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Vanessa Ruiz

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Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor of Practice (FSC)
Faculty, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 2020

Vanessa Ruiz is the Emmy award-winning director of the Borderlands reporting team at Cronkite News, the student-produced, faculty-led news division of Arizona PBS. She also helps lead the Spanish-language newscast, Cronkite Noticias, is an anchor and host for Arizona PBS and a Cronkite School ambassador for diversity and inclusion. Ruiz is also the faculty lead for the student chapter of NAHJ-ASU. Prior to joining the Cronkite School, Ruiz was the main evening news anchor at KPNX, the NBC television affiliate in Phoenix, while also reporting and field anchoring the stories that matter to those who live in the Valley of the Sun. Ruiz began her career in early 2001 as an assignment desk editor and later as associate producer for Telemundo Network’s national newscast. Just a few months into her career, Sept. 11 occurred, catapulting Ruiz on to an unforgettable profession in broadcasting news that continues to this day. There, she became Telemundo International’s youngest news anchor, bringing national and international news stories to the homes of 5 million-plus U.S. and Latin American viewers in English and Spanish.

Her interviews have ranged from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the presidents of Peru, Ecuador and El Salvador. In 2005, she accepted the challenge of becoming a reporter for WSVN-FOX Miami, one of the most dynamic and innovative news stations in the country. Ruiz covered a wide range of stories, from the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, several hurricanes, the BP Oil Spill and Super Bowl XLI, among many others. In 2011, she was recruited by the U.S. Agency for Global Media to anchor and report on issues impacting Cuba, the Caribbean and South America. At TV Marti, Ruiz covered stories as a correspondent in Venezuela and Nicaragua, while field anchoring the U.S. political conventions in 2012 and President Obama’s second inauguration in 2013. In 2014, Ruiz signed on with KNBC in Los Angeles, covering a news market that spans 41,000 square miles. There, she reported on all kinds of stories coming from the nation’s #2 news market, working at the station’s flagship morning show, “Today in L.A.”

In 2015, Ruiz anchored Pope Francis’ historic visit to the U.S. from Philadelphia and in the summer of 2016, Ruiz was KPNX’s choice to represent the station during the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There, she provided live, original and exclusive uninterrupted coverage across multiple platforms. In the same year, Ruiz was part of KPNX’s main anchor team for Decision 2016, NBC’s presidential election coverage. During an election cycle like no other, viewers turned to Ruiz's experience, objectivity and steadiness to provide unbiased, up-to-the-minute information during an unforgettable moment in U.S. history. In 2016 and 2017, Ruiz’s team won the Rocky Mountain Emmy for Best Evening Newscast. She’s also been recognized by The National Academy of Television of Arts and Science for special coverage of Sept. 11, received the David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award for exceptional integrity, bravery and originality in reporting and recognized as one of Florida’s leading Latinos in journalism.

Ruiz was born in Miami and is of Colombian descent. She studied part of her elementary and high school education in Spain and considers herself proudly part of the 200 percent: 100 percent American and 100 percent Latina. She graduated with honors from Florida International University with a B.S. in Mass Communication and a minor in International Relations.


B.S., Florida International University