Mike Boettcher

  • Former ABC War Correspondent; CNN's Former Chief Terrorism Correspondent
  • Recently Embedded in Iraq & Afghanistan with ABC
  • Subject of the ABC documentary film "The Hornet's Nest" (released 2014)

Mike Boettcher is there when history is made. He has been with CNN, NBC News, and ABC World News on-location covering nearly every major war, revolution, and terrorist attack of the last 30 years. He was kidnapped and threatened with execution in El Salvador in 1985.  Twenty years later, he survived a suicide bomber attack and a roadside bombing in Baghdad. He led NBC’s investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing and was one of three journalists allowed to speak to Timothy McVeigh in prison.  He functioned as the chief correspondent for CNN’s terrorism investigation unit for five years. 

Boettcher, was one of a small group of reporters embedded with U.S. Special Forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom and with the U.S. Marines covering Iraq in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. He left NBC News in 2008 to embed with U.S. troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and continues to report via satellite for ABC World News with Charlie Gibson and for the Oklahoman newspaper.  

Media files by Mike Boettcher

  • "The Hornets Nest" Movie Trailer
  • The Brave and the Free: In Mikes keynote presentation, attendees hear untold stories of real American heroes. Learn how our troops need our help and how we can all come together to help them. He draws on experience and stories from his 30 years of experience on the front lines covering conflicts, terrorism, and wars for the top media organizations in the world. In this presentation, there is never a dull moment. Your audience will be inspired and entertained.
  • Request Topic Outline
  • Adventure
  • Banquet Speaker
  • Emcee's & Moderators
  • Future Trends
  • Globalization
  • Inspirational
  • Keynote Speakers
  • Media and Journalism
  • OKC Speakers
  • Politics
  • Well Known Oklahomans
  • World Affairs
  • Youth and School Events

Veteran network news correspondent, Mike Boettcher, has been recognized with journalism’s top awards for his coverage of events that shaped the world since 1980.  He also helped launch the era of 24-hour live news coverage when on June 1, 1980, he performed the first live satellite report for a fledgling network called CNN.  In a three-decade network career Boettcher received national recognition in all facets of broadcast journalism – breaking news, feature, war coverage and investigative reporting.  He was also recognized for his investigations of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups.  As the chief correspondent for CNN’s terrorism investigation unit, a team he created in the summer of 2001, Boettcher was awarded a Peabody, his third of four National Emmys and a National Headliner award.          

Boettcher is frequently asked to lecture on the subject of terrorism and journalism at some of the world’s top institutions and corporations, including London’s Royal United Services Institute, Sweden’s National Defense College, Scotland’s St. Andrews University, West Point’s Senior Leaders Conference, U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Army War College, The Aerospace Industries Association and the General Dynamics Corporation.            

In three decades of assignments covering world conflict for NBC News and CNN, he has witnessed, investigated and been a victim of terrorism himself.  He was kidnapped and threatened with execution in El Salvador in 1985.  Twenty years later, he survived a suicide bomber attack and a roadside bombing in Baghdad.  Boettcher covered the emergence of modern terrorist tactics in the early 1980’s in Lebanon when the U.S. Marine barracks was bombed, killing 241. He covered the Pan AM 103 tragedy in Lockerbie and was assigned to investigate it.  Boettcher led NBC’s investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing and was one of three journalists allowed to speak to Timothy McVeigh in prison.  Since 1998, when the U.S. embassies in Africa were bombed, he has been assigned to investigate every major Al Qaeda attack against American targets.              Boettcher, who was one of a small group of reporters embedded with U.S. Special Forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom, has reported extensively from Iraq and Afghanistan.  His experience covering Iraq dates back to Operation Desert Storm in 1991 when he was embedded with U.S. Marines.  That same year he won an Emmy for his coverage of the Kurdish refugee crisis in Iraq.            
Boettcher is recognized as one of the world’s most experienced foreign correspondents, covering wars and revolutions in every part of the globe.  He left NBC News in 2008 to pursue the On The Line project – the only entity embedded full time with U.S. troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.  As part of the project, he lectured weekly, via satellite, from Iraq to the University of Oklahoma’s groundbreaking War and Media class and filed regular reports for ABC World News with Charlie Gibson and online for the Oklahoman newspaper.  He is currently a visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma and is writing a book about the threat Al Qaeda poses around the globe titled The Network. 

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