Global perspective

Parisa Khosravi and Buster Wright

Berry Trustee Buster Wright (73C), right, greets Parisa Khosravi, the latest speaker in the lecture series that bears his name.

Parisa Khosravi may not have literally moved mountains, but she has rerouted a commercial airline, covered the Iraq wars and Tiananmen Square, and promoted equality and acceptance as a leader at CNN. Earlier this spring, she shared her experience and insight with Berry students through the Cecil B. Wright III Integrity in Leadership Lecture.

As an immigrant who lived through the 1979 Iranian revolution, a religious minority and a woman whose first language was not English, Khosravi had to overcome doubters who didn’t believe she was good enough to be a journalist. She refused to let them limit her potential, ultimately serving as CNN’s senior vice president of international news gathering, national news gathering, global relations and the first-ever ambassador for CNN Worldwide.

“Why would we ever allow someone else to tell us what we’re capable of?” she asked.

In her remarks, Khosravi emphasized how important it is to take care of your people and to treat them all with respect. She noted that she always made sure her employees kept tabs on their physical and mental health, especially when covering stories in war zones and other serious situations.

“As a leader, people need to know you are as good as your word and you will have their back,” she said. “And they will have your back too.”

Khosravi said that anyone can become a leader, but they have to be willing to work at it.

“People are not born leaders,” she stated. “We become leaders by how we handle ourselves in the valleys of life.”

The Cecil B. Wright III Lecture Series is an initiative of the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership, a major priority of Berry’s LifeReady Campaign.

While on campus, Khosravi sat for a brief interview focusing on integrity and other leadership-related issues. Click the video player above to view.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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