Vanessa Ruiz directs the borderlands coverage team at Cronkite News, the student-produced, faculty-led news division of Arizona PBS, helps lead the Spanish-language newscast, Cronkite Noticias and works as anchor and host on air with special productions also at Arizona PBS.
Prior to joining the Cronkite School, Ruiz was the main evening news anchor at KPNX, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, while also reporting on the stories that matter to those who live in the Valley of the Sun. Ruiz began her career in early 2001 as an assignment desk editor and later as associate producer for Telemundo Network’s national newscast. Just a few months into her career, Sept. 11 occurred, catapulting Ruiz onto an unforgettable career in broadcasting that continues to this day. There, she worked her way up, becoming Telemundo International’s youngest news anchor, bringing national and international news stories to the homes of 5 million-plus U.S. and Latin American viewers both in English & Spanish.
Her interviews ranged from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the presidents of Peru, Ecuador and El Salvador.
In 2005, she accepted the challenge of becoming a reporter for WSVN-FOX Miami, one of the most dynamic and innovative local news stations in the country. Ruiz covered a wide range of stories, from the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, several hurricanes, the BP oil spill and Super Bowl XLI, among many others.
In 2011, she was recruited by TV Marti to anchor and report on issues impacting Cuba, the Caribbean and South America. While at TV Marti, Ruiz covered stories in Venezuela and Nicaragua, while field anchoring the U.S. political conventions in 2012 and President Obama’s second inauguration in 2013.
In 2014, Los Angeles called, with Ruiz signing on with KNBC, covering a news market that spanned 41,000 square miles. There, she reported on all kinds of stories coming from the nation’s No. 2 news market, working at the station’s flagship morning show, “Today in L.A.”
In the summer of 2016, Ruiz was KPNX’s choice to represent the station during the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There, she provided live, original and exclusive uninterrupted coverage across multiple platforms.
In the same year, Ruiz was part of KPNX’s main anchor team for Decision 2016, NBC’s Presidential Election coverage. During an election cycle like no other, viewers turned to Ruiz's experience, objectivity and steadiness to provide unbiased, up-to-the-minute information during an unforgettable moment in U.S. history.
Ruiz’s team won the 2016 Rocky Mountain Emmy for Best Evening Newscast. She’s also been nominated for several other Emmy’s, recognized by The Academy of Television of Arts and Science for special coverage of Sept. 11, has been awarded the David Burke Distinguished Journalism Award for exceptional integrity, bravery, and originality in reporting, while getting recognized as one of Florida’s leading Latino’s in journalism.
Ruiz was born in Miami and is of Colombian descent. She also studied part of her elementary and high-school education in Spain. She considers herself proudly part of the 200 percent: 100 percent American and 100 percent Latina. She graduated with honors from Florida International University with a B.S. in Mass Communication and a minor in International Relations.