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Jim Sciutto Leaving ABC News

After 13 years with ABC News correspondent Jim Sciutto is leaving the network and TV news. He’s moving to China where he’ll be Chief of Staff to U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke. Scuitto spent most of the last 10 years in ABC”s London bureau covering Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As ABC News president Ben Sherwood writes in an email to staff, obtained by TVNewser, “Jim defied government restrictions to report undercover from Myanmar, Zimbabwe and Iran. He’s been arrested by Hezbollah, had his Twitter account hijacked by Iranian intelligence, and come face-to-face with Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Somalia.”

Last November, Scuitto moved to ABC’s Washington bureau. In 2008 Sciutto wrote about the perception of America in the Middle East in his book “Against Us.”

“It’s hard not to know your nationality when you’re in that part of the world,” Scuitto told TVNewser at the time. “There’s a personal aspect in this. As an American, I like my country. I get worried when it is so hated and so resented.”

This will be a return to Asia for Sciutto. He was a Fulbright fellow studying Chinese history at Yale.

Sherwood’s note after the jump…

From: Sherwood, Ben
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 8:30 AM
To: #ABCTV News ALL
Cc: Sciutto, Jim E.
Subject: Jim Sciutto

After 13 stellar years at ABC News, Jim Sciutto will be leaving us to move to China where he will become Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to Gary Locke, the US Ambassador to China.

He’ll be the ambassador’s most senior appointed advisor on all national security and trade priorities, his direct link with US and Chinese officials, as well as chief of staff in one of the largest embassies in the world.

Based in London for years as ABC News’ Senior Foreign correspondent, Jim has reported from more than 50 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and the Arctic Circle.

Jim defied government restrictions to report undercover from Myanmar, Zimbabwe and Iran. He’s been arrested by Hezbollah, had his Twitter account hijacked by Iranian intelligence, and come face-to-face with Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Somalia. He’s been embedded more times than he can count, including with US Special Forces during the Iraq invasion. And he’s interviewed everyone from Hillary Clinton to the head of Islamic Jihad to the Pakistani intelligence chief in the days after bin Laden was killed.

Jim’s work has been recognized with many prestigious awards. In 2010, he won the Edward R. Murrow award for his reporting from Iran during the 2009 election protests. In 2008, he was awarded the George Polk Award and Overseas Press Club award for his work from Myanmar. He won Emmy awards in 2004 and 2005, covering northern Iraq, and was nominated for several other Emmys including for his reporting live under fire during the school siege in Beslan, Russia.

In September 2008, Jim published a book based on his reporting experiences in the Middle East, entitled “Against Us: The New Face of America’s Enemies in the Muslim World” (Random House).

This will be a return to Asia, where Jim completed a Fulbright fellowship after studying Chinese history at Yale.

We are fortunate for Jim’s work and friendship all these years.

Please join me in wishing him and his family the very best in this thrilling new adventure.

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