Gio Benitez, an ABC News Correspondent based in New York, will serve as the first keynote speaker for the 2014 FSPA state convention, it was announced today. He reports for all ABC News programs and platforms, including “Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline” and “20/20.”
Benitez is an award-winning reporter and has covered a wide range of stories for the network, including the Boston Marathon bombing, the Alabama child held hostage underground in an eight-day standoff, the American mother stuck in a Mexican jail, and nearly every major snow storm that swept the nation during the winter of 2013.
Before joining ABC News in 2013, Benitez was a reporter for WFOR-TV, the CBS owned-and-operated station in Miami, where he covered the 2012 Presidential election and reported extensively on the Trayvon Martin case.
In January 2010, Benitez traveled to Haiti to cover relief efforts following the devastating earthquake. His return flight to Miami was turned into a rescue mission, and Benitez traveled with injured Haitian evacuees to the island of Curaçao. In June 2009, he was the first reporter to ever shoot a TV story entirely with an iPhone.
Benitez is the recipient of two regional Emmy Awards and is an eight-time nominee. Most notably, he was nominated for his investigative series on alleged police brutality which resulted in two Miami officers being forced to turn in their guns and badges.
Before becoming a reporter, Benitez was an investigative producer at WFOR-TV and worked on stories involving Medicare fraud, public safety, and government corruption. He started at the station as an Emma L. Bowen Foundation work-study scholar.
Benitez was born and raised in Miami and fluent in both English and Spanish. He is a graduate of Florida International University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a degree in sociology and anthropology.