Amanda Ripley

Author, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes--and Why

Amanda Ripley will give an interactive EdTalk during ExcelinEd's EdPalooza on December 1-3, 2020.

Amanda Ripley is a contributing writer at the Atlantic and the author of The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way, New York Times bestseller. Her first book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—and Why, was published in 15 countries and turned into a PBS documentary.

In her books and magazine writing, Amanda combines storytelling with data to try to understand complicated human problems. For the Atlantic and other outlets, she has written feature stories on how journalists could do a better job covering controversy in an age of outrage, on the least politically prejudiced town in America and on the strange history of state laws that punish teenagers for acting like teenagers. She is currently working on book and magazine projects about the lure of toxic conflicts—and how some people manage to break free from their spell.

Her work has also appeared in Time Magazine, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, SlatePolitico, the Guardian and the Times of London. Her stories helped Time win two National Magazine Awards. To discuss her writing, Amanda has appeared on ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX News and NPR. She has spoken at the Pentagon, the U.S. Senate, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as conferences on leadership, conflict resolution and education.

Amanda started her journalism career covering courts and crime for Washington City Paper. She then spent 10 years working for Time Magazine in New York, Washington and Paris. Currently, Amanda lives in Washington, D.C., where she escapes politics and reality by running through the National Zoo, doing jigsaw puzzles and coaching a boys’ soccer team.

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