Edith Lederer '63, the Associated Press chief correspondent at the United Nations since 1998, has received the International Women's Media Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, which recognizes a woman journalist with a pioneering spirit whose determination has paved the way for women in the news media, will be presented in October.
Lederer, 65, graduated from Cornell with a degree from the College of Human Ecology. In her position at the U.N., she has reported on the diplomatic side of conflicts in Darfur, Iraq, Kosovo, Congo, Sierra Leone and East Timor, as well as on major global issues, from Iran's nuclear program and climate change to aging and women's rights.
In her more than four decades with the AP, she has worked on every continent except Antarctica covering wars, famines, nuclear issues and political upheavals.
Lederer was the first female resident correspondent in Vietnam in 1972; she lived in a jail with a guard for protection because most other reporters were men. She was the first woman to head an AP foreign bureau in Peru, the first AP reporter to cross the Yalu River after the Korean War and the first journalist to file the bulletin announcing the start of the first Gulf War.
Among Lederer's numerous honors are a National Press Club Award in 1993 and a National Headliner Award in 1994. She was also part of the AP team that won the Associated Press Managing Editors excellence award for coverage of the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.