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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Afghanistan
3:17 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Istalif Potter Hopes Next Afghan President Will Serve The Country

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 7:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Afghanistan is poised to enter a new era. For the first time in its long history, one elected president will hand over power to another. We do not know yet who that new president will be. There will likely be a runoff between the two top vote-getters next month.

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Parallels
1:31 am
Wed April 30, 2014

An Afghan Village Of Drug Addicts, From Ages 10 To 60

Ahmad, who wouldn't give his last name, smokes heroin. He lives in a makeshift village filled with drug addicts called Kamar Kulagh, on the outskirts of the western Afghan city of Herat.
David P. Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 11:50 am

Herat is one of the most graceful cities in Afghanistan. Its traditions go back to the Persian empire, with its exquisite blue and green glass, and its thriving poetry scene.

Now Herat is struggling with a darker side: drug addiction at a higher rate than almost anywhere else in the country.

In a dusty ravine on the outskirts of the city, Ahmad, a scruffy 20-year-old, is striking a match to inhale heroin.

It's a simple act he repeats throughout his day — heating a dark slab of heroin paste smeared on a bit of foil so he can smoke it.

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Law
10:34 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Rules On Race-Based College Admissions

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The Supreme Court this morning, upheld a ban on using racial preferences in admissions to the public universities of Michigan. The ban was enacted by referendum as an amendment to the state constitution in 2006 and struck down by a lower court. Today, the justices voted 6-to-2 to say the federal courts could not do that and the ban had to stand.

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Afghanistan
3:33 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Afghanistan Is Another Dangerous Place For Journalists

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 5:53 am

It was particularly difficult to report from Afghanistan during the recent presidential election because members of the Taliban were trying to disrupt the voting. They were also targeting Westerners.

Afghanistan
3:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Afghanistan Is One Step Closer To Karzai's Successor

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 6:17 am

On Saturday, voters turned out in large numbers despite threats of Taliban violence. It will take weeks to learn who will become Afghanistan's next president. Hamid Karzai can't run for a third term

Afghanistan
2:59 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Backroom Intrigue Persists In Afghan Presidential Election

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne is in Afghanistan following the leading candidates in Saturday's presidential election. The top-two contenders are: Zalmai Rassoul and Abdullah Abdullah.

Afghanistan
4:13 am
Thu April 3, 2014

To Broaden Appeal, Afghan Candidates Make Surprising Choices

Presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Kabul on Tuesday. He is one of the three leading candidates in Saturday's presidential election.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 1:55 pm

As Afghans prepare to choose a new president Saturday, it's hard not to notice a striking contradiction.

The three leading candidates are all urbane, Westernized men inclined to wear suits and ties in public. And yet, as they crisscross this impoverished, traditional country, they've all had to remake themselves to some degree, in their dress, their speech and even in the surprising choices they've made for vice presidential running mates, who range from notorious warlords to a woman.

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Afghanistan
3:12 am
Mon March 31, 2014

With No Karzai On Ballot, Afghans Study Presidential Candidates

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 5:55 am

Voters in Afghanistan will elect a new president this weekend. For the first time since America went to war there, President Hamid Karzai will not be on the ballot.

Around the Nation
4:37 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Man Finds More Than A Nest Egg At Flea Market

A scrap metal dealer bought a golden egg at a flea market for $14,000 and planned to melt it for a profit. But he discovered it was a Faberge egg — given by Alexander III to his empress in 1887.

World
4:02 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Will Sanctions Against Russia Work?

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:37 am

In Brussels on Thursday, EU leaders will discuss stronger sanctions against Russia. Juan Zarate, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, talks about their options.

Business
3:06 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Beyond Beans: Starbucks Seeks To Branch Out From Coffee

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:37 am

Starbucks is testing an evening menu that includes wine at more than 25 locations. Now, the company's chief operating officer says it plans to offer its nighttime fare at thousands of U.S. stores.

Economy
2:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Fed Signals It Won't Tap Brakes Until Job Market Improves

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:37 am

David Wessel of the Brookings Institution talks about Janet Yellen's first policy meeting and press conference since taking over as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.

World
3:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Has Crimea Referendum Sparked A New Cold War?

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:52 am

Host Renee Montagne talks with New York Times correspondent Ellen Barry in Moscow about what Vladimir Putin's land grab in Ukraine says about this moment in the post-Soviet history of Russia.

Africa
3:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

South Africans Engrossed By Pistorius Trial

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:48 am

Host Renee Montagne talks to Erin Conway-Smith, southern Africa editor for GlobalPost, about the murder trial of Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius.

Food
3:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

BrusselKale: A Match Made In Heaven

A U.K. seed company has taken the leafy look and peppery taste of kale and added the flavor of Brussels sprouts. You can buy BrusselKale now in Ohio and Pennsylvania; it debuts nationally this fall.

