John Donvan

John Donvan (born 1955) is co-author of In a Different Key: The Story of Autism, the New York Times bestseller, and a regular correspondent for Nightline.

Personal life

Donvan attended Regis High School in New York City[1] and graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College and from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He and his wife, Dr. Ranit Mishori, a physician and health reporter, have two children.


Donvan began his career in 1977 as news director of WLIS in Old Saybrook Connecticut. At age 25 ABC Radio hired him as a foreign correspondent in 1980. In 1982, the network promoted him to television. He was assigned to Jerusalem, Israel and parts of the Arab world. From 1985-88, he worked for CNN, as a London-based correspondent, covering Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Donvan rejoined ABC in 1988, and has been there ever since. Based in London, and later Moscow, he covered nearly all of the major news events overseas through the 1980s and the 1990s. This includes; the collapse of Communism (he was in Red Square the night the Soviet flag came down, and in Romania when Nicolae Ceauşescu was arrested); the Iran–Iraq War; both Persian Gulf Wars (1990-1991 and 2003-2001); two Royal Weddings; the assassination of Anwar Sadat; the bombing of the marine barracks in Beirut; and the end of the nuclear arms race.

Donvan returned to New York in 1993, where he contributed to ABC News' magazine programs and World News Tonight, and occasionally served as an anchor on Good Morning America and weekend news broadcasts. In 1997, he was assigned to the network's Washington, DC bureau, and the White House beat, covering the campaign finance scandal and the president's travels abroad. He joined Nightline in 1998 and continues contributuing to that program, as well as writing essay style pieces for World News with Diane Sawyer.

Donvan also serves as moderator of Intelligence Squared US, a forum that gathers together experts to debate propositions concerning serious topics of public interest in Oxford Union-style debates which may be heard on NPR, and on Fora.TV. In addition, Donvan is an avid storyteller, premiering his first one-man show -- "Lose the Kid"—in Washington, DC in September 2013, under the auspices of SpeakeasyDC.

In 2016, Donvan and Caren Zucker, a journalist and television news producer, co-authored In a Different Key: The Story of Autism.[2]


Donvan has won three Emmy Awards, several Overseas Press Club Awards, two Cine Golden Eagles, and has been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists, the Committee of 100, and the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans.


  1. Donvan, John (January 19, 2012). "Quizmaster Reflects On 50 Years Of 'It's Academic'". NPR. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  2. Groopman, Jerome (January 26, 2016). "'In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,' by John Donvan and Caren Zucker". New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
Media offices
Preceded by
Brit Hume
ABC News Chief White House Correspondent
Succeeded by
Sam Donaldson
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