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Susannah Nesmith is an award-winning former journalist now working as a government ethics investigator. She has a track record of holding public officials to account.  She is bilingual and has spent years living and working abroad in challenging environments.

Professional Experience



Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust

Holding public officials and employees accountable with deep and detailed investigations into legal documents and financial records. Investigative reports are used as the basis for legal opinions and sometimes prosecutions.


Multimedia Freelance Journalist

Miami, Florida

Online, print and broadcast clients include  The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Columbia Journalism Review, CNN's Death Row Stories, Bloomberg News, The Daily Business Review, The Miami Herald, AARP Bulletin, Planning magazine and Poder Hispanic magazine. 

  • Regular monthly contributor of media criticism columns to Columbia Journalism Review’s United States Project, reporting on the coverage of politics and policy from 2013-2016.· Author page here.
  • South Florida correspondent on the legal team of Bloomberg News. ·Author page here
  • Investigative Reporter for four episodes of the CNN documentary series Death Row Stories during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 season. IMDb page here.
  • Author and investigator for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting's report on the failure of Florida officials to prosecute human traffickers. Story ran in multiple newspapers and on CBS4. Story here. 
  • Frequent contributor to AARP's Bulletin magazine. Limited author page here
  • Story in the New York Times forced federal prosecutors to drop charges against a military veteran accused of passport fraud. Story here. 

Associate Editor 

As You Were; The Military Experience

Edits submissions to a unique literary journal dedicated to the military experience. 


Reporter and Editor

The Miami Herald

Multimedia coordinator and part-time assistant city editor. Previously legal affairs and crime reporter. Covered hundreds of cases and more than a dozen high-profile criminal trials. Also worked as the chief crime reporter for Miami-Dade County.  

  • Reporting forced local officials to release a man wrongly accused of rape. Story here. 
  • Dispatched to cover the emerging coup and catastrophic flooding in Haiti in 2004. One story here
  • Served as temporary bureau chief in Knight Ridder's Baghdad bureau in 2005. One story here.
  • Led a team covering the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
  • Reported from Havana, Cuba in 2009, working undercover. One story here. 

Foreign Correspondent

The Associated Press

Reported for two years from Bogotá, Colombia, covering the war, economic issues and the presidential elections and for 18 months from the Dominican Republic.

  • Covered the end of the peace process and the announcement that the military would begin bombing the demilitarized zone. Within 24 hours, was positioned within the bombing zone and filing to international wire service. Also reported as an imbed with Colombian military, from deep within rebel lines and from within paramilitary lines.
  • Dispatched to Caracas, Venezuela in the aftermath of the 2002 coup attempt. 
  • Ran the AP's office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for 18 months, supervising four reporting stringers and a photo stringer.

Freelance Reporter


Covered the reconstruction of post-war Bosnia-Hercegovina, reporting primarily from Serb territory. Also reported from Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Croatia and Greece. Clients included the San Francisco Chronicle, Cox Newspapers, The Cairo Times, the Jewish Times of London.



The Palm Beach Post

Covered legal affairs, crime, health care, local government, social services, the environment, NASA and education. Stories exposed police corruption and forced a private health care company serving local jails to refund more than $4 million to Medicaid for illegal billing. 



El Mercurio de Santiago

Reported and wrote in Spanish for the largest newspaper in Chile, covering a variety of topics, from the death of the country's only elephant to post-Pinochet judicial reform.


May 2014

M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction

Goucher College, Towson, Maryland

Winner of the Christine White Award in writing. 


AB in History and Latin American Studies

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York


  • 2014 Awarded a fellowship to study the coverage of aging at Columbia University - The Age Boom Academy
  • 2014 Awarded a fellowship to study multimedia journalism education at the University of Texas El Paso, sponsored by Dow Jones, Inc.
  • 2007 Awarded a fellowship to study civil law by the American Board of Trial Advocates.
  • 2005 Finalist, Livingston Award for young journalists.
  • 2005 Part of a team, Second Place, International Reporting, Society of Professional Journalists, for coverage of the coup in Haiti and the government’s response to deadly floods.
  • 2005 Part of a team, Second Place, International Reporting, National Association of Black Journalists for coverage of overthrow of Jean Bertrand Aristide in Haiti.
  • 1995 and 1994, Second place, Crime Writing, The Florida Press Club.


Fluent in written and spoken Spanish.