Renee Montagne

Renee Montagne is co-host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio news program in the U.S. She has hosted the newsmagazine since 2004, broadcasting from NPR West in Culver City, California, with co-host Steve Inskeep in NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Montagne is a familiar voice on NPR, having reported and hosted since the mid-1980s. She hosted All Things Considered with Robert Siegel for two years in the late 1980s, and previously worked for NPR's Science, National and Foreign desks.

Montagne traveled to Greenwich, England, in May 2007 to kick off the yearlong series, "Climate Connections," in which NPR partnered with National Geographic to chronicle how people are changing the Earth's climate and how the climate is impacting people. From the prime meridian, she laid out the journey that would take listeners to Africa, New Orleans and the Antarctic.

Since 9/11, Montagne has gone to Afghanistan nine times, travelling throughout the country to speak to Afghans about their lives. She's interviewed farmers and mullahs, poll workers and President Karzai, infamous warlords turned politicians and women fighting for their rights. She has produced several series, beginning in 2002 with 'Recreating Afghanistan" and most recently, in 2013, asking a new generation of Afghans — born into the long war set off by the Soviet invasion — how they see their country's future.

In the spring of 2005, Montagne took Morning Edition to Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul ll. She co-anchored from Vatican City during a historic week when millions of pilgrims and virtually every world leader descended on the Vatican.

In 1990, Montagne traveled to South Africa to cover Nelson Mandela's release from prison, and continued to report from South Africa for three years. In 1994, she and a team of NPR reporters won a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of South Africa's historic presidential and parliamentary elections.

Through most of the 1980s, Montagne was based in New York, working as an independent producer and reporter for both NPR and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter/editor for Pacific News Service in San Francisco. She began her career as news director of the city's community radio station, KPOO, while still at university.

In addition to the duPont Columbia Award, Montagne has been honored by the Overseas Press Club for her coverage of Afghanistan, and by the National Association of Black Journalists for a series on Black musicians going to war in the 20th century.

Montagne graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, as a Phi Beta Kappa. Her career includes serving as a fellow at the University of Southern California with the National Arts Journalism Program, and teaching broadcast writing at New York University's Graduate Department of Journalism.

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Middle East
5:22 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Voters Cast Ballots In Iran's Presidential Election

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 6:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Syria's ally Iran, people are voting for president today. It is Iran's first presidential election since the stunning vote in 2009. Back then, a surprisingly early declaration of victory for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked a wave of protests, followed by years of government repression. This time around, six candidates are contending for power amid widespread skepticism about the election, and intensive security on the streets.

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Business
6:02 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Gamers Converge On L.A. For Electronic Entertainment Expo

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:18 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The biggest players in the video gaming are gathered here in Los Angeles this week for E3, the industry's annual trade show. Gamers have been anticipating the unveiling of new products from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and other companies.

NPR's Laura Sydell has spent the past few days with zombies, assassins and one little plumber. Good morning.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Middle East
4:30 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Syrian Government Limits Humanitarian Aid To Qusair

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 8:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The last remaining villages of the embattled Syrian region, Qusair fell to government forces and fighters from the Lebanese-Shiite militia, Hezbollah, over the weekend. The main concern now is what's happening to the civilians there. The Syrian government has severely limited humanitarian groups, like the Red Cross, from getting in and aiding the people of Qusair.

NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring the story from nearby Beirut. She joins us. And, Kelly, what is the situation for civilians in Qusair?

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Economy
4:46 am
Fri June 7, 2013

U.S. Unemployment Rate Inched Up In May

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 9:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There are no big surprises in this morning's job report from the government. The unemployment rate increased slightly on moderate job growth. It met or slightly exceeded expectations. This is one of the most significant economic indicators we look at every month, and joining us to discuss the Labor Department's report is NPR's Yuki Noguchi. Good morning.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What can you tell us about these numbers?

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Around the Nation
5:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

6 Dead After Building Collapses In Philadelphia

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 6:10 am

At least six people have died in Wednesday's collapse of a commercial building in Philadelphia. More than a dozen victims have been rescued from the rubble.

Middle East
5:33 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Syrian Government Troops Take Back Qusair

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 8:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Syria, the battle for Qusair is over with the government saying it is in full control of that strategic town, which has been in rebel hands for two years. Qusair sits along a key supply route in and out of Lebanon. And one Syrian general, a government general, told Lebanon's Mayadeen TV that whoever controls Qusair controls the country.

NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Beirut. She joins us now for an update. Good morning.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now, is that overstating the situation?

