International correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is based in Berlin and covers Central Europe for NPR. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning programs including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
She was previously based in Cairo and covered the Arab World for NPR from the Middle East to North Africa. Nelson returns to Egypt on occasion to cover the tumultuous transition to democracy there.
In 2006, Nelson opened the NPR Kabul Bureau. During the following three and a half years, she gave listeners in an in-depth sense of life inside Afghanistan, from the increase in suicide among women in a country that treats them as second class citizens to the growing interference of Iran and Pakistan in Afghan affairs. For her coverage of Afghanistan, she won a Peabody Award, Overseas Press Club Award and the Gracie in 2010. She received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award from Colby College in 2011 for her coverage in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Nelson spent 20 years as newspaper reporter, including as Knight Ridder's Middle East Bureau Chief. While at the Los Angeles Times, she was sent on extended assignment to Iran and Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks. She spent three years an editor and reporter for Newsday and was part of the team that won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for covering the crash of TWA Flight 800.
A graduate of the University of Maryland, Nelson speaks Farsi, Dari and German.
Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.
"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.
Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.
During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.
Doualy Xaykaothao covers breaking news from Asia for NPR News. She's based in Bangkok, Thailand, and her reports can be heard across all NPR News programs.
Xaykaothao joined NPR in 1999 as a production assistant for Morning Edition and has since worked as an NPR producer, editor, director and reporter for NPR's award-winning programs. As a producer for NPR's Newscast Unit, she was a member of the team receiving the 2001 Peabody Award for its coverage of the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Xaykaothao began reporting about anti-war protests from Seoul, South Korea. A year later, Xaykaothao was in the Phang Nga region of Thailand reporting on the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. In 2006, Xaykaothao served as a fellow for the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS with a focus on women inside Nepal's 10 year civil war. Xaykaothao was also an Annenberg Fellow for NPR member station KPCC in Los Angeles in 2007, and was part of the reporting team to receive a LA Press Club Award for breaking coverage of the California wildfires. By 2009, Xaykaothao was in Indonesia reporting on the earthquake that devastated Padang. In 2010, she reported about North Korea's deadly attack on a South Korean warship. When Japan was struck by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, Xaykaothao was the first NPR reporter to reach Fukushima to report on the triple disasters in 2011.
Xaykaothao is Lao-Hmong American. She was born in Vientiane, Laos, but raised in France and the United States. She attended college in upstate New York, where she specialized in television, radio, political science, and ethnic studies. Her radio career began at Harlem community radio station WHCR 90.3 FM, where she volunteered as news-reader. Later, at Pacifica Radio's WBAI 99.5 FM, she worked for the station's resident film critic, the late Paul Wunder. At Pacifica, she also coordinated and produced Asia Pacific Forum, a program on politics, culture and arts inside Asian American communities, as well as missed stories from Asia.
For those who are curious, Doualy Xaykaothao is pronounced "dwah-hlee sigh-kow-tao."