Named one of Maclean's Magazine's 25 Best and Brightest Canadians under age 30, Mercedes Stephenson is the host and producer of several documentaries and two national television series Mercedes Stephenson Investigates and The Underground Royal Commission Investigates and also co-hosted It's Your Government. Mercedes is the Vice President of the Breakout Educational Network, a registered charitable foundation dedicated to providing outside-the-box research and educational content to connect and engage Canadians with the issues and public policies that touch their lives.
Ms. Stephenson is a national media commentator on defence and security affairs and has worked extensively with national and international news outlets such as the CBC, CTV, Global Television. Stephenson frequently serves as an analyst for live breaking news stories and national specials including: the capture of Saddam Hussein (Global); CTV's Federal Budget Special; Terrorism (CTV); the death of the Hussein brothers (CBC-Washington DC); The Manley Report (CBC); Canada and the international presence in Afghanistan (CBC, CTV, Global, Al Jazeera); and North Korea's nuclear ambitions (Global) to name a few. A frequent contributor to CBC Radio and CFRB she has also guest hosted CBC's Cross Country Check-up. Mercedes has written for The Globe and Mail, The National Post and Chatelaine Magazine as well as other major print publications and has been featured in Maclean's Magazine, and Saturday Night.
Traveling to Washington D.C. to increase her knowledge of national security affairs and journalism, Mercedes interned for the Pentagon while studying public policy economics and media ethics at Georgetown University. Mercedes wrote, produced and reported news spots for SRTV and the Pentagon. In recognition of her work, The Institute for Political Journalism and Georgetown University presented Mercedes with the Frank Shakespeare Award for Broadcast Journalism for excellence in broadcast journalism. She was also presented with the Secretary of the Army's Gold Coin for excellence in military broadcasting for her work with US Army Headquarters. In 2007 Mercedes returned to Washington DC to accept the inaugural Young Alumni Award from The Fund For American Studies in recognition for her achievements as host and producer of URC Investigates.
Mercedes has conducted extensive studies in both the United States and Canada in the fields of national security and defence policy. Mercedes studied military and strategic studies at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (University of Calgary) and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies where she was a member of the MIT Working Group on Combating Catastrophic Terrorism. She has also served as a policy analyst and author for prominent national think tanks in Canada and as a Koch Fellow in Defense and National Security Policy in the United States. Mercedes is a past recipient of the Steinhauer Award of Distinction from the Government of Alberta and has served as a Department of National Defence Master of Arts Scholar. Mercedes is also past president (2001-2004) of the Society for Military and Strategic Studies.
In her spare time Mercedes works to raise public awareness of the plight of orphaned and abandoned grizzly bear cubs and to assist in the placement of the cubs in rehabilitation centres and wildlife sanctuaries.