Journalist and USC Annenberg alumna Rachel Scott will deliver the keynote address at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s 2022 commencement ceremony on May 13.
One of the youngest correspondents in the history of broadcast network news — and one of the very few Black American network news reporters — to cover Capitol Hill, Scott is the congressional correspondent across all ABC News programs and platforms, including “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “Nightline,” and “20/20.”
Scott’s first day covering Capitol Hill was January 6, 2021, when she reported from the front lines amid the deadly attack. In the weeks that followed, she led the network’s coverage of the historic second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Six months later, at just 28-years-old, Scott persistently questioned Russian President Vladimir Putin during a solo news conference following the Russian leader’s first face-to-face meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden.
“The list of your political opponents who are dead, imprisoned, or jailed is long…,” Scott said. “So my question is, Mr. President, what are you so afraid of?”
In a moment that later went viral on social media, Scott continued to press Putin for an answer: “You didn’t answer my question, sir … If all of your political opponents are dead, in prison or poisoned, doesn’t that send a message that you don’t want a fair political fight?”
Earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC Annenberg in 2015, Scott began as a production associate for ABC News Live in 2016 while taking on an additional role as a weekend general assignment reporter for ABC’s New Haven, CT, affiliate WTNH-TV. In 2019, Scott was assigned to ABC’s White House team in Washington, D.C., before becoming the network’s embedded journalist in the Trump campaign. Just one year later, Scott was promoted to White House and D.C. correspondent, and named Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.
“Rachel’s career trajectory so far — from our media center to reporting from our nation’s capital and beyond — is nothing short of extraordinary,” USC Annenberg Dean Willow Bay said. “Her reporting is rigorous, ethical and fearless, and she has quickly become one of our most visible alumnae in the field of broadcast journalism. Equally remarkable is her dedicated service to our school, its students and programs. Rachel represents the very best of what we mean when we say ‘Trojan Family.’”
Scott played a key role in the news division’s reporting on the Trump administration, covering both of President Trump’s impeachment trials. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Scott logged thousands of miles covering both the Democratic primary and President Trump’s re-election efforts.
Scott has also provided extensive on-the-ground coverage of the nationwide protests over police brutality and the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on communities of color. Most recently, she led ABC News’ coverage of the confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Throughout all of the success and hard work of her young career, Scott has been an active and engaged alumna through involvement with the Annenberg Youth Academy, Annenberg career development programming, and the USC Alumni Association.
USC Annenberg’s past speakers have included global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress Oprah Winfrey; media innovator and entrepreneur Maverick Carter; former First Lady of California and journalist Maria Shriver; television pioneer Norman Lear; chairman and CEO of BET Networks Debra L. Lee; Craigslist founder Craig Newmark; broadcasting executive Carole Black; film star and activist Geena Davis; and anchor for Univision and Fusion Jorge Ramos.
The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will honor nearly 1,000 candidates for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. USC Annenberg’s commencement ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on McCarthy Quad following the main USC commencement ceremony, which starts at 8:30 a.m. in Alumni Park.