Chris Simkins is a video journalist with the Voice of America. He’s been with the agency since 1992. He covers domestic U.S. news and feature stories and is a producer of several award-winning documentaries and special project reports.
Chris began his career in Broadcast Journalism in High School working at two North Carolina radio stations as a disc jockey. He was a radio news reporter and anchor of four daily newscasts. After graduating from Emerson College in Boston, Chris worked as a general assignment reporter for two local televisions in Massachusetts and North Carolina.
In 1989, he formed his own production company that produced a football coach’s show and marketing videos for local businesses.
Three years later, Chris joined VOA as a National Desk writer and correspondent covering issues of interest to the African American community. He served as a New York Bureau and United Nations correspondent for two years. In 1996, Chris moved to Hong Kong to become VOA's East Asia Pacific correspondent. He traveled throughout Asia covering political, social and human interest stories.
He returned to Washington in 2000 becoming a video journalist covering both domestic and international television news and feature stories.
In 2017, Chris created an opioid abuse and addiction television series, which gave VOA’s audience an up-close and personal look at the opioid epidemic in the United States. In 2018, he launched a yearlong documentary series to trace the lives of people impacted by the opioid crisis in three U.S. communities. In 2019, the project won first place for outstanding public affairs program by the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association.
South Carolina's Democratic presidential primary on February 29 will be the first nominating contest of the 2020 election cycle in which African Americans constitute a major portion of the electorate. VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled there to gauge black voter sentiment.
President Trump's opioid commission is calling for more federal funding to battle addiction and deadly opioid drug-related overdoses in the United States. More than 175 Americans are dying every day and the Trump administration has declared the opioid crisis a "public health emergency". VOA's Chris Simkins takes us to a hard hit Philadelphia neighborhood where the opioid epidemic is on open display.