Sam Feist is CNN’s Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. Appointed to this position in May 2011, he assumes responsibility for the bureau’s day-to-day operations and leads all newsgathering efforts and Washington-based programming. This includes renowned shows such as The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, The Lead with Jake Tapper, State of the Union, and Inside Politics.
Additionally, Feist spearheads CNN’s production of campaign and election coverage, encompassing debates, convention coverage, and election night analysis. Notably, CNN’s primary debates during the 2016 campaign cycle received an Emmy award nomination and recorded the network’s highest ratings in history.
Before his role as Washington bureau chief, Feist served as CNN’s political director and vice president of Washington programming. In this capacity, he coordinated all aspects of CNN’s daily political coverage and oversaw the network’s production of the 2006 midterm and 2008 presidential elections. Feist’s management of primary and convention coverage during the 2008 election cycle contributed to CNN being honored with a prestigious Peabody Award.
Feist played a pivotal role in the creation and served as the founding executive producer of The Situation Room, a highly regarded daily newscast currently in its twelfth year. Throughout his career, he has produced and overseen various CNN political programs, including Crossfire, State of the Union, The Capital Gang, Evans & Novak, Late Edition, and Wolf Blitzer Reports.
His work has involved conducting interviews with influential world leaders such as Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Yitzhak Rabin.
With three Emmy Awards to his name, Feist has been recognized for his exceptional executive production work on CNN’s election coverage in 2012, the network’s 2006 midterm election coverage, and its breaking news coverage of the 2011 Arab Spring.
Feist embarked on his CNN journey in 1990 as a freelance producer in the London Bureau before transitioning to the network’s headquarters in Atlanta. He later relocated to the Washington Bureau during the 1992 presidential campaign.
Feist holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Vanderbilt University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He continued his academic pursuits at Georgetown University Law Center, where he earned his law degree with honors. During his time at Georgetown, Feist studied international law at Cambridge University. He is an esteemed member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Washington Economic Club, and the Bar of the District of Columbia.