Mara Kardas-Nelson. Journalist.

Health. Environment. Development. Politics. Change.

About Mara

I am driven by curiosity.

I’m intensely interested in the world around me, the people that I meet, the way we interact with each other, and how different components of our world—technology, the natural and built environments, political systems, culture—work, and work together. My writing and reporting interrogates so as to learn more, and learn better.

My award-winning work has been featured in NPRThe Nation, Al Jazeera, the Mail & Guardian, Bloomberg News, AlterNet, TruthOut,, The British Medical Journal, and the Globe & Mail, as well as several health and development publications. I have also had a career in global health, working for South Africa’s the Treatment Action Campaign, the Access Campaign of Médecins Sans Frontières, the Open Society Foundation, and Partners in Health. I have lived in America, Canada, South Africa, and Sierra Leone. My time living and working in different parts of the world informs the questions that I ask as a journalist, and the frames I give to my stories.

I am currently based in Berkeley, California, where I’m finishing up my Master’s in Journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. While at the J-School, I’ve received a Human Rights Fellowship and a Journalism Fellowship to support reporting on criminalization of petty debt in Sierra Leone, and from the National Institute of Climate Education to support reporting on the renewable energy transition in Texas.