Carla Babb is the award-winning Pentagon correspondent for VOA News. On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, she interviewed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, pressing him on the Afghanistan evacuation and withdrawal. She also recently interviewed the head of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, who oversees military operations in the Middle East. While traveling with McKenzie, Babb was first to break the news that the U.S. would no longer support Afghan forces with airstrikes against the Taliban after the Afghanistan withdrawal’s completion. Her exclusive interview with an American trapped in Afghanistan after the U.S. evacuation was a direct contrast to the administration’s assertion they were unaware of incidents of the Taliban not letting American citizens into the airport, and it made international headlines from Newsweek to France24 and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.
Babb has reported from across the globe with datelines from Kabul to Ouagadougou, embedding with U.S. forces and interviewing senior military leaders. She has appeared on news outlets including CNBC in India, Channels TV in Nigeria and BNC in the United States.
Babb joined VOA News in 2008. Prior to her current post, she was a general assignment reporter and a fill-in reporter at VOA’s White House and State Department bureaus. She also anchored VOA’s flagship Learning English Television, which teaches English to millions worldwide.
Babb won the 2021 Military Reporters & Editors Association award for Best Journalism – TV Large Market for her documentary on the fight to save forest elephants in Africa, where she was the first-ever journalist to embed with US troops on a counter-poaching mission. The AP Chesapeake Broadcaster’s Association honored her with the 2019 and 2018 Outstanding Specialty Reporting award for her national security coverage, as well as the 2016 Outstanding News Series award for her reporting on the Air Force’s shortage of fighter pilots and maintainers. Her reporting and producing also has won a Public Service Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, along with national and regional awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.
When she’s not chasing down a story, Babb enjoys supporting military and veterans volunteer groups. She was a founding member of the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore’s Young Professionals Committee and served for two years as Master of Ceremony for the Vets on Track Foundation’s annual gala.
Babb earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and bachelor’s degrees in political science and communications from North Carolina State University. She was Valedictorian, Senior Class President, Outstanding Woman of the Year and a member of the Track & Field team while at NC State.
She studied British politics at the University of Oxford, St. Benet’s Hall, and received a U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship to attend Jordan University’s Advanced Arabic Program in Amman.