Award-winning journalist Dawna Friesen is the anchor for Global News’ flagship newscast, Global National.
During her accomplished career with Global National, Friesen has been on the front lines of history-making news, covering innumerable significant world events. Most recently, Friesen helmed Global News’ America Votes 2016 coverage out of Washington, D.C. during the most contentious election in U.S. memory and was on the ground at the White House for the state dinner in March, 2016 where Justin Trudeau was the first Canadian Prime Minister to be hosted since 1997.
Friesen led Global National’s coverage from Alberta as the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires swept through the community, forcing the province’s largest wildfire evacuation on record. Friesen also anchored the national newscast from the streets of the French capital during the harrowing attacks on Paris in November, 2015 and anchored from Calgary during the devastating southern Alberta floods in 2013.
Prior to joining Global National, Friesen served as NBC’s foreign correspondent and anchor in London for 11 years. Appearing on NBC News, Today and MSNBC, she travelled extensively covering copious highly documented international news stories, including the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Before NBC, Friesen held several prominent positions in Canadian news, first in Toronto as a national correspondent, anchor and back-up host for Canada AM, then as a parliamentary reporter with CTV’s Ottawa bureau and later as a reporter and anchor for CBC in Vancouver.
Born in Winnipeg, Friesen grew up on a farm and graduated with a degree in communications from Red River College. She began her journalism career in 1985 at a newspaper in Portage la Prairie before moving on to radio and television stations in Brandon, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. In 1993, she received a Southam Fellowship for Journalists from the University of Toronto and in 2009, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Red River College.
In 2015, the Global National team won Best National Newscast at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards (CSA). In 2013, Global National earned the Edward R. Murrow Overall Excellence Award for Network Radio and Television, becoming the first Canadian program to earn that recognition in the award’s 42-year history. At the start of her second year at Global National, she was also bestowed with the 2011 Gemini Award (now CSA) for Canada’s Best News Anchor.
Friesen is an active supporter and advocate for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys staying up to date on world events, reading, travelling, and spending time with her son.