In November, 2016, after 12 years of hosting NPR's Morning Edition, Renée Montagne has taken on the new role of Special Correspondent. Montagne is a familiar voice on NPR. She has worked for NPR's Science, National, and Foreign desks. For two years, she co-hosted All Things Considered with Robert Siegel .
Over the years, Montagne has done thousands of interviews on a wide range of topics: Kurt Vonnegut on how he transformed surviving the WWII firebombing of Dresden into the classic anti-war novel Slaughterhouse Five; National Guardsmen on how they handle the holidays in Iraq; Paul McCartney on singing the old songs; a Hollywood historian on how the famous hillside sign came to be; Toni Morrison on the dreams and memories she turned into novels; and Bud Montagne, Renee's father, remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In the spring of 2005, Montagne took Morning Edition to Rome for the funeral 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 City.
In recent years, Montagne traveled throughout Afghanistan, interviewing farmers and mullahs, women and poll workers, the President and an infamous warlord for a series on the country's then upcoming elections. She has produced two series: In 2002 "Recreating Afghanistan," and in 2004 "Afghanistan Votes."
In 1990, Montagne traveled to South Africa to cover Nelson Mandela's release from prison, and continued to report from South Africa through 1992. In 1994, she and a team of NPR reporters covered South Africa's historic presidential and parliamentary elections. That coverage won a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.
From 1980 to 1986, 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 received honors from the National Association of Black Journalists and Ohio State University. She also has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Montagne, the daughter of a Marine Corps family, was born in California and raised in locales as diverse as Hawaii and Arizona. She earned a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Her career includes serving as a fellow at the University of Southern California with the National Arts Journalism Program (currently based at Columbia University), and teaching broadcast writing at New York University's Graduate Department of Journalism.