Lauren Frayer covers the United Kingdom, Ireland and parts of Europe for NPR News. She moved to London in spring 2023 after five years in Mumbai, covering South Asia.
In India, she covered the rise of Hindu nationalism, the power of a 19th century short story to combat racism against Afghan refugees and a baby whose birth made India the world's most populous country. In Bangladesh, she camped on a riverbank two hours' boat ride from the nearest road — and found 100% awareness of climate change, and a flood warning system that's the envy of the West. In Sri Lanka, she covered the aftermath of a civil war and a punishing economic crisis that collapsed the government there.
In 2019, she met the Dalai Lama at his monastery in northern India, and reported on the sticky geopolitics of who decides his successor. On Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birthday, Frayer examined how his legacy has changed.
Frayer was awarded the Overseas Press Club of America's Lowell Thomas Award for her coverage of India's COVID-19 outbreak, and a Gracie Award for coverage of India's farmer protests.
She is a co-host of Love Commandos from NPR's Rough Translation. She has also reported on caste discrimination for Rough Translation, the plight of Indian farmers for Planet Money and how to measure Mount Everest for NPR's Short Wave.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, Frayer was in the first batch of NPR reporters to cross from Poland into the embattled country. There she reported on the long history of Ukrainian women in combat, a spiritual revolt among Orthodox Christians and how Ukrainian rock stars are turning their trauma into art.
Before moving to India, Frayer was a regular freelance contributor to NPR for seven years, based in Madrid. During that time, she substituted for NPR bureau chiefs in Seoul, London, Istanbul, Islamabad and Jerusalem. She also served as a guest host of Weekend Edition Sunday.
She has also contributed to The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the BBC.
Her career began at the Associated Press, where she worked in the agency's bureaus in Washington, Jerusalem, Cairo and Baghdad. In 2007, Frayer spent a year embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq.
On a sabbatical from journalism, she drove a Land Rover across Africa for a year, from Cairo to Cape Town, sleeping in a tent on the roof. She once made the front page of a Pakistani newspaper, simply for being a woman commuting to work in Islamabad on a bicycle.
Born and raised in a suburb of New York City, Frayer holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from The College of William & Mary in Virginia. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and can argue with taxi drivers in French, Arabic and Hindi too.