Katty Kay Profile

  • U.S. Special Correspondent for BBC Studios.

  • Award-winning Journalist and Bestselling Author.

  • She brings an instinctively global perspective to her observations on American politics and global affairs.
  • Katty Kay is an expert journalist with extensive knowledge of global affairs, international relations and women’s issues. Currently working as lead anchor of BBC World News America, she was previously Washington Correspondent for the BBC. Her career has taken her around the world, from Zimbabwe to South Africa to Tokyo to London. She has also worked for The Times of London.

    Kay’s experience of global politics began early, growing up all around the Middle East where her father was in the British diplomatic service. She studied modern languages at the University of Oxford (she speaks fluent French and Italian and “rusty Japanese”) and worked at the Bank of England before taking up journalism.

    Her position at the heart of Washington gives Kay expert knowledge of both US domestic and global affairs, be they economic, political or social. She is frequently invited onto NBC’s Meet the Press as a guest commentator and she is often a guest co-host on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

    With her co-author Claire Shipman, Kay wrote the New York Times bestseller Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success. This book explains how women can create a professional life that is in accordance with their needs and that this can enhance profitability and employee satisfaction. Their next book, The Confidence Code, was published last year.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Katty Kay is an award-winning journalist whose instinctively global perspective on American politics and global affairs comes from having lived and worked in the Middle East, South Africa, Japan, Europe, and the U.S. throughout her career. Now Washington-based, Katty has been with the BBC for nearly 30 years as a reporter and lead anchor, reporting on six U.S. presidential elections, Washington politics, financial crashes, world trouble spots, sex scandals, global affairs, and much more. She is currently U.S. special correspondent for BBC Studios – where she hosts TV documentaries from both the U.S. and Europe, presents her own podcast series, and writes a weekly column. Katty is a regular contributor and substitute host of Morning Joe on MSNBC and also writes on the art and science of self-assurance in women and girls. She is co-author, with Claire Shipman, of four New York Times’ bestselling books: Womenomics, The Confidence Code, The Confidence Code for Girls, and Living the Confidence Code. Katty is an engaging keynote speaker on a wide range of topics as well as a brilliant moderator, interviewer, and event host.

      Helping women turn thoughts into action and master a more confident mindset is one of Katty’s passions. She is co-author of five books with Claire Shipman, including four New York Times bestsellers – two were #1. Their first two bestsellers focus on women, success, and work. Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success examined the workplace revolution and inspired women to take control, dream big and discover a different way of weaving work into their lives – and in the process create more profitable companies with happier and more productive employees. They followed up with The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know, which inspired women to understand that confidence – the lynchpin of success – is a choice.

      After The Confidence Code was released, parents everywhere asked about confidence and girls. That led to three more books co-authored by Katty with Claire Shipman and JillEllyn Riley. The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self, was released in April 2018 and debuted at the #1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list. The empowering, entertaining guide gives girls the essential yet elusive code to becoming bold, brave, and fearless. The follow-up, The Confidence Code for Girls Journal: A Guide to Embracing Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self, is based on their in-depth research and helps teens and tweens tackle any challenge. Their most recent book, Living the Confidence Code: Real Girls, Real Stories, Real Confidence, debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list (Children’s Middle Grade) and is a collection of 30 true stories of real girls pursuing their passions, struggling and stumbling, but along the way figuring out how to build their own special brand of confidence. Katty and Claire are currently co-authoring their sixth book and have plans to launch a podcast.

      On the fun side, Katty had the distinction of being immortalized in pop culture in 2018 when her name was the answer to a question on the Jeopardy game show. In the same week, she was portrayed in a skit on Saturday Night Live which satirized a moment from MSNBC’s Morning Joe program.

      Katty Kay settled in Washington, DC in the mid-90s where she lives with her husband, two cats, and a dog. They have four grown children.

    Katty Kay Speaking Videos

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    Katty Kay's Speech Descriptions

    From her outsider’s position as a Brit in Washington, Katty Kay uses her extensive experience and contacts to reveal a picture of what’s really going on in the US capital. She explains how such a large percentage of politicians’ time is taken up with infighting, and suggests how America’s problems can be fixed through politics.

