Amanda Ripley

Photo credit: Kim Pate

Amanda Ripley

Amanda Ripley is a contributing writer at the Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Emerson Collective. She is 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 explores the gap between public policy and human behavior. For Time and The Atlantic, she has written cover stories on surviving hurricanes and plane crashes, the primacy of sports in American high schools and the science of motivating children. 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.

Amanda’s work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, SlatePolitico and the Times of London. Her stories helped Time Magazine 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, public policy and education.

Before joining Time Magazine, Amanda covered Capitol Hill for Congressional Quarterly and courts and crime for Washington City Paper. She graduated from Cornell University. Amanda currently lives in Washington, D.C., where she spends her free time parenting, biking and coaching a boys’ soccer team.

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, please contact Simon & Schuster at

 Book Amanda to Speak

Amanda speaks on a number of topics including conflict (and how to be heard in a polarized world), education around the world and resilience. To learn more, please contact Tom Neilssen at and check out the BrightSight Group's speaker page for Amanda.