CBC today revealed Nahlah Ayed, award-winning foreign correspondent for CBC News, will become the new host of the iconic national CBC Radio One show, IDEAS. Longtime host Paul Kennedy announced earlier this year that he would step down at the end of the current season.
Nahlah Ayed has been based in London for seven years. A veteran of foreign reportage, she’s covered major world events over nearly two decades in Europe, Asia and Africa, including nearly a decade living in and covering conflicts in the Middle East.
“Nahlah has traveled the globe covering major world events. We welcome her home to Canada, and look forward to her unique perspective, and to watch her build on the accomplishments of Paul Kennedy,” said Cathy Perry, Senior Director of CBC Talk Radio.
Kennedy’s last week of original episodes before he retires as host of the show, will air the week of June 24th, and Ayed will kick off the new season of IDEAS in September 2019. As producer and host, Ayed will chase new ideas and challenge diverse perspectives alongside listeners.
“I have dedicated my career to discovering the world, covering some of its most intense moments. I had the rare privilege of witnessing monumental events up close, learning about the ideas and movements transforming the world first hand,” said Ayed. “While I’ve investigated the why, how, what, when and where, I’ve had a burning ambition to go deeper. I am passionate about the opportunity to finally connect the disparate dots, and to marshal all my energy to uncover the critical ‘why’.”
“Paul Kennedy took listeners on incredible journeys into thought that always promise a surprise or two. These are the reasons I have been an Ideas listener for years,” added Ayed.
Paul Kennedy has been the host of IDEAS since 1999, when he succeeded the legendary Lister Sinclair. He won national and international recognition for his work, including an ACTRA award for best Canadian radio documentary.
Each episode hosted by Kennedy in the week of June 24–28, 2019 will revisit documentaries and projects that go back over his four decades as a contributor and host, including his first IDEAS documentary, The Fur Trade Revisited (1977).
For nearly two decades, Nahlah Ayed has covered the major stories of our times: from the international refugee crisis, to the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine, to the Brexit referendum and the political chaos that follows, to the international diplomatic efforts to sign agreements on Iran’s nuclear capability and tackling the climate crisis. Her work has been recognized repeatedly, through multiple national and international awards and countless nominations, as well as three honorary degrees from Canadian universities for distinguished achievement.
A former parliamentary reporter for The Canadian Press, Ayed is a graduate of Carleton University’s Master of Journalism program. She also holds a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a B.Sc. in genetics from the University of Manitoba. Ayed was born and raised in Winnipeg and is the author of A Thousand Farewells, a book about refugeehood.