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. These include going to Norway to cover the aftermath of the brutal attacks by a right-wing extremist; to Greece, Spain, and Portugal reporting on the eurozone 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.
She has also travelled with Pope Francis on several of his foreign trips, including visits to Cuba, the United States, Congo, Uganda, Central African Republic, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.
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, 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 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.
The country has universal health care. But now, fighting tens of thousands of coronavirus cases, Italian hospitals and medical staff are overwhelmed, prompting anguished debate.
The Catholic and Orthodox churches split in 1054. In the Holy Land this week, the pope and Orthodox leaders will meet to try to start restoring unity. But not everyone is eager for reconciliation.
Pope Francis will head to the Middle East this week to preach peace and has asked two friends from Argentina to accompany him, Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Islamic studies professor Omar Abboud.
This week the Vatican faced a U.N. panel investigating priest sex abuse. The panel called for an end to what it called a Vatican "climate of impunity."
The Vatican has faced two days of grilling before the U.N. Committee on Torture investigating the Catholic Church's handling of cases of sexual abuse by priests.
Millions of pilgrims are expected Sunday for the joint canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Rome is cleaning up and preparing everything from first aid stands to portable toilets.
President Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time at the Vatican. The meeting is intended to mark a fresh start for the administration's sometimes-strained relationship with Catholic leadership.
For decades, U.S. presidents have sought an audience with the pope, and President Obama will have one Thursday. But this wasn't always the case, and often there have been political differences.
Following two doctrinally conservative leaders, Pope Francis' pastoral approach in his first year has given the Catholic Church a new glow. But it's still unclear where he intends to take the church.
Italy detains tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from North Africa and locks them up in harsh conditions. Now it is pushing to revamp the system at home with an eye toward a Europe-wide plan.