Mar 14, 2018
Zack Baddorf, award-winning journalist and filmmaker, joins
The Leadership Podcast to discuss what he has learned while
documenting what it is to be human in more than 30 countries,
including Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the West
Bank, and Kashmir, as well as rebel-held territory in Sri Lanka and
Burma. Zack has been published by the New York Times, Washington
Post, BBC, Reuters, CBS, ABC, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal. His
videos on social media alone have more than 30 million
[3:47] Zack has worked in over
70 countries. His big takeaway is that around the world, we’re not
very different from one another. He tries not to judge people, even
people who make bad choices.
[5:12] Zack shares an experience
he had of demonstrating a drone to starving children in the Central
African Republic. In the midst of terrible conditions, they found
joy and happiness in the good in their lives.
[22:23] Zack is a proponent of
the UN’s Universal Human Rights: education, food, security, and
more. It’s a work in progress. He also believes in the Western
World’s responsibility to protect people from violations of human
[28:53] For troubled countries,
leadership for change comes down to trust. You can’t come into a
situation quickly and expect to be effective. Zach gives examples
of working with U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan and with
community religious leaders in the Central African Republic. Trust
is built over time.
[33:54] Zach’s curiosity is
driven by his desire to know how things work and what is going on
in the world. He wants to get all the angles to a story, being
objective while acknowledging our biases.
We’re not very different from
I try not to judge
It’s going to be the youth who
take the country forward
Good journalists recognize their
You have to know all the
different angles of a story.
Zack Baddorf Bio
I'm a journalist and filmmaker
with more than 15 years of experience producing award-winning
stories from more than 30 countries, including Syria, Iraq,
Ukraine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the West Bank, and Kashmir, as well
as rebel-held territory in Sri Lanka and Burma.
My work has been published by
the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, Reuters, AP, The
Guardian, CBS, ABC, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science
Monitor, Newsweek, VICE, RYOT, Al Jazeera English, and other
publications in video, radio, photo, and print formats. My videos
on social media alone have more than 30 million views.
While based in the Central
African Republic, I broke the news of the American military ending
its mission against the Lord’s Resistance Army. My in-depth
reporting on the Syrian town of Moadamiyah contributed to
humanitarian access being granted to besieged people there. Weeks
before Russian troops invaded Crimea, my reporting from the
peninsula highlighted its political importance in the
I work as a video producer for
the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism,
crafting anti-ISIS videos. For a year in Afghanistan, I worked on
rural, remote bases for the U.S. Special Operations Command as a
civilian videographer, alongside Green Berets, Navy SEALs and
Afghan security forces.
I have also worked as an adjunct
professor at New York University and New York Film Academy,
teaching public relations and broadcast journalism. I've got a
master of fine arts degree in documentary studies, a master of arts
degree in international relations, another master’s in public
relations and a bachelor's in journalism.