Sylvia Poggioli 2011 i i
Kainaz Amaria/NPR
Sylvia Poggioli 2011
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Sylvia Poggioli

Senior European Correspondent, Rome, Italy

Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's international desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia and how immigration has transformed European societies.

Since joining NPR's foreign desk in 1982, Poggioli has traveled extensively for reporting assignments. Most recently, she travelled to Norway to cover the aftermath of the brutal attacks by an ultra-rightwing extremist; to Greece, Spain, and Portugal for the latest on the euro-zone crisis; and the Balkans where the last wanted war criminals have been arrested.

In addition, Poggioli has traveled to France, Germany, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, and Denmark to produce in-depth reports on immigration, racism, Islam, and the rise of the right in Europe.

Throughout her career Poggioli has been recognized for her work with distinctions including: the WBUR Foreign Correspondent Award, the Welles Hangen Award for Distinguished Journalism, a George Foster Peabody and National Women's Political Caucus/Radcliffe College Exceptional Merit Media Awards, the Edward Weintal Journalism Prize, and the Silver Angel Excellence in the Media Award. Poggioli was part of the NPR team that won the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award for coverage of the war in Kosovo. In 2009, she received the Maria Grazia Cutulli Award for foreign reporting.

In 2000, Poggioli received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Brandeis University. In 2006, she received an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts at Boston together with Barack Obama.

Prior to this honor, Poggioli was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences "for her distinctive, cultivated and authoritative reports on 'ethnic cleansing' in Bosnia." In 1990, Poggioli spent an academic year at Harvard University as a research fellow at Harvard University's Center for Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government.

From 1971 to 1986, Poggioli served as an editor on the English-language desk for the Ansa News Agency in Italy. She worked at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. She was actively involved with women's film and theater groups.

The daughter of Italian anti-fascists who were forced to flee Italy under Mussolini, Poggioli was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor's degree in Romance languages and literature. She later studied in Italy under a Fulbright Scholarship.

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Pope Francis salutes the faithful during a meeting with members of the Pope John XXIII Community association in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, on Dec. 20. The first pope from the global south wants to reshape the church for the contemporary world. L'Osservatore Romano via AP hide caption

itoggle caption L'Osservatore Romano via AP

Pope Francis waves in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican. The pope heads to Turkey on Friday, a country with few Catholics, but he plans to reach out to Muslims and to the Orthodox Church. Tony Gentile/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Tony Gentile/Reuters/Landov

Pope Francis attends a session of the two-week synod at the Vatican that wrapped up over the weekend. The usually predictable event produced a robust debate among the bishops on how the Catholic Church should deal with gays as well as Catholics who are divorced or remarried. Gregorio Borgia/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gregorio Borgia/AP

Counterdemonstrators in favor of LGBT rights wear pink triangles, reminiscent of those homosexuals were forced to wear in Nazi concentration camps. Sylvia Poggioli/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sylvia Poggioli/NPR

Sara Pisano (left) and Danilo Spagnoli, just married by Pope Francis, smile during the wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sept. 14. Pope Francis married 20 couples on Sunday, including some who already live together or and who already have children, both technically sins in the eyes of the church. Alessandra Tarantino/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Archbisop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan (left) attends the Opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday in Vatican City. The two-week conference will discuss family issues, including controversial topics like divorce and contraception. Franco Origlia/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Franco Origlia/Getty Images

The medieval town of Pitigliano is perched atop a massive volcanic rock, looking out over vineyards and olive groves. It was once home to a vibrant Jewish community, treated with civility or cruelty depending on who was in charge of the city; now, the town works to preserve and share the cultural history of Italian Jews. Michela Simoncini/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Michela Simoncini/Flickr

A slide of migratory flows in the Mediterranean Sea from the Mare Nostrum operation is displayed in the control room of the Italian operation, which tracks and intercepts migrant ships en route to Europe. Sylvia Poggioli/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sylvia Poggioli/NPR

The vintage boats of Argentario Sailing Week, some more than a century old, plied the waters off Italy's Tuscan coast, known for its ideal sailing conditions. Sylvia Poggioli/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sylvia Poggioli/NPR