Maryn McKenna is an independent journalist specializing in domestic and global public health, health policy and medicine. She is a contributing writer at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy of the University of Minnesota and has just completed a term as a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellow.
From 1995-2006, McKenna was a national desk science and medical writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she covered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, becoming the only reporter to be embedded with a CDC investigative team during the 2001 anthrax-letter attacks. She reported from the 2005 tsunami and from Hurricane Katrina, as well as from Southeast Asia, Africa and the Arctic. McKenna has covered avian and pandemic influenza since 1997, when she wrote the first story in the American media on the potential threat posed by avian flu H5N1.
Previously, Maryn McKenna worked for The Boston Herald, where stories she co-wrote on illnesses among veterans of the first Persian Gulf War led to the first Congressional hearings on Gulf War Syndrome, and at the Cincinnati Enquirer, where her stories on the association between local cancer clusters and contamination escaping a federal nuclear weapons plant contributed to a successful nuclear-harm lawsuit by residents.
Ms. McKenna is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University and has a master's degree with highest honors from Northwestern University. She has held short fellowships at Harvard Medical School and the University of Maryland and in 1998-1999 was the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow in Medicine at University of Michigan's schools of medicine and public health. In 2006, she was an inaugural Health Journalism Fellow of the East-West Center in Honolulu and is now an Associate of the Center.