Journalist, CNN-Producer, Author, Emmy-Award-Winner

Tomas Etzler is a television journalist, a scriptwriter and a dramaturg with professional experience of 27 years. As a correspondent and producer for CNN and the Czech Television, he worked in over 60 countries on five continents. Tomas covered wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as conflicts in Haiti or Lebanon. He worked on numerous other major world events from the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 to Japanese Tsunami or assassination of Osama bin Laden in 2011.

His work was also featured on ITN, Channel 4, BBC Radio and in Czech press. Tomas has received numerous international awards, including an EMMY Award in 2008.

Speech topics:

  • Twenty three arrests: Seven years of working as a foreign journalist in China.
  • China, the world leading superpower: A Myth.
  • Dangerous waters: territorial disputes in East and South China Seas. Why should we care?
  • Four years of living dangerously: life and work of a war journalist.
  • Why the United States lost Afghanistan….and Iraq.
  • Nothing’s impossible: From an illegal alien to an Award winning journalist.
  • Who would you take with you to a war or a tsunami ravaged area? Team building and management in crises.

Tomas Etzler was born on April 1, 1963 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. He earned Master’s degree in Geography and Physical Education there at the Ostrava University in 1987. He started to write his first newspaper articles when in college.

In September 1987 he landed a job of a dramaturg of musical end entertaining programs in the Czechoslovak Television. Tomas was responsible for production of rock and classical music programs. He was fired in August 1989 for his anti-communist attitudes and activities and drafted to a military service.

After a collapse of communism in November 1989, Tomas was re-hired by the Czechoslovak TV to his original job. Disappointed by the post-communist political development in the country he quit his job and moved to the USA in August 1991.

During his first six years in America, Tomas was doing numerous odd jobs from cleaning houses and washing windows to being a live-in nurse or a waiter. In 1997 he enrolled into a School of Journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

In April 1999, Tomas hired by CNN as a local fixer during coverage of Columbine High School shooting in south Denver. He impressed his temporary employers and after four weeks of working with CNN in Colorado, Tomas was offered a job of a News Assignment Editor on the CNN International Desk in Atlanta.

Tomas started to work as a CNN field producer in the year 2000. He initially covered stories in Europe, such as IMF meetings or Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in UK in 2000. After terrorist attacks of 9/11 Tomas evolved into a CNN war coverage producer in Afghanistan and later in Iraq. He worked 4 years in war zones.

In 2007 he moved to China as a correspondent for the Czech National Television but retained his association with CNN as a contracted producer.

Today, he lives in Hong Kong with his wife Barbara Luethi-Etzler, Swiss Television Correspondent, and two children.