Quil Lawrence is a New York-based correspondent for NPR News, covering national security and veterans' issues nationwide. Previously he was NPR's Bureau Chief in Kabul and Baghdad.
Lawrence started his radio career by interviewing con-men in Tangier, Morocco, in 1995. He then moved to Bogotá, Colombia, and covered Latin America and the Caribbean for NPR, the BBC and the LA Times.
In the spring of 2000, a Pew Fellowship sponsored his first trips to Iraq — that reporting built the foundation for the book Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East (Bloomsbury, 2009).
Reporting for the BBC World Service, Lawrence traveled throughout the Arab world and to Sudan, Pakistan, Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
Lawrence covered Iraq and Afghanistan for 12 years, including the fall of the Taliban in 2001, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the second battle of Fallujah in 2004, as well as politics, culture and war in both countries. In 2009 Lawrence joined NPR as Baghdad Bureau Chief, and then served as Kabul Bureau Chief. In 2012, he returned to the U.S. to start a beat covering the millions of people who have served at war, both recently and in past generations. NPR is possibly unique among major news organizations in dedicating a full-time correspondent to veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) honored Lawrence with its Award for Leadership in Journalism. His coverage of life after war won a Robert F. Kennedy Award, and a Gracie Award for a series on female combat veterans. Lawrence co-hosted Home/Front, a podcast about the civilian-military divide, which won an Edward R. Murrow Award for the episode Marla's War. He edited Pictures on the Radio, a book of the late photographer David Gilkey's work for NPR News, which won the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's Sergeant Major Dan Daly Award.
Originally from Maine, Lawrence studied history at Brandeis University, with concentrations in the Middle East and Latin America. He is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Arabic.