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January 2022 meeting: Speaker discusses women breaking through as war correspondents

January speaker Elizabeth Becker is an award-winning American author and journalist best known for her work in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Becker covered international affairs for more than four decades as a New York Times correspondent, senior foreign editor for National Public Radio and the Washington Post's war correspondent in Cambodia. She was part of the Times’ team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of 9/11. Becker won a pair of DuPont Columbia awards for NPR coverage of the Rwanda genocide and South Africa’s first democratic election. She has reported from around the world, including foreign postings in Phnom Penh and Paris.

Becker is author of the 2021 book "You Don't Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War." The book tells the hidden story of women who covered the Vietnam War. It has already been praised as a masterwork. Her 2013 book “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism,” an Amazon Book of the Year, was hailed by Arthur Former as "required reading" about the future of global tourism.

In 2019, Conde Nast Traveler named Becker one of the people who has changed how the world travels because of her book and one of the most powerful women in the travel world for emphasizing a conservationist ethic in tourism. She authored the now classic “When The War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge," which won a Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. The movie “Bophana” by Cambodian director Rithy Panh was based on a chapter of that book. In 2015, Becker testified as an expert witness at the international war crimes tribunal of the senior Khmer Rouge leaders.

Becker was a fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center, holds a degree from the University of Washington and studied language at the Kendriya Hindi Sansthaan in Agra, India. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the board of the Oxfam America Advocacy Fund.


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