Clair MacDougall


Clair MacDougall is an independent journalist and writer, currently based in Monrovia, Liberia. Her recent work has focused on Liberia’s post-war construction and imperfect attempts to reconcile with its brutal past and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Clair won the 2015 Kurt Schork Memorial Fund Award for her reporting on the Ebola outbreak and also contributed to the New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of the epidemic. She has written about mercenaries, former warlords and female child soldiers, justice for war crimes, government corruption, election violence, drug abuse and women’s rights issues and reported from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, India the United States and rural Australia. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Newsweek, Time, Stern, Al Jazeera America and Foreign Policy, among others. She holds an honors degree in political theory and a masters from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Reporting Locations


| Clair MacDougall

Congo’s Specialty Brews Look to Be the ‘Future of Coffee’

During the first half of the 20th century, as the country was subjected to exploitative Belgian rule, extensive coffee plantations rolled through the green hills of eastern Congo. The country’s beans were roasted in coffee…

| Clair MacDougall

Museveni’s Democracy

Dressed in a charcoal suit and a yellow tie that hung several inches too long, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Uganda’s president of thirty years, sat two chairs away from his longtime political rival Kizza Besigye in…

| Clair MacDougall

The Despor’s Debtors: Why Uganda’s Indian-origin businessmen aid its authoritarian president

On an early March afternoon, the economist and amateur historian Vali Jamal, a slight, soft-spoken Ugandan Indian in his late seventies, showed me a draft of his book-a coverless tome of thousands of pages on…

| Clair MacDougall

Uganda’s President Holds On In the Face of Growing Public Unrest

Ugandan opposition leaders have rejected the results of presidential elections on Feb. 18, citing ballot stuffing, bribery and widespread intimidation by the security forces. The February polls—which returned President Yoweri Museveni to office, where he…

| Clair MacDougall

One Killed as Tensions Rise before Uganda’s Election

James Akena/Reuters Danniel Nsugba, a 36-year-old electrician and father of five, was rushing home from work Monday with his friend and brother, trying, they say, to avoid violence in the lead-up to Uganda’s February 18…