HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Zain Asher

CNN Journalist and Author of Where the Children Take Us


  • Career/Inspiration
  • Women
  • Business/Economy
  • International Affairs


New York

Zain Asher was born to first-generation Nigerian parents in South London. A graduate of Oxford University and Columbia University, she is currently an anchor for CNN International. She anchors One World with Zain Asher, her own global news program on the network. Asher has anchored major breaking news and business stories for CNN including the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the 2021 Israel-Hamas conflict, the US-China trade war, the August 2020 explosion in Beirut, racial and economic inequality in the U.S, the deaths of both Fidel Castro, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and the 2013 terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. In 2014 Asher was a part of a CNN team sent to Nigeria to report on the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by Boko Haram militants in Chibok, Nigeria. CNN's coverage of the horrific abduction was recognized with a prestigious 2014 Peabody Award. In Spring 2022, Asher’s memoir Where the Children Takes Us: How One Family Achieved the Unimaginable (Amistad) publishes.

An unforgettable portrait of strength, tenacity, love and perseverance, in Where the Children Take Us Asher pays tribute to her mother’s strength and determination to raise four successful children in the shadow of tragedy. Drawing on tough-love parenting strategies, Asher’s mother Obiajulu, teaches her sons and daughters to overcome the daily pressures of poverty, crime and prejudice—and much more. With her relentless support, the children exceed all expectations—becoming a CNN anchor, an Oscar-nominated actor—Asher’s older brother Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)—a medical doctor, and a thriving entrepreneur.

An inspirational and empowering speaker, Asher’s words and presentations deeply move audiences.

Asher graduated from Oxford University where she studied French and Spanish and graduated with a distinction in oral Spanish. In 2006, she earned an MS from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Asher previously served as a CNN business correspondent covering the stock market from the New York Stock Exchange, U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy and high-profile IPOs. Asher joined CNN from MONEY magazine where she covered careers and investing. She lives in the New York area with her husband and two sons.

Praise for Where the Children Take Us:

"At its heart, Where the Children Take Us is a love letter to the author’s mother, in all her strength and determination."

"Asher delivers a well-written chronicle of absolute determination and familial devotion. A wholly inspiring portrait of an extraordinary immigrant family."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

An inspirational story of resilience that will appeal to readers interested in memoir, parenting, mid-20th century Nigerian and British history, and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.
--Library Journal

“A deeply moving and riveting memoir. The courage and resilience displayed by Zain Asher's mother leave a lasting impression, and offer valuable lessons for raising a family no matter the circumstances."
--Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global

“This powerful and beautiful memoir has so many of the aspects of life we relate to, sincerely appreciate, and remind us of the depths of our humanity. Overcoming tragedy, the strength in family, and the unstoppable spirit of a mother who made the greatest sacrifice to better the lives of her children.”
--Common, Academy Award and Grammy Award winning actor/rapper, and New York Times bestselling author

“A heartwarming love letter to a mother who miraculously pushes through tragedy to steer her children toward their seemingly impossible dreams, through a methodology all her own.”
--Golden Globe nominated actor, David Oyelowo, Selma

"An incredible personal story of tragedy, triumph and what's possible when you persevere, while keeping a firm hold on who you are and where you come from."
--Don Cheadle, award-winning actor, producer, and director