Senior Fellow for Global Health
Since 2004, Laurie Garrett has been a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Garrett is the only writer ever to have been awarded all three of the Big “Ps” of journalism: the Peabody, the Polk, and the Pulitzer. Her expertise includes global health systems, chronic and infectious diseases, and bioterrorism.
Garrett is the best-selling author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance; Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health; I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks; and the e-book EBOLA: Story of an Outbreak. Over the years, she has also contributed chapters to numerous books, including: AIDS in the World; Disease in Evolution: Global Changes and Emergence of Infectious Diseases; Controversies in Globalization; Practicing Sustainability; How Did This Happen: Terrorism and the New War; Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know About Africa and Why It Matters; Health and Development; and most recently To Save Humanity: What Matters Most for a Healthy Future.
A native of Los Angeles, Garrett graduated with honors in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She attended graduate school in the department of bacteriology and immunology at University of California, Berkeley, and did laboratory research at Stanford University with Leonard Herzenberg. During her PhD studies, she started reporting on science news at radio station KPFA, winning the 1977 George Foster Peabody Award. She worked briefly in the California Department of Food and Agriculture, assessing the human health impacts of pesticide use. Garrett then went overseas, living and working in southern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, freelance reporting for Pacifica Radio, Pacific News Service, BBC Radio, Reuters, Associated Press, and others. In 1980, she joined National Public Radio, working as the network’s science correspondent. During her NPR years, Garrett received outstanding achievement awards from the National Press Club, San Francisco Media Alliance and World Hunger Alliance.
In 1988, Garrett left NPR to join the science and foreign desks of Newsday. Her Newsday work earned numerous awards, including the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Black Journalists (1989); Deadline Club of New York: Best Beat Reporter (1993); First Place from the Society of Silurians (1994); Bob Considine Award of the Overseas Press Club of America (1995); and George C. Polk Award (1997, 2000). Garrett was three times a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, and received the Pulitzer in 1996 for her coverage of the 1995 Ebola epidemic in Kikwit, Zaire. She has also written for many publications, including Foreign Affairs, Esquire, Vanity Fair, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and Current Issues in Public Health. She has appeared frequently on national television programs, including ABC’s Nightline, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, The Charlie Rose Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline, The International Hour (CNN), and Talkback (CNN). Among her most recent awards for her global health work executed while at the Council on Foreign Relations are the 2014 NYU School of Medicine “Outstanding Contributions to Global Health,” and the 2015 Internationalism Award from the American Women for International Understanding.
Garrett has been awarded four honorary PhDs from Wesleyan University (Illinois), the University of Massachusetts (Lowell), Georgetown University, and the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine.