Tasked with covering developing stories from the nation’s capital, Mercedes Stephenson is the Parliamentary Reporter for CTV NEWS CHANNEL. She is an accomplished analyst in the field of international security; a sought-after military expert and keynote speaker; and a political journalist known for her ability to rapidly synthesize complex information and arguments on a wide range of topics.
Since joining CTV News in the summer of 2011, Stephenson was the reporter for the 2012 NDP Leadership Convention, assigned to Brian Topp’s camp. She also read between the budget lines for the Federal Budget, and reported on Canada Day Celebrations from Parliament Hill in 2012. Stephenson is the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her journalistic and editorial work, documenting the treatment of Canadian veterans and their families.
Stephenson has travelled to Kabul and Kandahar in Afghanistan, and has been an embedded journalist with multiple Canadian Forces joint task forces before their deployments. She experienced Canada’s Afghan mission up-close, helping to bring stories back to Canadians about the poverty and conflict in the country, and determination of the young soldiers who put their lives on the line.
From 2008 to 2010, Stephenson was the Vice-President and Policy Analyst for Breakout Educational Network, a registered charitable organization dedicated to conducting independent research on matters of public policy, community building, civic and youth engagement. While at Breakout, Stephenson hosted three nationally broadcast weekly public affairs series, covering a wide range of issues.
In 2004, she was nominated by her university for the MacLean’s Magazine "Best and Brightest 25 Under 30” for her expertise as a military analyst. A talented presenter, Stephenson got her start on the air while interning at The Pentagon’s Army Headquarters, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, in 2002. She wrote, reported, produced and voiced news stories for Soldier’s Radio and Television, which were broadcast internationally. She was presented with the Secretary of the Army’s “Gold Coin” for achieving excellence in broadcast journalism.
Since 2001, Stephenson has regularly appeared on national broadcast networks and has been featured in some of Canada’s preeminent publications. She was the youngest military analyst in North America covering the Iraq war at 21 years old. During this time she served as the President of the Society for Military and Strategic Studies (2001 – 2004).
Stephenson holds and Honours B.A. in Political Science from The University of Calgary (U of C) and did Masters-level graduate work at The University of Calgary Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. She was a visiting research student at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and studied economics and media ethics at Washington's Georgetown University while interning at The Pentagon full-time.
A native of Calgary, AB, Stephenson now lives and works in Ottawa.
Follow her on Twitter: @CTVMercedes