Kidnapping Survivor, Rescued by SEAL Team VI, New York Times Bestselling Author, voted one of the 150 Most Fearless Women Who Shake the World
Jessica Buchanan Bio
On October 25, 2011, while on a routine field mission in Somalia, working as the Education Advisor for her non-governmental organization, Jessica was abducted at gunpoint and held for ransom by a group of Somali pirates for 93 days. Forced to live outdoors in deplorable conditions, starved, and terrorized by more than two dozen gangsters, Jessica’s health steadily deteriorated until, by order of President Obama, she was rescued by the elite SEAL Team VI on January 25, 2012.
Jessica’s ordeal is detailed in her New York Times bestselling book, Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six.
Jessica has been named one of the ‘150 Women Who will Shake the World’ by Newsweek, and her story has been one of the most highly viewed 60 Minutes episodes to air, to date. Jessica has shared her story of overcoming impossible odds on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Today Show, Stephen Colbert, The Unbeatable Mind with Navy SEAL Mark Divine, and All the Wiser with Kimi Culp, just to name a few. Jessica’s story was the subject of Wondery’s Season 2 Against The Odds and her TEDx Pearl Street talk, ‘Change is Your Proof of Life’ has been the foundation for which she travels the world, inspiring audiences to access their resilience by identifying their own autonomy and choice in the middle of their own life changing event, even when they feel they are out of options.
Jessica is the founder of Soul Speak Press, an imprint of Merack Publishing, where she supports women who are ready to share their stories through Memoir Manifestos- books that are one part memoir, one part self-help, and one part inspiration. Soul Speak Press’s inaugural book, Deserts to Mountaintops: Our Collective Journey to (re) Claiming Our Voice, an anthology of 25 inspiring women’s stories, reached bestseller status in 13 categories on Amazon during its debut in January 2023.
Jessica believes in giving back and so is actively committed to supporting The Navy SEAL Foundation, which works to support families of active duty and fallen SEALs as an ambassador and fundraising supporter. Jessica also acts as a family liaison volunteer for the non-profit organization, Hostage US, supporting former hostages and their families during captivity and eventual return.