Kafanov joined CNN in 2019 after nearly a decade of working abroad as a foreign correspondent in conflict zones across the globe. She has reported from more than 50 countries including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Myanmar, the Korean Peninsula, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Venezuela and Yemen.
At CNN, Kafanov has covered a wide-range of stories, including the coronavirus pandemic; ongoing nationwide protests and civil unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd; the devastating impact of climate change and record-breaking wildfires in the West; and the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
Prior to joining CNN, Kafanov was a foreign correspondent for NBC News based in London, covering major international news stories including terrorist attacks across Europe; the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria; and the Korean nuclear crisis. She covered the search for missing EgyptAir Flight MS804 on board a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion; was one of the first reporters on the scene in Amatrice after a deadly earthquake nearly wiped out the Italian town in 2016; and in 2017, became the first American journalist to get access to Russia's newly-formed Arctic Military Brigade. Her feature story assignments have taken her from the Great Pyramid of Giza to a chilly surfing adventure 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Previously, Kafanov worked as a freelance journalist reporting on the impact of violence and conflict on civilian communities across the Middle East, Europe and Russia. In 2016, Kafanov was awarded an International Reporting Project fellowship grant to investigate human rights abuses against the Rohingya in Myanmar.
At the height of the refugee crisis in 2015, Kafanov followed Iraqi and Syrian refugees as they traveled across Turkey, Greece, Hungary and neighboring countries. Kafanov spent several years covering politics in Turkey and the resurgent conflict between Turkish forces and the Kurds. She has investigated the deaths of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, traveling thousands of miles across Russia to track down families affected by the Kremlin's undeclared war. Among other stories, she has covered: the war in Afghanistan and the country's 2014 presidential election; the impact of drone strikes on civilian communities in Pakistan and Yemen; the struggle of Syrian refugees in Jordan; and the Syrian conflict's spillover into Lebanon.
Before moving abroad, Kafanov covered Washington politics, including the 2008 Presidential Election as a producer for the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Kafanov graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University.
When not in front of the camera, Lucy is passionate about cultivating joy through meditation, yoga, dance, art and connection to nature. She began her mindfulness practice after completing a ten-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat in Nepal and trekking solo through the Himalayas.
Follow Lucy on Twitter and Instagram @LucyKafanov.