Zain Asher’s will to succeed has taken her to amazing places

Zain Asher Photo credit: Twitter — @ZainAsher

Zain Asher
Columbia University, M.S.
University of Oxford, B.A.

Zain Asher is an anchor for CNN International based at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta. Asher has traveled the globe covering stories, including reporting from the field in Nigeria on the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by Boko Haram militants, and from Boston after a terrorist bombed the Boston Marathon.

From the anchor desk, she has provided breaking coverage of international stories like Greece’s debt crisis, the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in Paris, and the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Previously, Asher was a business correspondent for CNN and was based out of New York. There, she interviewed corporate executives and entrepreneurs. She also covered news stories involving the New York Stock Exchange, U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy and high-profile IPOs. Asher recently gave a TEDx talk in London titled, “Trust your struggle.” In it, she talked about her background, and her false assumption that all she needed to become a success was to work hard.

The Path

In her TEDx talk, Asher shares how she landed her first on-air job after working for four years as a receptionist:

“And I’d always been passionate about broadcast journalism. So, I called a television station in New York, a local news station, and I asked them, “What do I need to do to get a job with you guys?” So, unfortunately, I didn’t have any experience … So, I basically called in sick to work, and I paid my roommate, my housemate, a few hundred dollars, whatever, and they helped film me around Los Angeles, sort of acting like a reporter. I studied reporters inside out. I studied everything that they did, inside out, and I put together various packages, which were sort of voiced-over pieces that I learned basically from studying various reporters. And I sent them to this news station, hoping that they would give me a chance.” They hired her on the spot.


Asher’s brother is Academy Award-Nominated Actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor. Asher has lived and worked in Mexico, France and Nigeria and is fluent in French, Spanish and Ibo (her native Nigerian dialect).

@ZainAsher tweeted

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