Specializes in journalism in humanitarian contexts
Born in New York, and brought up in the Bahamas, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom, Edward Girardet is a Swiss-American editor, journalist and author currently based in Geneva, Switzerland. He attended Clifton College in England and studied German Literature at the University of Nottingham and the Free University of West Berlin. On receiving his BA, he moved to Paris where he became a foreign correspondent.
Girardet first focused on general reporting in France and other parts of Europe, but soon specialised in humanitarian and war reporting. He has covered major crises in Africa, Asia, Europe and elsewhere since the late 1970s. As a journalist for The Christian Science Monitor, US News and World Report and PBS TV’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, he began covering Afghanistan three months prior to the Soviet invasion in December, 1979. He also produced a highly-acclaimed 94-part African Journey series travelling overland from Cairo to South Africa and reporting on a range of political, social, environmental and economic issues.
Girardet has worked on numerous TV current affairs and documentary programs for major European and North American broadcasters featuring such subjects as the war in Angola, lost tribes in Western New Guinea as well as environmental and cultural issues in Africa. He has won a number of awards including a nine-month Journalism in Europe Fellowship in Paris plus a year-long Master of Studies in Law/Journalism (MSL/J) at Yale Law School in the United States.
Girardet was co-founder of Media Action International, a Swiss media foundation that developed needs-based ‘lifeline media’ public outreach and journalism training initiatives in conflict and humanitarian crisis zones. He is editor of the Essential Field Guides and author or editor of half a dozen books, including Somalia, Rwanda and Beyond; Populations in Danger (MSF); Killing the Cranes – A Reporter’s Journey Through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan. (revised edition 2012) French edition: Il Parait Que Vous Voulez Me Tuer. (Les Editions Arenes, Paris, 2014).
Girardet was interim editor in 2013/2014 for Le News, an English-language Swiss newspaper. He is now editor and publisher of Global Geneva magazine, a print and online publication focusing on International Geneva issues ranging from humanitarian response and conflict mediation to culture, world trade and climate change. The magazine combines compelling writing with critical but quality, solution-oriented journalism. He talks regularly on radio and television, including BBC and NPR, plus lectures at universities and other institutes in Europe and North America. He also acts as a media advisor for different organizations and undertakes journalism training both in Europe and developing countries.
Girardet is currently working on his first novel about Peshawar in Pakistan as the Casablanca of the 1980s. He is also a Journalism Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Geneva. He lives with his family in Cessy, France, across the border from Geneva.