Jason Beaubien 2010 i
Doby Photography/NPR
Jason Beaubien 2010
Doby Photography/NPR

Jason Beaubien

Global Health and Development Correspondent

Jason Beaubien is NPR's Global Health and Development Correspondent on the Science Desk.

In this role, he reports on a range of health issues across the world. He's covered mass circumcision drives in Kenya, abortion in El Salvador, poisonous gold mines in Nigeria, drug-resistant malaria in Myanmar and tuberculosis in Tajikistan. He was part of a team of reporters at NPR that won a Peabody Award in 2015 for their extensive coverage of the West Africa Ebola outbreak. His current beat also examines development issues including why Niger has the highest birth rate in the world, can private schools serve some of the poorest kids on the planet and the links between obesity and economic growth.

Prior to becoming the Global Health and Development Correspondent in 2012, Beaubien spent four years based in Mexico City covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. In that role, Beaubien filed stories on politics in Cuba, the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the FMLN victory in El Salvador, the world's richest man and Mexico's brutal drug war.

For his first multi-part series as the Mexico City correspondent, Beaubien drove the length of the U.S./Mexico border making a point to touch his toes in both oceans. The stories chronicled the economic, social and political changes along the violent frontier.

In 2002, Beaubien joined NPR after volunteering to cover a coup attempt in the Ivory Coast. Over the next four years, Beaubien worked as a foreign correspondent in sub-Saharan Africa, visiting 27 countries on the continent. His reporting ranged from poverty on the world's poorest continent, the HIV in the epicenter of the epidemic, and the all-night a cappella contests in South Africa, to Afro-pop stars in Nigeria and a trial of white mercenaries in Equatorial Guinea.

During this time, he covered the famines and wars of Africa, as well as the inspiring preachers and Nobel laureates. Beaubien was one of the first journalists to report on the huge exodus of people out of Sudan's Darfur region into Chad, as villagers fled some of the initial attacks by the Janjawid. He reported extensively on the steady deterioration of Zimbabwe and still has a collection of worthless Zimbabwean currency.

In 2006, Beaubien was awarded a Knight-Wallace fellowship at the University of Michigan to study the relationship between the developed and the developing world.

Beaubien grew up in Maine, started his radio career as an intern at NPR Member Station KQED in San Francisco and worked at WBUR in Boston before joining NPR.

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In 2013, Zika virus was found in French Polynesia, including the island of Tahiti (above). Some 20,000 inhabitants were diagnosed with the disease. Andy Bardon/National Geographic hide caption

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A patient suffering from Guillain-Barre syndrome recovers in a hospital ward in San Salvador on Jan. 27. Researchers are trying to determine whether there is a link between the disorder, which can cause weakness and paralysis, and the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Marvin Recinos /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Health workers fumigate to wipe out mosquitoes in Recife, Brazil. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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Dr. Margaret Chan is director-general of the World Health Organization. In her first major address on Zika, delivered Thursday in Geneva, she said: "Questions abound. We need to get some answers quickly." Sandro Campardo//epa/Corbis hide caption

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A researcher holds a container with female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This species transmits the Zika virus. Andre Penner/AP hide caption

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Goats and Soda

The Zika Virus Takes A Frightening Turn — And Raises Many Questions

Concern continues to grow over the outbreak of Zika virus in Latin America. The virus has been linked to severe brain damage in babies.

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Maxine Parrish, 18 months old, is one of the youngest people to enjoy a new bike lane in Denver last month. Two avid bicyclists argue that better bike infrastructure allows slower cycling and a wider age-range of riders. RJ Sangosti/Denver Post via Getty Images hide caption

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Emmanuel Kwame, 60, lost his sight to river blindness as a young man. He lives in Asubende, Ghana, earning a living as a farmer and fisherman. Jason Beaubien/NPR hide caption

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Albert Tamanja Bidim, a community volunteer, distributes ivermectin, the tablet that fights river blindness, in the Ghanaian town of Beposo 2. Jason Beaubien/NPR hide caption

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Goats and Soda

What A Difference A Drug Makes In The Fight Against River Blindness

Two of the 2015 Nobel Prize winners for medicine discovered a drug that is driving down this parasitic disease in Ghana.

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