Kevin McKiernan
Kevin McKiernan has been a foreign correspondent for more than thirty years and he has reported from Central America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. His articles and photographs have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, Time and other publications. He lectures frequently at universities and he has appeared as a guest on a number of television programs, including the CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show. He recently covered the Iraq war, for ABC News, for extended periods in both Kurdish and Arab areas. Prior to that, he co-produced Spirit of Crazy Horse for PBS Frontline and he wrote and directed Good Kurds, Bad Kurds, the award-winning PBS documentary. His book, THE KURDS: A People in Search of Their Homeland was released by St. Martin’s Press in 2006. His film Bringing King to China premiered in 2011.

McKiernan graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a B.A. in English literature. He earned a JD from Northeastern University Law School in Boston and he practiced law in Massachusetts prior to his career in journalism. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.


1973-1976: Reporter, National Public Radio.

1976-present: Journalist, filmmaker, photographer and television producer. Stories include U.S. (Native Americans, immigration, homeless issues, earthquakes, fires, politics), El Salvador (civil war, elections), Nicaragua (Sandinista-Contra war), Guatemala (civil war and death squads), Philippines (overthrow of Marcos regime), Ireland (IRA and British troops), Mexico (Zapatista uprising, elections, poverty), Costa Rica (prisons), Jordan (Kuwait war, refugees), Gaza and West Bank (conflict), Vietnam (refugees, politics), Cuba (politics, diabetes crisis), West Africa (conflict), Turkey and Iraq (Kurdish uprisings), Iraq (U.S. invasion, subsequent conflict, refugees, etc.), China (poverty, economy, performing arts), Afghanistan (embedded with U.S. troops, 2010).

2002-2004: Producer/Reporter, ABC News, Iraq.

2004-2006: Contract to write a book on the Kurds and the Iraq war (THE KURDS: A People in Search of their Homeland, St. Martinís Press, 2006).

2006-2011: Production and post-production of Bringing King to China, documentary about the bittersweet journey of a young American woman who wants to bring the ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr. to China.

2011: Santa Barbara International Film Festival (World Premiere).

2011: Minneapolis/St. Paul Film Festival: Bringing King to China (Official Selection).


2012    Masterís Certificate, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (anticipated)

2006    M.S., (Honorary) Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California.

1979    J.D., Northeastern Law School, Boston, Massachusetts (member of Mass. Bar)

1968    M.A. Qualifying Examination, English literature, University of Oklahoma

1966    B.A., English literature, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.


Ochberg Fellowship, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, 2006.

Mole Journalism Award, Cyrano's Journal, 2001.

Good Kurds, Bad Kurds, Best Documentary, CINE Golden Eagle, June 2001.

Good Kurds, Bad Kurds, Best Documentary, Sedona International Film Festival, Sedona, Arizona, March 2001.

Grantee, Sundance Documentary Fund Grant, 2001.

Good Kurds, Bad Kurds
The Chris Award, Best Documentary, Columbus Film Festival, October 2000.
Best Documentary, Sidewalk Moving Pictures Festival, October 2000.
Audience Award, Denver International Film Festival, October 2000.
Best Documentary, Rhode Island International Film Festival, August 2000.
Best Documentary, Atlanta Film and Video Festival, April 2000.
Human Rights Prize, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, March 2000.

"Turkey's War on the Kurds:" Project Censored Top Ten Stories of 1999.

Grantee, Soros Foundation Documentary Fund Grant, 1999.

Grantee, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Grant, 1999.

Grantee, Winston Foundation for World Peace, 1999.

Recipient, Santa Barbara Hispanic Community Tribute Award: "Outstanding Journalistic Contributions Toward a Better Understanding of Mexico and the Mexican-American Experience," September 1995.

Silver Award, Houston Film Festival, The Spirit of Crazy Horse, 1991.

First Place, "Interactive Art Competition" (writing and photography), Contemporary Art Forum, Santa Barbara, California, 1990.

First Place, Herbert Bayer Photojournalism Competition, 1987.

Gold Appreciation Award, Direct Relief International, Santa Barbara, California "For contributions toward the relief of human suffering, the improvement of essential health services, and the encouragement of self-sufficiency in the medically less developed areas of the world," September 14, 1984.

Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship, two-year, post-graduate law practice, 1979.

Pulitzer Prize nomination, Minneapolis Tribune, 1976.

Major Armstrong Award, radio journalism, Second Place, National Coverage, 1976.

Major Armstrong Award (radio journalism), First Place, National Coverage, 1975.


Bringing King to China: film producer, writer and director (budget ($340,000), 2011.

Wounded Knee photographs and radio interviews, exhibition at Chicago History Museum, 2010

THE KURDS: A People in Search of Their Homeland, St. Martinís Press, 2006. Santa Barbara Photographers Photo Exhibit, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California, 2002-03.