    Having reported from all over the world, Kay has the knowledge and experience to present highly valuable insights into the rapid global changes we are currently undergoing. Most importantly, she can relate these changes to the impact that they will have on you and your business.

    Based on her bestselling books Womenomics and The Confidence Code, Kay explains how allowing women to stay in the workplace while having a family not only benefits women but also is massively beneficial to their employers. She demonstrates how measuring outputs rather than input with flexible working schedules can see productivity rise by an average of 40%.

    As well as offering keynote speeches, Kay is an expert moderator and interviewer who will get the best from all your guests on any panel.


    New research shows women don't want power - the cost of getting it is too high and power itself looks unappealing. But companies do better with more women in leadership. Countries do better with women in political office. Everyone does better with more women in power. So, what will it take for women to overcome their reluctance and take the reins? Rather than women changing themselves, Katty Kay suggests we need to change the meaning of power and the routes that lead to it. When we do that – when women can focus on using power to make positive changes, with a clear understanding of why power is important – power becomes more accessible, appealing and impactful for women. This new model, designed by and for women, empowers women to become their most powerful selves and lead fuller and more satisfying lives, and helps men do the same.


    Emerging from the pandemic, America is grappling with unprecedented social, cultural, workplace, economic, political, and technological change. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and its new closer ties with China – further complicate the political and economic picture for the U.S. In this speech, veteran journalist Katty Kay gives audiences the latest news from Washington – unpacking politics and policies and their impact. As someone who’s worked and lived in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and (since 1996) Washington, D.C., Katty looks at America’s challenges through a global lens. As a result, her insights are unique and refreshing. Even-handed with a light dose of British humor, Katty reminds audiences to keep the challenges in perspective.


    The world can change in an instant. The pandemic decimated economies, increased nationalism, and raised internal tensions in America and most developed countries. Leaders and political systems were under the spotlight and authoritarian politicians used the crisis to seize control. Most recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine initiated a global response the likes of which we’ve not seen since WWII. The shift in the global power structure cannot be overestimated. What’s next? How will China factor into this? Katty Kay has reported on the drivers of global political change for over three decades. As a Brit who’s lived and worked on four continents, Katty brings her instinctively global perspective to audiences – unpacking insights to help them understand more clearly the forces at play around the world and their likely impact.


    Confidence! With it, we can take on the world; without it, we don’t ask for raises, request that important meeting, or take risks. In the success equation, research shows that confidence is even more critical than competence. But what is confidence? Where does it come from? Are we born with it or do we acquire it? And why do women have less of it than their talents deserve? This speech can be tailored to women or girls/parents and is based on Katty’s bestselling books on the subject. Katty Kay inspires audiences with the latest scientific research and anecdotes from her own career and the many women and girls she interviewed. Katty’s experience is like that of so many women, even senior women, whose lack of confidence is what really holds them back. The good news then is that being confident is a choice. Katty’s talk inspires audiences to take action – to go outside their comfort zones, to try new hard things, to take risks, to be prepared to fail and to discover the secret to success.


    As a journalist, Katty Kay regularly interviews scores of political dignitaries, business leaders, and cultural icons for her news broadcasts. She brings that talent to corporate, association, and organization events where she’s interviewed noted figures from a wide variety of backgrounds including Condoleezza Rice, Anna Wintour, Dan Levy, Michael Lewis, Cynt Marshall, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Carlo Ancelotti, Anoush Ansari and scores more. The skill, grace and humor Katty brings to in-person and virtual events as a panel moderator, discussion leader, and interviewer will get the most out of her guest/panelists and create a memorable experience for the audience.