Around the Nation
4:17 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Young Mathematicians Hope They've Calculated Winning NCAA Bracket

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 9:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Aspiring high school mathematicians gathered in New York for March Mathness. Even for kids who don't love sports, the professor leading the event told The Times there are a billion reasons to love brackets this year: Warren Buffett's reward for picking the winners for all 67 NCAA games. The math geeks are hoping linear algebra and complex computer codes will help them beat the odds: 9.2 quintrillion to one. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
11:39 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Obama Calls For More Transparency, Privacy Protections At NSA

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's talk more about changes to the National Security Agency that President Obama is announcing as we speak at the Justice Department. And we're joined in our studio by Tamara Keith and Tom Gjelten. And let's just begin.

Tom, you told us earlier today that technology companies wanted greater transparency. They want the public to know more about what the NSA is doing. What is the president proposing today?

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Movies
1:07 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Oscar Nods Go To 'American Hustle,' 'Gravity,' '12 Years A Slave'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Oscar nominations are in. They were announced this morning in Beverly Hills. And "American Hustle" and "Gravity" are the early front-runners. Each of them got 10 Academy Award nominations, including best picture. "12 Years a Slave" was close behind with nine nominations. For more, we're joined now by Linda Holmes, who writes and edits NPR's entertainment and pop culture blog Monkey See. Good morning.

LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Good morning to you.

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Around the Nation
6:06 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Northeast Hit With Snow And Powerful Winds

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 12:16 pm

A very cold winter storm is engulfing much of the Northeast, dumping more than 20 inches of snow in some areas and bringing strong winds along with it. Schools are closed in Boston and New York City. Thousands of flights have been canceled. Officials around the region are asking people to stay home and let road crews do their work.

Africa
4:31 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Violence Welcomes New Year In Parts Of Africa

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 5:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The situation in South Sudan is, in many ways, emblematic of the troubled year the continent of Africa has endured. After two decades of democracies taking root and economies growing, 2013 brought a series of seemingly intractable conflicts: flare-ups in Mali, Nigeria, the Central African Republic and, as we've just heard, South Sudan.

To get a sense of why this is happening now, we spoke to NPR's West Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who shared her fears and hopes for a part of the world she holds dear. Ofeibea, welcome.

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Middle East
3:11 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Corruption Scandal Jeopardizes Turkey's Image Of Stability

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 5:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Turkey's government is defending itself against a corruption scandal. That scandal has shaken a nation often described as the model for moderate Islamic democracy. The scandal reaches the highest levels of the government, and has sparked a strong backlash by Turkey's ruling party.

We reached NPR's correspondent in Istanbul, Peter Kenyon, to learn more about what's going on.

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Law
8:27 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Justice Sotomayor Blocks Part Of Birth Control Mandate

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
3:16 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Mayor Bill De Blasio Takes Office In New York City

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

New York City ushered in the New Year last night with its famous crystal ball, and also the swearing in of a new mayor. Just after midnight, Bill de Blasio was sworn into office in a private ceremony in the yard of his row house in Brooklyn. He's the first Democratic mayor in 20 years. His vision of the city could hardly be more different than that of his predecessor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who presided over what many will remember as a kind of gilded age.

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Politics
5:52 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Hard-Fought Budget Deal On Its Way To The Senate

The House passes the House-Senate budget compromise after Speaker John Boehner criticizes conservative groups — and implicitly their allies in Congress — for their opposition. Next stop: the Senate.

Asia
5:52 am
Fri December 13, 2013

What The Execution Of Kim Jong Un's Uncle Means For N. Korea

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. We're looking this morning at two stories of international intrigue. First to North Korea. Until recently, the uncle of leader Kim Jong Un was the country's second-in-command. Earlier this week, though, he was detained on national television, hustled out of a meeting by guards.

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Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
5:38 am
Tue December 10, 2013

'We Are Here ... To Tell Madiba That His Long Walk Is Over'

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In South Africa this morning, a song-filled memorial for Nelson Mandela. Here, the National Anthem.

(SOUNDBITE OF SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM)

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Politics
3:03 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Immigration Debate To Drag Into Next Presidential Election

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 4:38 am

It's more than likely that overhauling immigration will not happen this year. Congress has only nine working days left in 2013. And it appears, the issue will not be resolved next year either.

Business
3:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Examining Flip Side Of A Firm's Social Responsibility Record

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Goldman Sachs has given hundreds of millions of dollars to charity in recent years. In part, its effort to do good has been shaped by the battering its reputation took during the financial meltdown in 2008 when Goldman traders were accused of misleading investors.

The efforts of companies to look good in the public eye may seem positive but there is also a disturbing side of doing good work, as NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam tells our own Steve Inskeep.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hi, Shankar.

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Middle East
4:08 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Talks On Iran's Nuclear Program Try Again For Deal

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 5:34 am

Negotiators from Iran and six world powers are back in Geneva for another round of talks on Tehran's nuclear program. There are signals that a preliminary deal over the future of Iran's nuclear program may finally be within in reach.

Business
2:23 am
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan, DOJ Expected To Settle Over Mortgage Abuses

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:15 am

The Justice Department is said to be announcing on Tuesday a $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase. The deal centers on mortgage securities issued in the run-up to the financial crisis.

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