During her tenure at Ms., Lafferty led the magazine to increased circulation and financial stability. In addition, under her leadership, Ms. won its first National Magazine Award nomination in 17 years. Prior to joining Ms., she spent four years as a war correspondent for the Dublin-based Irish Times, covering conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East. Her stories for the Irish Times were included in the paper’s annual book The Best of The Irish Times. Several of Lafferty’s dispatches can be read here and here.
During her ten-year tenure at Time magazine, Lafferty covered a wide variety of subjects from the magazine’s Los Angeles bureau, from social justice issues to breaking news stories, for which she won several awards. She contributed to over 30 cover stories. Lafferty was the lead Time correspondent on the civil and criminal O.J. Simpson trials, and also covered the Unabomber case, the Polly Klaas murder case, and the Andrew Cunanan murder of designer Gianni Versace.
In late 2007, Lafferty took a sabbatical from journalism to volunteer for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. Lafferty’s role in the 2008 election campaign is described in two published accounts of the election, Rebecca Traister’s Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women (Free Press), and Anne Kornblut’s Notes From the Cracked Ceiling published by Random House. Based on her observations of both party’s candidates, after the conclusion of Clinton’s campaign, Lafferty joined John McCain’s campaign staff for three months in August 2008, her first and last role as a paid political staffer.
In 2011, Lafferty ran the social media for Diana Nyad’s Expedition, the Swim from Cuba to Florida, joining the flotilla accompanying Nyad on two of the attempts, helping Nyad become the #1 search term on Google during the swim. She filed dispatches from the crossing to several media outlets, including ESPNw.
Also from 2006 to 2013, Lafferty was a co-owner of The Old Mill Inn, a property built in 1821 on Long Island’s North Fork.