New Global News anchor Dawna Friesen will take up the post in September. (Canwest)

Dawna Friesen, currently a foreign correspondent with NBC, has been named the new anchor at Global National, replacing Kevin Newman.

Friesen has been a London-based correspondent and anchor for NBC News, Today and MSNBC since 1999.

She has covered stories such as the war in Iraq, the struggle in Afghanistan, the abduction and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl and the search for suspects in 2004's Madrid bombings.

Newman announced in April that his last night at the helm of Global National will be Aug. 20. He has anchored the Canwest network's national newscast since it was launched in September 2001.

In a news conference Tuesday to announce her appointment, Friesen paid tribute to Newman's legacy and said she would be building on what Newman accomplished as anchor of Global National.

"What I bring to the table is breadth of experience. My overseas coverage has extended to Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East — I bring that international experience to the table and I also have extensive experience covering Canada," she said.

Friesen was also part of the NBC team that won an Emmy Award in 2009 for coverage of Barack Obama's U.S. presidential victory. She's covered every British election in the past decade and returned to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Manitoba roots

Friesen was born in Winnipeg and raised in rural Manitoba. She began her news career at a newspaper in Portage La Prairie.

She has worked as a correspondent and anchor for CBC and CTV at the national level in Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto. She also has a five-year-old son.

It is the second time this month that a woman has been named as a national news anchor. Lisa LaFlamme got the job at CTV last week and will replace Lloyd Robertson next year.

"There are only three jobs like this in Canada, and now one of them is mine, it's a humbling notion," Friesen said. She takes up the post in September.

"What is most memorable to me and the reason I got into this business is to give ordinary people a voice — ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances," she said.

She recalled talking to a 12-year-old refugee who was working in a grocery store in Syria to support his family. Though he was the sole breadwinner for his mother and sisters, he had a dream of becoming a doctor.

"This is what is so moving — people who have that kind of hope."