JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Krista Larson, who has covered the Ebola outbreak and the deadly conflict in Central African Republic for The Associated Press, has been named bureau chief for West Africa for the news cooperative.
The appointment was announced Thursday by AP Africa Editor Andrew Selsky.
Larson has worked in Africa since 2008, first as a supervisory editor at the AP's Africa regional desk in Johannesburg. In 2012, she became a correspondent based in Dakar, Senegal.
As bureau chief, she will be responsible for leading news coverage in 22 countries stretching from Mauritania to Congo, including all three nations hardest hit by Ebola — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Larson will be based in Dakar, where she will help lead a team of reporters, photographers and video journalists.
"Larson has deep knowledge of the region and the journalism skills to produce superlative breaking news coverage, feature writing and investigative reporting for our global audience," Selsky said.
Larson has most recently been covering the Ebola crisis. She was in Central African Republic when Christian fighters attacked the capital, Bangui, sparking months of sectarian fighting. By going over lists from village leaders and hospital and morgue records, Larson established that the civilian death toll from the conflict in Central African Republic numbered at least 5,000, more than double the U.N. estimate.
In 2013, she was part of an AP team that covered the French-led war against an al-Qaida branch in Mali.
Larson, 36, began her AP career as an intern in the Paris bureau in 2001, and worked as a reporter for the news cooperative in Vermont and New Jersey. She was also an editor on the AP's national and international desks in New York.
A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, she graduated from Northwestern University and has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern.