Souad Mekhennet was born in Germany as the daughter of a Turkish mother and a Moroccan father and has lived for three years in Morocco as a child.
Mekhennet is a reporter and works for the Washington Post, ZDF (German TV) and The Daily Beast.
In 2014, she co-authored with New York Times fellow reporter Nicholas Kulish "The Eternal Nazi: From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim".
On The Daily Beast, the “Lifting the Veil" series tells stories of the hopes, fears and realities of Muslims throughout the world as Muslim countries undergo huge and traumatic changes. With the Middle East, Northern Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan embroiled in change and rebellion, Souad Mekhennet addresses what this means for the region and the challenges it presents for Muslims in the West.
She has been covering radical Islamic movements since shortly after Sept. 11, is a visiting fellow at the Weatherhead Center at Harvard University and at the School for Advanced and International Studied (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.
Mekhennet was selected as a 2014 Young Global Leader (YGL).This honor is bestowed by the World Economic Forum each year to recognize the most distinguished leaders under the age of 40, nominated from around the world.
In 2013 she was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where she researched the “long-term strategies of terrorist organizations since the Arab Spring.” Before her Nieman fellowship, she worked from 2004 until 2012 as a reporter at The New York Times.
From 2010 on, she was also a member of the "female factor team" at the Global edition of The New York Times, writing about news, issues and perspectives related to Muslim women around the world. She worked from 2002 to 2004 for the Washington Post. Souad has covered war zones, terrorist attacks and the "war on terror," including renditions and human rights abuses, as a member of the investigative unit at The New York Times.
She was one of two reporters who broke the story of Khaled el Masri’s rendition case and worked on a series called "Inside the Jihad," where she and her colleagues interviewed members of radical jihadist organizations all over the world. Currently, she works at ZDF (German TV) and has been interviewed by various TV and radio shows in the US and Europe.
Mekhennet holds a degree in international relations, political science, sociology, psychology and history from the University of Frankfurt. She attended the Henri-Nannen-Journalism school in Hamburg.
She speaks Arabic, English, German, French and some Turkish.