    What People are Saying about Seeing Katty Speak

    Rating Entries

    “It was amazing!!!!!! I got so caught up in the discussion I missed several of my spotlighting queues. She was warm, friendly, engaging, Just Brilliant!”
    – McCain Foods (VIRTUAL EVENT)

    “FYI – Katty is killing this presentation! She is so natural and easy going, yet professional. Really enjoyed her. Thank you for another great pick!”
    – Kestra Financial (VIRTUAL EVENT)

    “The conversation was absolutely lovely. Katty is such a joy to listen to and so relatable and understandable…I think this is the 4th or 5th time we have had Katty speak at Toyota, and we definitely will look to have her again soon.”
    – Toyota (VIRTUAL EVENT)

    “We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from everyone who attended the session in Austin last Friday. ‘Insightful, empowering and inspirational’ were some of the words used.”
    – Digital Reality

    “Our audience loved Katty Kay for her warmth, genuine connection and substance. Her presentation will absolutely help us shift our focus as an organization and reach more women long-term!”
    – Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute

    “Thank you again for joining us for Baker McKenzie’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Forum last week. You were truly spectacular, and the program was extremely well-received by our people and clients.”
    – Baker McKenzie’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Forum

    “She was fantastic! Incredibly well received. So authentic and knowledgeable.”
    – Director, Multi-Cultural Marketing Strategy, Northwestern Mutual

    “Thank you for joining us at the Deloitte 2017 World Meeting. It was a privilege for our most senior leaders to hear perspectives from you, David Cameron, and John Kerry. Your deft moderation of the discussion helped ensure a robust exchange of ideas on global trends and their impact on business. I know we will look back on your session as among the most memorable highlights of our time in Rome.”
    – CEO, Deloitte Global

    “She may have been our best speaker (ever) – delightful and substantive and a pleasure to work with – our members just loved her.”
    – Vice President, Public Affairs, HR Policy Association

    “Wanted to let you know that Katty was fantastic!! Great way to end the conference session today. She is such a great speaker and her Q&A session was great and we could have went on forever if she didn’t have to catch a flight. She had a lot of interesting questions.”
    – Executive Director, SAE Detroit Section

    “We are still getting high praise from our members (and staff) on Katty Kay’s presentation. She definitely was one of the highlights of the conference and I have let my colleagues know that they should definitely consider her as a speaker for any future events.”
    – Communications Manager, Government Affairs, National Association of REALTORS®

    “Katty did an amazing job!”
    – Vice President, Business Banking, Great Western Bank

    “Thanks to Katty the event was very successful. We have gotten back a lot of positive feedback from the group. She was fantastic at the event and the topic was something all of the women could relate including me. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Katty and listening to her. She is a very down to earth person who brings a lot of knowledge and experience to any group that she has the pleasure to speak to their group.”
    – Executive Assistant, Penske

    “On behalf of the entire Ellucian team, thank you for giving up valuable family time last week to join the female leaders. Your message on “The Confidence Code” was profoundly on target and inspirational to all of us!”
    – CEO, Ellucian

    “Fantastic!!!! Katty was simply fabulous. The audience loved her.”
    – Senior Vice President, Business Development

    “Katty Kay was a huge hit with the attendees at NY Cash Exchange! She did a great job of creating a current events message geared to our group’s primary areas of interest and her presentation style was very polished and professional. Her humor provided a welcome balance. Perhaps the highest point was the Q&A session. She is obviously very well informed and quick minded. We would certainly book her again.”
    – Managing Director, Ruzek Management

    “Thank you for being such a great keynote speaker. Your presentation touched our entire membership. The way you set the table with your message of where America fits in today’s Global Economy, was quite skillful and eye opening for those attending. They felt reassured that the USA was still the world leader that they all grew up believing and yes … better days are on their way!”
    – Education Consultant, Florida Public Pension Trustees Association

    “I can’t begin to describe how well Katty connected with our audience. She really resonated with the group as a single presenter discussing politics in DC and the obvious partisanship and discord that threaten our political representatives to govern. Interestingly, she does not give the press a free ride either, as too often, be it television or radio, the media has turned nearly as partisan as our politics. She was engaging, confident and yet self-deprecating at the same time. Doing double duty, she then moderated a business session discussing gender issues in the industry where she performed magnificently. With her recent book, “Womenomics”, it was obvious she knows the concerns and problems of women in the corporate world and their impact in the marketplace. We had several compliments about this session, especially from men. Having said all that, perhaps her most important attribute is her genuineness. She was perfect for our program and our audience. I would not be hesitant to recommend her to any organization.”
    – President/CEO, NABCA

    “You were absolutely fantastic – and got rave reviews.”
    – Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

