WBUR Staff

Fred Thys

Reporter, WBUR

Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education at WBUR.

Fred broke the story that the federal government may have lied to the Supreme Court in order to obtain the landmark ruling that established the state secrets privilege.

In 1998, WBUR sent Fred to Bosnia to train journalists as part of a State Department program. It turned out to be Fred who learned from the Bosnians even as he shared with them how American journalists work.

Prior to joining WBUR in 1998, Fred was Mexico City bureau chief for NBC News. He managed a team of producers, stringers, cameramen (they were all men), sound technicians and editors who covered Latin America. Fred’s responsibilities included directing coverage of the takeover of the Japanese embassy in Lima by Tupac Amaru guerrillas.

For two years, beginning in 1993, Fred wrote and produced news and cultural programs for CNN International from Atlanta. Prior to that, he was a field producer in CNN’s New York bureau for two years.

As CBS News’s South America reporter, based in Buenos Aires, Fred led the network’s radio and television coverage of three military rebellions in Argentina, the protests against Chile’s President Augusto Pinochet and Chile’s transition to democracy, the overthrow of Paraguay’s long-time dictator, Alfredo Stroessner, and papal visits to Peru, Argentina, and Chile. Fred, his camera crew, and editor were the first U.S. television network team to get into Paraguay after the overthrow of Stroessner.

Fred has produced and reported stories from Latin America and the Middle East. He has worked in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, and the United Arab Emirates. He reported on the drug wars in Colombia, the growing tensions between the United States and Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and the U.S. invasion of Panama, the visit of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to Cuba, the visit of President George H. W. Bush to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, the devastation of Jamaica by Hurricane Gilbert, and Iranian attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.

As a field producer for ABC New Documentaries, Fred broke the story that Argentina had U.S. and Swiss equipment in its plutonium separation and uranium enrichment plants.

Fred holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Williams College.


Recent stories

Wellesley College Names Paula Johnson Its First African-American President

February 11, 2016
Dr. Paula Johnson (Courtesy Wellesley College)

Dr. Paula Johnson, who will take over this summer, has devoted her career to furthering research that explores how women respond differently to diseases and treatments than men do.

Presidential Candidates Make Final Appeals As Voting In New Hampshire Begins

February 09, 2016

The candidates are hoping their final pushes will help them yield strong showings at the polls in New Hampshire.

Weekend Before N.H. Primary, Christie And Rubio Tussle While Clinton Travels To Michigan

February 08, 2016

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie embarrassed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on the Saturday night debate stage, and crowed about it on Sunday, as Rubio tried to recover.

Christie Hopes Popularity Of Fellow Republican Gov. Baker Will Boost His N.H. Campaign

February 07, 2016
Gov. Christie, left, speaks as Baker laughs at a campaign event on Saturday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Baker spoke at a campaign rally with Christie to tell voters that it’s governors who have the most experience working with others who may not always agree, just as presidents must do.

WBUR Poll: In N.H., Democratic Race Tightens Slightly, Trump Stays Ahead On GOP Side

February 05, 2016
The last WBUR poll before the New Hampshire primary finds Bernie Sanders holding a 15-point lead over Hillary Clinton. Here, the two Democratic candidates debate at the University of New Hampshire Thursday evening. (David Goldman/AP)

Among likely Democratic voters, Bernie Sanders is up 15 points on Hillary Clinton. Among Republicans, Donald Trump has kept his lead.

To New Hampshire Voters, Meetings With Candidates Matter

February 04, 2016
Surrounded by her three daughters, Svea, 9, left, Lydia, 7, and Elsa-Anne, 4, Melissa Mellor of Laconia, N.H., asks Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. about his position on home-schooling after a town hall meeting in Laconia, N.H. on Wednesday. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

For New Hampshire voters, the town halls and smaller meetings are a valuable part of the decision process.

Cruz Hopes To Capitalize On Iowa Win, While Trump Hopes To Regain Momentum

February 03, 2016

Cruz won Iowa, but Trump is the front-runner in New Hampshire. At a press conference announcing his endorsement by former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, Trump defended his second-place finish to Cruz in Iowa.

New Hampshire Takes Center Stage In 2016 Race

February 02, 2016

How are the results of the Iowa caucuses influencing the mood of voters in New Hampshire?

Suffolk Students Concerned University Looks Unstable

February 02, 2016

“It makes students worry what that does to the value of their degree,” Colin Loiselle, student government president, said. “All this turnover and the way that the board handled this in the press really brings some concerns to students.”

Donald Trump Takes Break From Campaigning In Iowa For N.H. Rally

January 29, 2016
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump held a rally in Nashua, New Hampshire, Friday afternoon -- a day after skipping the final GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

The Iowa caucuses are on Monday, but Donald Trump made a brief detour to New Hampshire for a rally in Nashua Friday.

Bristol County Suicide Spike Not Just ‘A Bump In The Road’

July 20, 2015

Bristol County is seeing a surge in suicides. In the past three and a half years, 171 people in the county have died by suicide.

Hundreds Mourn Surgeon Fatally Shot At Boston’s Brigham And Women’s Hospital

January 23, 2015
A woman wears a button honoring Michael Davidson at his funeral service Friday. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

From the funeral of cardiac surgeon Dr. Michael J. Davidson, who was shot to death this week at a Boston hospital: “Surgeons are not known for their bedside manner, but Michael had it in spades,” Terri Halperin, Dr. Davidson’s widow, said during the service. “That’s why the fact that a patient’s family member would take Michael away from us makes it all the more devastating.”

When Muscular Dystrophy Is Personal — And Global

September 18, 2014

My brother first developed symptoms when he was 15, and found that he could no longer run as fast as his high school soccer teammates. Since the age of 43, he has been confined to a wheelchair or scooter, unable to walk or stand.

Listening Back To One Of The Real ‘Monuments Men’

February 12, 2014
This photo provided by The Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art of Dallas shows group members as they remove Michelangelo’s "Bruges Madonna" from the salt mine in Altaussee, Austria, on July 10, 1945. (AP/National Archives and Records Administration)

With the new George Clooney film out, we bring back a 1998 interview with one of the real Monuments Men.

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