Kira Zalan

Kira Zalan is an American freelance journalist living in East Africa.

Previously, she was editor at US News & World Report, where she oversaw the publication of feature news magazine The Report, and a reporter for MoneyLaundering.com, where she covered financial regulation and financial crime.

Kira’s freelance work has been published by Foreign Policy, The Root, Marie Claire, Redbook, Ms., Center for Public Integrity, Global Investigative Journalism Network, Washingtonian and Northern Virginia magazines.

She received a master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University in 2010 and one in Russian and post-Soviet studies from the London School of Economics in 2003. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in politics and legal studies in 2002.

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Tracing conflict gold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Every year, smugglers bring tons of Congolese gold worth hundreds of millions of dollars out of the DRC into neighboring countries. Much of that gold fuels conflict back home. The DRC is finally taking steps to trace and regulate one of the world's most uncontrolled conflict minerals.