Lauren Gelfand Joins Aidspan as Editor-in-Chief

2 Sep 2013

Lauren Gelfand takes up the role of Editor-in-Chief at Aidspan from 2nd September 2013.  Lauren brings to this role a range of skills and experiences which will enhance the communications and journalistic content of Aidspan’s work.

As Editor-in-Chief, Lauren becomes the head of Aidspan’s communications effective immediately. Within the next few weeks, Lauren will succeed David Garmaise as editor of Global Fund Observer (GFO).

Aidspan Executive Director Kate Macintyre said: “Aidspan is delighted that Lauren is joining our team, and we look forward to her contribution to Aidspan’s work of watching and interpreting the Global Fund at all levels.” 

Lauren brings to Aidspan strong writing and communicating skills, including extensive multi-media, training and mentoring skills, as well as classic and non-traditional media production.

Among Lauren’s responsibilities at Aidspan will be the mentoring and training of local journalists, researchers and advocacy groups. This mentoring, in partnership with Aidspan’s Outreach Team, will support the organisational goal of expanding the breadth and depth of reporting by increasing the number of GFO local and regional correspondents, as well as by growing the technical and analytical side of the work of Aidspan. 

“This is an exciting opportunity to help bring the high-level policy decisions at the Global Fund to the grassroots level with accessible and thoughtful reporting,” Lauren said. “It is a chance for us to encourage accountability and transparency at the Global Fund, which will ultimately result in better access to health services to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide.”

Lauren’s formal training includes a BA in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MA in Journalism from University of Colorado-Boulder.

In recent years, she has been expanding her interest in international public health, pursuing an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the University of London.

Lauren and her family moved to Kenya in 2009, building on an extensive career that has taken her to more than 20 countries in Africa and across Asia.

A Canadian citizen by birth, but a world citizen by career, Lauren comes to Aidspan with nearly a decade of experience in journalism including nearly six years at Agence France Presse in North America, West Africa and Asia, participating in the coverage of some of the largest news stories of a generation.

Lauren was the Middle East/Africa bureau chief for Jane’s Defence Weekly from 2008–2011. In this job of technical journalism, she wrote and edited news, producing features and analysis from 72 countries while overseeing a network of stringers. At JDW, she focused on developing defence, security and military context for global news events, and she provided evaluation of military action and of procurement strategies.

Lauren’s work in enhancing communications within and between organisations includes work as Oxfam GB's communications and advocacy advisor for the 10-country West Africa region.

Her public health work has included collaborations with UNICEF, writing and disseminating Kenya's first-ever study of violence against children, which is to serve as the foundation for the  government’s Child Protection System. Her work with the International Federation of the Red Cross has helped promote a new approach to disaster management and risk reduction in the face of chronic crises in the Horn of Africa.

David Garmaise, the Editor of GFO since mid-2012, will not disappear. After transferring his Editor responsibilities to Lauren, David will concentrate on his “other” job at Aidspan, that of Senior Analyst. David will also continue to write for GFO.

Kate Macintyre said: “David’s involvement with GFO extends back almost a decade. Aidspan and the Global Fund wider community owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for his careful, astute journalism, his intense analytical eye and the spirit and sanity with which he cuts through the jargon. I am pleased that he will continue to bring these skills to his work as Senior Analyst.”  

Lauren can be reached at

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