Good Kurds, Bad Kurds, documentary film: producer, writer and director, "PBS Independent Lens," 2001-2002. American Indian Photographs, solo exhibitions: Old Tower Museum, Derry, Northern Ireland, and Culturlann, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1994.

12 Countries: Families in Conflict, solo photography exhibition held in conjunction with the United Nations International Year of the Family, Old Museum Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1994.

Forced Out, Amnesty International group photography exhibition on global refugees (exhibitions in New York, Montreal, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles), 1990.

The Spirit of Crazy Horse, PBS "Frontline" documentary, 1990 (co-producer, writer, correspondent).

International Center of Photography (ICP): acquisition of Central America photographs for the permanent collection, New York, New York, 1989. Images of Central America, Los Angeles Photography Center, solo exhibition sponsored by the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, 1988.

Images of Central America, sequential solo gallery exhibitions: University of California, Santa Barbara and the Western States Museum, Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California, 1987.

Night of the First Americans (co-writer, stage show), Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., 1982.

Immunity from Prosecution (writer, producer), National Public Radio documentary, 1981.

Now the Prophecy, television story written under contract for Warner Brothers/NBC Movie of the Week, 1981.

The Life and Death of Anna Mae Aquash (co-writer), James Lorimer and Sons, publishers, Toronto, Canada, 1978.

Shoot-out at Oglala (writer, producer), National Public Radio documentary, 1975. Voices from Wounded Knee (photography), Akwesasne Notes, Rooseveltown, New York, 1974.

Wounded Knee Epilogue, (writer, producer), National Public Radio documentary, 1974.

"Northern Iraq Battle Heats Up: U.S. and Kurds May Attack Islamic Group Linked To Al-Qaeda," March 24, 2003.
"Iranian Intervention Could Complicate U.S. Plans in Iraq," March 4, 2003.
"Suicide Bomber in Northern Iraq Kills 4," February 26, 2003. "Urgent Request: Kurdish Rebels Fear Turkish Aggression May Accompany U.S. Troops," February 25 , 2003. "Secret Plan: Militant group Plans to Attack U.S. Special Forces in Northern Iraq," February 21, 2003.
"Psy-Ops: Gruesome Video Focuses on Deadly Clashes in Iraq," January 13, 2003.
"Danger Zone: U.S. Special Forces, Taliban-Style Fighters and Looming War,"January 11, 2003.
"Al-Qaeda in Kurdistan? Kurds Point to Al-Qaeda Link," December 31, 2002.
"Fighting in the Mountains: Fierce Clashes Spark Tensions in Kurdish-Controlled Northern Iraq," December 10, 2002.

The Boston Globe
Op-Ed: "An Undiplomatic Conflict of Interest," November 1, 2006.
Op-Ed: "Did US Know Iraq had no WMDís?" March 6, 2006.
Op-Ed: "Justice in Iraq," February 9, 2005.
Op-Ed: "Human Rights vs. Guns in Turkey," January 13, 2001.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
"Turks v. Kurds," March-April 1999.

Los Angeles Times
Op-Ed: "A Relationship with Bite," August 8, 2002.
Op-Ed: "Put an End to this Sad Chapter," January 7, 2001.
Op-Ed: "Gunships Against Human Rights," March 3, 2000.

Los Angeles Times Magazine
"Slender Roots," (text and photos), January 7, 2007.
"Kurdistan's Season of Hope," (text and photos), August 23, 1992.
"The Disappearance of Jack Shelton," (text and photos), September 9, 1991.

Minneapolis Tribune
"Indian Woman's Death Raises Many Questions," (text and photos), May 30, 1976.

Minnesota Monthly
"On Paranoia," November 1974.
"Inside the Gresham Novitiate," April 1974.

Mother Jones
"Shrines and Slogans: The Divided Church in Nicaragua," cover story (text and photos), April 1984.

The New York Times
"In Kurdistan, No End in Sight for this U.S. Relief Effort," December 20, 1992.
"Tension Rises in Wake of Death at Sioux Camp," September 27, 1982.
"Security is Tight at Indian's Trial," June 17, 1975.
"U.S. May Dismiss Case on Indians," June 15, 1975.

The Progressive
"Turkey Terrorizes its Kurds," July 1993.

