Laurie Garrett

Public health is a trust between the government and the people.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Speaker on Ebola, Zika, Global Health, and Prevention

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Laurie Garrett | Pulitzer Prize-Winning Speaker on Ebola, Zika, Global Health, and Prevention
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Laurie Garrett is one of America’s most trusted speakers on global public health, infectious disease, and, recently, the Ebola crisis and the emerging Zika virus. The only person to win the three P’s of journalism—the Pulitzer, the Polk, and the Peabody—she explains the science behind new threats, and navigates the politics that help, and hinder, how we prepare and how we respond to them. 

During the Ebola crisis of 2014, Laurie Garrett offered unrivaled commentary on Twitter, through her blog, and as the go-to expert in the media. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—General Martin E. Dempsey—took to Facebook to praise Garrett and her book The Coming Plague, writing that “its lessons in how disease has shaped human history are uncannily relevant to today’s Ebola crisis ... this book is worth the read to understand infectious outbreaks like Ebola and how we’re shaping our national response.” Today, she’s doing the same for the new Zika epidemic, providing up-to-date intelligence on its scope and severity, and the search for a vaccine.


“Displaying masterly craftsmanship . . . assiduously researched . . . Garrett’s message is loud, clear and convincing.”

Los Angeles Times on Betrayal of Trust

A Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, Garrett is the bestselling author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health and I Heard The Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks. She has written for Foreign Affairs, Esquire, and The Washington Post, and appears frequently on television shows, such as Nightline, Charlie Rose and Oprah.


Garrett was a script consultant to Contagion, the film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon. She is a former president and now a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and has been awarded several honorary PhDs, the latest from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is also serving as a co-chair on the UNAIDS High Commission on HIV Prevention.    

Speech Topics

Public Health
Understanding Ebola

Laurie Garrett actively covered the Ebola crisis of 2014—tweeting, blogging, and writing from both the United States and West Africa. She can speak to government agencies, corporations, and various other groups on the ramifications and long-term social, political, and economic impact of Ebola. As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, recently wrote: “[Garrett's The Coming Plague] is worth the read to understand infectious outbreaks like Ebola and how we’re shaping our national response.”

I Heard The Sirens Scream How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks

This powerful talk combines health issues, investigative journalism, and a personal minute-by-minute account of 9/11 to offer an astonishing view of a dark chapter in American life. A proud New Yorker who heard the first jet slam into the north tower, Garret raises fascinating questions around the World Trade Center attacks, the anthrax scare, and the mental trauma afflicting Americans during, and well after, 9/11. She captures the national mood as it veered from a united political place to a deeply divided anger. By the end of the winter of 2002, she reminds us, the arc had completed, from spectacular unity and confidence in governance to accusations of American arrogance. Through the frustrated anthrax investigations and drumbeats of war, the global community, especially Americans, moved in just a few months’ time from collectivism to fragmentation. Drawing on personal diary entries, and a deep understanding of health and government policy, Garrett's sweeping talk details repercussions of these historic events, transformations of critical government institutions, public health disasters, and, what, in particular, the specter of terrorism meant—and means—for the American people.

Public Health
Betrayal of Trust Critical Issues in Global Healthcare

Based on her international travels to report on and research healthcare, Garrett delivers a sweeping, multimedia talk that uncovers the reality of healthcare in the United States, Europe, Russia and Africa—providing a new understanding of both the challenges and the opportunities of delivering quality healthcare to the global village.

Climate Change
Climate Change and Global Health Ending the Debate

To the timely debate over the impact of climate change on human health, Garrett offers this frank, hopeful talk. The health community, she says, is focusing on how climate change affects the movements of diseases, such as malaria. While these threats are serious, we must also look at how other consequences of climate change are already wreaking havoc on human health: catastrophic weather—resulting in flooding, famine and drought—is infecting and killing thousands; we must turn our attention toward preparedness. Garrett shows you where our efforts—activism, money, policy—need to go, and how urgently they need to get there.

Bioterrorism The Modern Peril
It's a surreal, terrifying thought: terrorists using bio-chemical weapons. Garrett has investigated both the science and the politics behind international bio-terrorism, and, here, provides a responsible, informative assessment of who is capable, what form it might take, and how likely it is to happen.