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 The New York TimesNPRThe Nation, Al Jazeera, the Mail & Guardian, The AppealBloomberg 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 framing of my stories.

I am currently based in Berkeley, California, where I just completed a Master’s in Journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. I focused on long-form narrative and audio journalism and investigative reporting. While at the J-School, I’ve received two fellowships from the Human Rights Center and an internal fellowship to support reporting on the financialization of poverty in the development sector, and another from the National Institute of Climate Education to support reporting on the renewable energy transition in Texas.