The Santa Barbara Independent
"Pascual Gamboa: 1930-2010" September 23, 2010.
"American Verdict in Baghdad," September 28, 2006.
"War Train on a Fast Track," cover story (text and photos), September 26, 2002.
"The Leonard Peltier Case: A Time to Reconsider," (text and photos), August 14, 1997.
"The Kurdish Question and U.S. Policy," (text and photos), September 19, 1996.
"Made in the USA: American Weapons and a Scorched Earth Policy in Turkey," cover story (text and photos), August 10, 1995.
"Cuba: Embargo and Insulin," (text and photos), February 9, 1995.
"The Incidental Tourist: Ireland in the Summer of the Cease Fire," cover story (text and photos), September 15, 1994.
"Zapatista!" cover story (text and photos), March 10, 1994.
"The Kurds: People in Search of a Country," (text and photos), April 1, 1993.
"Winds of War: Kuwaiti Refugees in Jordan," cover story (text and photos), November 18, 1990.
"Salvador Diary: The War Grows as Duarte nears Death," cover story (text and photos), October 13, 1988.
"Fire in the Hole: Life in El Salvador under the Peace Accord," (text and photos), December 3, 1987.
"Hunting the Contra: Six Days at the Front," cover story (text and photos), May 28, 1986.
"El Salvador: Old War with a New Face," cover story (text and photos), November 20, 1985.
"Nicaragua: In the War Zone," cover story (text and photos), February 1, 1983.

Santa Barbara Magazine
"Oil and Water: New Oil Boom Brings Controversy to Santa Barbara County," cover story, (text and photos), February-March 1986.
"Gateway to the Stars: Vandenberg Air Force Base," (text and photos), July-August 1985.
"Direct Relief International," (text and photos), March-April 1985.

The Santa Barbara News-Press
"Gunfire, Ethnic Tension on the Road to Tikrit," (text and photos), April 16, 2003.
"F-14 fighter Mistakenly Strikes U.S. Convoy," (text and photos), April 7, 2003.
"Carrying Family and Old Fears, the Kurds Flee Once Again," (text and photos), March 20, 2003.
"U.S. Joining Forces for Assault on Extremist Group," (text and photos), March 16, 2003.
"Kurdistan Diary: It's Shaping up to be a Long Winter in N. Iraq," (text and photos), February 16, 2003.
"Life in the Hot Zone," (text and photos), December 5, 2002.
"Kurd Fighters Ready for War," (text and photos), October 27, 2002.

St. Paul Sunday Pioneer Press
"Elaborate Measures Safeguarded El Salvador's Elections," (text and photos), June 24, 1984.

The Washington Spectator
"The Kurdish Card," July 1, 2006

Virtuoso Travel + Life
"High Flying Shanghai: Urban Adventures in Chinaís City of the Future" May/June 2005


The Christian Science Monitor
6/27/97 (2 photos); 4/7/95; 12/20/94; 6/5/89; 12/22/88; 11/17/88; 11/10/88; 11/7/88; 11/1/88; 10/20/88; 10/18/88; 8/15/88; 8/3/88; 8/1/88; 6/27/88; 6/18/88; 6/16/88; 5/23/88; 5/11/88; 5/11/88; 5/10/88; 5/5/88; 5/2/88; 4/25/88; 4/18/88; 4/8/88; 3/21/88; 3/17/88; 3/7/88; 2/22/88; 2/18/88; 2/16/88; 2/12/88; 2/11/88; 11/23/87; 11/18/87; 11/4/87; 10/26/87; 10/2/87; 9/30/87; 9/28/87; 9/24/87; 9/15/87; 8/25/87; 8/21/87; 7/10/87; 7/8/87; 5/4/87; 4/22/87; 4/14/87; 4/13/87; 4/3/87; 2/23/87; 12/15/86; 11/26/86; 11/24/86; 11/7/86; 10/30/86; 9/15/86; 9/5/86; 7/31/86; 7/29/86; 7/28/86; 7/16/86; 6/9/86; 5/27/86; 3/27/86; 1/23/86; 11/1/85; 10/30/85; 10/17/85/10/17/85; 5/1/85; /17/85; 1/30/85.

Los Angeles Times
7/15/03; 5/5/03; 4/28/03; 3/10/03 (2 photos); 3/10/03; 2/18/03; 2/5/03; 1/20/03 (3 photos); 9/8/96; 11/3/92; 10/14/92; 8/23/92 (5 photos); 9/8/92 (2 photos); 9/8/91 (4 photos); 6/4/91 (4 photos); 10/30/90; 10/21/90 (2 photos); 10/12/90; 9/13/89; 3/26/89; 8/31/88; 8/19/88; 7/21/88; 6/3/88; 4/16/88; 1/30/88; 11/17/87 (2 photos).

9/21/98; 3/29/98;10/2/95; 9/12/94; 7/12/93; 7/5/93; 1/4/93; 11/9/92; 1/20/92; 9/24/90; 7/9/90 (2 photos); 4/30/90; 5/29/89; 5/1/89 (2 photos); 4/3/89; 1/2/89; 9/26/88; 8/29/88
(4 photos); 3/14/88 2 photos); 10/19/87; 8/26/85; 7/22/85; 5/13/85 (2 photos); 4/15/85; 12/24/84; 10/22/84 (3 photos); 7/16/84.