    “It was our pleasure to have you appear before our attendees last week in Miami on the occasion of our annual meeting of the American Cotton Shippers Association. Your comments and analysis of domestic and international matters was very well received and enjoyed by everyone I spoke with afterwards. The connections you made with our members regarding their export markets relating to China, Turkey, and others was a very good fit. Your genuine approach to the audience was refreshing and made personal by your wonderful smile and personality.”
    – President/CEO, ACSA

    “It was great to see you again. You were incredibly well-received – both last night and this afternoon. Your message is powerfully and passionately delivered, and really resonates with us. Thank you again for taking the time to join us.”
    – Kenneth M. Doran, Chairman & Managing Partner, Gibson Dunn

    “Katty was absolutely fantastic. The attendees loved her. Her comments couldn’t have been more well suited for our audience. She’s a very personable person which makes hosting so much easier. I am so glad that we were able to do this.”
    – Margaret M. Timony, Executive Director, Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association

    “I want to thank you for leading such a superb panel discussion. The rapport that you established through the conversation was just wonderful and the panelists were both extremely candid in their views which our members appreciated (and commented on). It was one of the best discussions on emerging markets that we’ve featured at the Winter Forum. Some of their perspectives were unexpected, like those related to Russia and other regions – which made the session all the more interesting. The difference in ensuring this was executed at a high level was all the preparation you undertook and your willingness to tailor the discussion for actionable ideas for the audience. I was thrilled with the outcome and it was a real honor to have you join us.”
    – Founder, NMS Management

    “I just wanted to let you know that everyone was crazy about Katty. They loved her message and her delivery. I think Katty has converted many of the attendees to BBC News.”
    – Denise Billing, President, PRMC Foundation

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    Books by Katty Kay:

    The Power Code: More Joy. Less Ego. Maximum Impact for Women (and Everyone)

    The authors of the New York Times bestseller The Confidence Code explore the nature of women’s power—in the workplace, in politics, and at home—explaining how a new model, one designed by and for women, will not only make it possible for women to become their most powerful selves but will benefit everyone.

    We are living in a moment of unprecedented transformation for women. Despite recent setbacks, women continue to advance in almost every arena—politics, business, education. We are starting to earn more than our husbands. More of us are getting elected to public office. We are better educated than men. Businesses know they need us and are desperate to hire and keep us. Management gurus at top universities say female leaders are the key to success in the 21st century. Of course, not everything is equal yet—and progress doesn’t follow a straight line, as the recent Supreme Court ruling makes painfully clear—but the underlying evidence and the long-term indications show that the world is moving inexorably from one dominated by men, as it has been for 2000 years, to one in which women have an equal if not greater say in how things run.

    If it’s all so great, (at least for some of us) why does it feel so hard and why are there so many tensions that no one wants to talk about? Almost a dozen global studies show women improve profits, so why aren’t more of us CEOs? We’re doing better at school than boys, yet we can’t crack STEM? Do women use power differently and do we even want it? Can men ever learn to live with and, yes, love powerful women? And can we ever make real progress if we’re still operating in a world built by and for men? Do we still have to become alpha men in skirts?

    What we need is a new definition of power and a reimagined workplace and homefront that everyone can buy into and benefit from. Drawing on the latest research, interviews with high-powered women, and their own personal stories, Kay and Shipman ask tough questions, surfacing hidden opportunities that draw on women’s underappreciated strengths and presenting a new operating system that helps women use their talents to become their most powerful selves.

      Womenomics: Work Less, Achieve More, Live Better

      You are not alone. Finally, here is a book that gets to the heart of what professional women want. You′ve probably been loath to admit it, but like most of us, you have had enough of the sixty-hour workweeks, the day-care dash, and the vacations that never get taken. You don′t want to quit, you want to work—but on your own terms and in ways that make it possible to have a life as well. Women have power. In Womenomics, journalists Shipman and Kay deal in facts, not stereotypes, providing a fresh perspective on the largely hidden power that women have in today′s marketplace. Why? Companies with more women managers are more profitable. Women do more of the buying. A talent shortage looms. Younger generations want to work flexibly, too. It all adds up to a workplace revolution that is great news for professional women—not to mention men and businesses as well.

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