018.
Brianna lost her mother on May 17, 2016.