Michele Gillen served as Chief Investigative Reporter and Anchor of Focus on South Florida, at WFOR-TV, the CBS owned and operated station in Miami, Florida.
Michele is well recognized as an anchor and investigative reporter on network and local television news for over two decades. She is the recipient of 38 National Academy of Television Arts and Science (NATAS) Regional Emmy awards, the Columbia DuPont Silver Baton, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting and three Green Eyeshade Awards. She has been honored by the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television, including being chosen as the television journalist whose investigations most benefited and helped change the lives of American women.
Based in Miami at WFOR-TV for nineteen years, Michele has traveled the world to expose and bring unique perspective to critical stories and newsmakers of our time. Her reports include rare, exclusive one-on-one interviews with Libyan Strongman Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, Afghanistan President Hamid Karszai and Haiti’s former President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier during his exile in France.
Michele’s work has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The O'Reilly Factor on Fox and The Huffington Post.
Her investigation Invisible Chains is an expose into human trafficking and modern day slavery in America and across the globe. It prompted her to organize and produce the first of its kind international conference in South Florida to fight human trafficking and was held at St.Thomas University in Miami.
Her 15- part series, The Forgotten Floor, exposed the warehousing of the mentally ill in the Miami-Dade County jail. It has been credited for triggering landmark change in how the mentally ill are treated in some of America’s jails and prison system and is a training tool used by judicial colleges and law enforcement.
Her 10- part series Secrets In The Soil captured the life and death drama families were facing living on contaminated soil. Michele’s reports were credited with stopping the proposed construction of a school next to one of the country’s most toxic superfund site. For this, Michele received the Community Advocate of the Year Award from the Legal Aid Services of Broward County in 2010.
Michele’s Rome based investigations into the paralysis and deaths of young Italian soccer players from Lou Gehrig’s disease and a potential link to the environment led to her organize the first ever medical summit to address the mystery. Her search for answers triggered global research by a team of the world’s leading neurological scientists.
Before joining WFOR-TV in 1997, Gillen worked as an investigative reporter for KCBS -TV in Los Angeles. She was a featured investigative correspondent on the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and news magazines Exposé and Dateline NBC.
While working for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Michele conducted a four-month investigation of substandard mammography equipment which was credited by members of US Congress with helping to trigger the creation and passage of the first federal law setting national standards for mammography.
One of Michele’s passions is to provide family court judges and first responders with tools to help children victimized by child abuse, human trafficking and trauma. She founded www.Adoptabear.org which has provided teddy bears to thousands of children from South Florida to Haiti.
Michele graduated valedictorian from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, with a Bachelor of Science in Speech.