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Europe
5:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Kremlin Critic Claims Mass Corruption Ahead Of 2014 Olympics

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 5:29 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With the Olympics set to begin in Russia this coming winter, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling the preparations, quote, "a monstrous scam." That language comes from a report just released that alleges massive theft and corruption. It estimates that contractors and government officials may have already stolen as much $30 billion dollars as they build Olympic venues in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

NPR's Corey Flintoff joined us on the line with us from Moscow. Good morning.

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Afghanistan
4:48 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Food Entrepreneur Is A New Breed Of Afghan Business Owner

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Europe
5:16 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Attackers Hack To Death Man On London Street

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:54 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

London is no stranger to terrorist attacks. But yesterday's events had a peculiar horror. A British soldier was hacked to death on a London street. in broad daylight. His two attackers did not try to escape. They stuck around and made speeches to bypassers, trying to justify the brutal killing. Here's one attacker, addressing a passerby filming on a cellphone.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE VIDEO)

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Afghanistan
5:14 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Select Young Afghans Chosen As Commandoes In Training

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 2:11 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All right, through much of this week, we've been hearing from young Afghans on the future of their country after NATO troops withdraw in 2014. Yesterday, our colleague Renee Montagne met with the American general who commands coalition forces in Afghanistan. They traveled to a special forces base where young Afghan men - and a few women - are being trained.

(SOUNDBITE OF HELICOPTER)

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Afghanistan
6:04 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Young Afghan Entrepreneur Capitalizes On Opportunities

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:28 am

Fahim Hashemi, 33, built a conglomerate from scratch. He owns a TV channel, an airline and supplies the Afghan National Army with boots and fuel. He got his start early in the war as a translator to U.S. and British forces.

Afghanistan
4:49 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Younger Generation Poised To Lead Afghanistan's Future

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, in Washington, with David Greene.

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National Security
5:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Investigators Probe Bombing Suspects Actions In Russia

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The world has heard some relatives of the Tsarnaev brothers.

INSKEEP: On this program, we heard an aunt of the young men defend the accused Boston Marathon bombers.

MONTAGNE: An uncle has very vocally denounced them.

INSKEEP: Now federal investigators have been interviewing the parents, both of whom now live in Russia.

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Analysis
4:47 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Politics In The News

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

The economy remains at the top of the list of voter concerns. And this weekend, for the first time in four years, the Democratically-controlled Senate passed a budget plan aimed at getting the federal deficit under control. That plan was very different from the budget passed by the House.

Around the Nation
4:38 am
Fri March 22, 2013

What Does It Mean To Be A Woman In The U.S. Military?

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've been hearing some really astonishing voices this week that have prompted a big reaction online - women who have served on the battlefield and on bases here at home. Women are no longer excluded from combat but their exact role is still to be fully decided.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:38 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Colo. Prison Head Gunned Down At His Home

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 9:23 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

People in Colorado are still trying to make sense of the shooting death of that state's respected head of the prison system. Tom Clements was gunned down Tuesday night as he answered the door at his home in the small, quiet town of Monument. Police are still searching for the killer. And this happened just hours before Colorado's governor signed strict new gun control measures into law.

Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee has been following this story. Good morning.

MEGAN VERLEE, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Europe
9:38 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Cyprus Proposes Exempting Smaller Deposits From Tax

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Lawmakers in Cyprus are trying to ease rage over a proposed tax on all bank deposits by exempting people who have relatively small accounts. It's part of a bailout plan for that Mediterranean country negotiated with the E.U. and IMF over the weekend, but the compromise on taxes may not be enough for Cyprus' parliament to pass the plan.

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Business
4:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

EU Bailout Tax Sparks Bank Run In Cyprus

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Politics
5:24 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Rand Paul Ends Filibuster After Nearly 13 Hours

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Just before noon yesterday, with much of Washington at home for a snowstorm that never really materialized, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took the floor of the Senate.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

SENATOR RAND PAUL: I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan's nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak.

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Latin America
4:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Chavez's Death Will Have Ramifications For Cuba

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The death of Hugo Chavez could mean as much for Cuba as it will for Venezuela. As we just heard, Chavez looked to Fidel Castro for inspiration, and Castro has supplied Venezuela with thousands of Cuban doctors, health workers and security specialists. In return, Chavez sent a massive amount of Venezuelan oil to Cuba at cut-rate prices, and thus helped keep the Cuban economy afloat during years of crisis.

Joining us now is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Good morning.

TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

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