This marks the first major hire for the new network, which will replace Current TV when it launches this summer the network announced Thursday.
Former Vice President Al Gore’ s Current TV was sold to Al Jazeera for about $500 million in early January to make way for the network’s US debut.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Al Jazeera America, an organization that puts quality, fact-based journalism first,” Velshi, 43, currently CNN’s chief business correspondent, said in a statement Thursday.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to taking advantage of the extraordinary US news-gathering capabilities the channel is building and working with such a diverse and talented group of colleagues to tell compelling stories that matter to Americans.”
Born in Nairobi, Kenya and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Velshi is the son of Murad Velshi, the first Canadian of Indian origin elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
Velshi’s “magazine-style” half-hour program on Al Jazeera America will initially launch in a weekly format before it is expected to run five nights per week by the end of this year, the network said in a press release.
“The program will draw upon the extensive global resources of the Al Jazeera Media Network and will employ specialists and other correspondents who will lend their expertise,” it said.