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Emmy award-winning journalist, global MC and conference moderator

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Sara is an accomplished speaker, MC, and Facilitator. She is also a distinguished journalist whose many accolades for her international reporting include the coveted Emmy Award. In addition to her outstanding work as an American network correspondent, Sara is a veteran anchor who knows how to handle live situations with intelligence, fluency, and also humour, when appropriate. Sara served as a guest host on the NBC Today Show, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, and was the first host of NBC Nightside.

Razor-sharp, thought-provoking, and down-to-earth, Sara’s segments cover issues related to the United States, Australia, and the world and have become a go-to destination for those interested to better understand the United States. Lively, detail-studded, and thoroughly researched and reported, Sara’s segments are also unscripted. After years of criss-crossing the world to report live from war zones, natural disasters, political conventions, and other major international news events, Sara is comfortable without a Teleprompter. She’s developed a reputation for being able to handle any question, and respond with knowledge and insight. Sara credits her comfort as an MC and Facilitator with her years as a network reporter and anchor.

Sara knows how to think fast on her feet, how to move swiftly and seamlessly from one topic or interview to the next. She’s the consummate host, able to make an audience feel alternately energized, enlightened, comfortable, or amused.

Current work

Since 2008, Sara has been based in Melbourne, Australia and continues to work as a foreign correspondent, filing reports for the NBC News Today Show and other broadcasts. In January, 2014, Sara launched a new franchise, titled An American in Oz. The segment airs fortnightly on ABC News Breakfast on ABC News 24 in Australia.

Previous experience

Moderator: Sara has even served as a Speaker and Moderator at the United Nations. In 2007, she participated in the Global Summit for a Better Tomorrow. This high-level gathering was attended by some of the most influential leaders in the area of women’s empowerment from around the world. In addition to her role as a speaker, Sara moderated a distinguished panel which included then Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Shashi Tharoor, and then CEO of AVON, Andrea Jung. The summit, in honour of International Women’s Day, was sponsored by the Virtue Foundation, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNDESA and AVON.

Facilitator: Sara was recently asked to facilitate an International War Crimes panel for the IADC (International Association Defense Council ) in Colorado. Members represent the largest corporations around the world, including the majority of companies listed in the FORTUNE 500. The panel consists of Tomislav "Tom" Z. Kuzmanovic, Richard Joseph Goldstone and Louise Arbour (to discuss war crimes, crimes against humanity and international tribunals dealing with these issues.

Interviews: Sara is comfortable in high-profile, high-pressure situations. She’s interviewed political leaders, CEO’s, military generals, and Hollywood celebrities, people such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, actor Robert Redford, and celebrated humanitarian, Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, who brought the world’s attention to the atrocities in Rwanda. In 2014 Sara was the facilitator for a boutique, private Thought Leadership Forum which included celebrated names in Australian business, including Richard Goyder of Wesfarmers, Ian Narev of Commonwealth Bank, and Alan Joyce of Qantas.

Author: Sara is the author of three books, including the recently released An American in Oz. She is a sought-after MC and Facilitator.

Personal Life: Sara is married to veteran media advisor Andrew Butcher, whose clients include some of the biggest names in Australian business.

Talking Points

Pivot to Power

In her years as a network correspondent, Emmy award-winning journalist Sara James has interviewed plenty of game changers - women who've not only made a mark, but changed the course of history. Women like legendary Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour, former Mattel CEO Jill Barad, and US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, among others.

James says game-changers are smart, nimble, and resourceful. Despite facing serious odds, they pivot around pitfalls and navigate a path to the top. James shares lessons learned from leaders in a range of fields, whose success offers guidance to harness our inner talent and make the most of our lives.


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Sara James, author and Emmy award-winning foreign correspondent for NBC News, spoke at our recent Hummingbirds June Fundraising Luncheon. Sara delighted guests with her inspiring story, 'An American in Oz', which showed her tenacity, passion, warmth and gentle wit. Many guests spoke with Sara, purchased her book and were genuinely touched by her story. O'Brien Foundation
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