Newsweek (International edition)
1999-2001(additional issues); 12/14/99; 9/24/94.

The New York Times
1/15/07 (2 photos), 7/31/06, 7/24/06 (2 photos), 12/20/92; 6/3/92; 6/1/92; 5/25/91; 7/8/90; 4/16/90; 8/6/89; 11/14/88; 6/3/88; 9/5/87; 6/30/87; 5/12/87; 9/7/86; 8/20/86; 3/11/86; 11/5/85; 10/27/85; 12/8/83; 9/27/82 (2 photos); 7/6/75; 6/15/75.

The Santa Barbara News-Press
8/20/06 (2 photos), 5/8/06 (4 photos), 8/6/03; 3/26/03; 3/20/03 (5 photos); 2/16/03 (6 photos); 10/27/02 (5 photos); 5/6/02 (4 photos); 5/24/91 (4 photos); 3/27/87 (4 photos); 7/18/84 (3 photos).

Additional issues 1999-2000; 3/8/97; 5/9/94; 5/27/91; 11/5/90; /26/90; 7/25/88; 1/18/88 (2 photos); 3/31/86 (2 photos); 11/25/85; 11/18/85; 7/14/75; 7/7/75.

Time (Digital)

The Washington Post
4/25/90; 2/4/88 (2 photos); 11/25/85 (Washington Post National Weekly, 6 photos, cover); 11/785-11/10/85 (four-part series); 7/15/84.

U.S. News & World Report
12/03 (double-truck); 9/10/90; 2/8/89; 3/30/87.

Additional credits: Minneapolis Tribune; Associated Press; UPI; Vogue; GQ; The International Herald Tribune; Der Spiegel (Africa, Vietnam, Central America and Middle East); St. Paul Pioneer Press; Stern; Parade; NBC; CBS; ABC; PBS; National Geographic; Columbia Journalism Review; Oceans; Insight; Sports Illustrated; George; Virtuoso Travel + Life, and other publications.


Invited Lecturer, "Turkey and the Kurds," Pasadena CA Public Library annual event "One City One Story," March 3, 2010

Invite Lecturer, "Whatís Next in Iraq?" Stanford University, March 3, 2008.

Speaker, "Bringing King to China," Santa Barbara City College, April 10, 2008.

"Moderator, "The Journalist and the Jihadi: the Murder of Daniel Pearl," Reel Journalism Film Festival, American University, March 22, 2007.

Speaker, "Beyond the News: Nonfiction and Personal Narrative," Santa Barbara Writers Conference, Santa Barbara, California, June 29, 2006.

Commencement Address, "Inform Your Art," Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California, June 23, 2006.

Keynote Speaker, "Kurds, Arabs and the Coming Break-up of Iraq," UCSB Arts & Lectures, Santa Barbara, California, May 9, 2006.

Invited Lecture, "Kurds, Arabs and the Coming Break-up of Iraq," illustrated lecture, The Book Works, Del Mar, California, May 2006.

Invited Author, "Connie Martinson Talks Books," Cable TV, April 2006.

Invited Author and Panelist, Palm Springs Festival of Books, Palm Springs, California, April 2006.

Invited Author and Panelist, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Los Angeles, California, April 2006.

Invited Lecturer, "War and Reporting," lecture at Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts, March 2006.

Invited Lecturer, "Kurds, Arabs and the Coming Break-up of Iraq," University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication, Project for Global Communication, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 2006.

Invited Lecturer, "Kurds, Arabs and the Coming Break-up of Iraq, C-SPAN Book TV, March 26, 2006.

Invited Lecturer, "Kurds, Arabs and the Coming Break-up of Iraq," Harvard University, Department of Middle East Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 2006.

Invited Lecturer, "Kurds, Arabs and the Coming Break-up of Iraq," MIT Center for International Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 2006.

Invited Lecturer and film screening, "Good Kurds, Bad Kurds," Dickey Center War and Peace Studies, Dartmouth University, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 2006.

Invited Lecturer, "Kurds, Arabs and the Coming break-up of Iraq," Center for International Studies, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, March 2006.

Illustrated Lecturer, "Reflections on Poverty," Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, Santa Barbara, California, April 2005.

Invited Panelist "Reporting From the Front," General Session, California Newspaper Publishers Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, June 2003.

Invited Speaker, Congressional Human Rights Caucus and Amnesty International, Washington, D.C., June 22, 2000.

Eyewitness Testimony, "The Reign of Terror on the Pine Ridge Reservation," Congressional Briefing, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2000.

NBC Today Show, interview regarding Turkey and Iraq, 1992.

NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, interview about Iraq after the first Gulf war, 1991.

CBS Evening News, interview about Iraq after the first Gulf war 1991.

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