Michelle Shephard stood among the crumbling remains of New York City’s World Trade Center on the night of 9/11 and asked, “Why?” So began her 10-year journalistic journey as the Toronto Star’s National Security reporter, looking for answers in the streets of Mogadishu, Sanaa, to the mountains of Waziristan, refugee camps in Dadaab and Peshawar, the corridors of power in Washington and Ottawa, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle and flying to the world’s most famous jail in Guantanamo Bay two dozen times.
Shephard has won Canada’s top journalism’s prizes – a three-time recipient of the National Newspaper Award (2002, 2009, 2011) and won the Governor General’s Michener Award for Public Service Journalism. She was also an associate producer on the Oscar-nominated documentary “Under Fire: Journalists in Combat” and is currently producing a documentary on Uighur detainees from Guantanamo Bay. In 2012, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association honoured Shephard for “excellence in public engagement.”
When not travelling, or running and cycling to keep her sanity, Shephard enjoys life in a century-old home in downtown Toronto with her photojournalist husband Jim Rankin and their two cats Bernstein (Bernie) and Deep Throat (DeeTee, adopted following Woodward’s passing). She finds peace camping in the wilds of Algonquin Park and on the beaches of Costa Rica.