America's Expert on Global Public Health
About the Speaker
"Laurie 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.
Garrett was born in Los Angeles, a 5th generation Los Angeleno. She graduated with honors in biology from the University of California in Santa Cruz. She attended graduate school in the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology at UC Berkeley and did research at Stanford University in the laboratory of Dr. Leonard Herzenberg. During her PhD studies, Garrett started reporting on science news at KPFA, a local radio station. The hobby soon became far more interesting than graduate school and she took a leave of absence to explore journalism. Garrett never completed her PhD. At KPFA Garrett worked in management, in news and in radio documentary production. A documentary series she co-produced with Adi Gevins won the 1977 George Foster Peabody Award in Broadcasting, and other KPFA production efforts by Garrett won the Armstrong and CPB Awards.
After leaving KPFA Garrett worked briefly in the California Department of Food and Agriculture assessing the human health impacts of pesticide use. She then went overseas, living and working in southern Europe and subsaharan Africa, freelance reporting for Pacifica Radio, Pacific News Service, BBC-Radio, Reuters, Associated Press and others.
In 1980 Garrett joined National Public Radio, working out of the network’s San Francisco and, later, Los Angeles bureaus as a Science Correspondent. During her NPR years Garrett was awarded by the National Press Club (Best Consumer Journalism, 1982), the San Francisco Media Alliance (Meritorious Achievment Award in Radio, 1983), and the World Hunger Alliance (First Prize, Radio, 1987). In 1988 Garrett left NPR to join the science writing staff of Newsday, where she remains today.
Her Newsday reporting has earned several awards, including the Newsday Publisher’s Award (Best Beat Reporter, 1990), Award of Excellence from the National Association of Black Journalists ("AIDS in Africa", 1989), Deadline Club of New York ("Best Beat Reporter", 1993), First Place from the Society of Silurians ("Breast Cancer", 1994), and the Bob Considine Award of the Overseas Press Club of America ("AIDS in India", 1995).
During the academic year 1992-93 Garrett attended Harvard University as a visiting fellow in the Harvard School of Public Health.
Over the years Garrett has contributed chapters to numerous books, including AIDS IN THE WORLD, edited by Jonathan Mann, Daniel Tarantola and Thomas Netter, Oxford University Press, 1993; and DISEASE IN EVOLUTION: GLOBAL CHANGES AND EMERGENCE OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, Mary E. Wilson, edit., New York Academy of Sciences, 1994.
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 Nightline, The Jim Lerher NewsHour, The Charlie Rose Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline, The International Hour (CNN) and Talkback (CNN).
Garrett is a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and served as the organization’s President during the mid-1990s. Garrett lives in Brooklyn Heights, New York City.