Kirk Wallace Johnson is an author and screenwriter. His books include The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast, The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, and To Be a Friend is Fatal: the Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind. He is also the creator of Drug Spies, a scripted series about pharmaceutical espionage. He is the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies, which resettled thousands Iraqi refugees who were imperiled as a result of working for the U.S. during the war.
His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, on This American Life, and 60 Minutes, among others.
Prior to founding the List Project, Johnson served in Iraq with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Baghdad and then Fallujah as the Agency’s first coordinator for reconstruction in the war-torn city.
He is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, and the recipient of fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin, Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Wurlitzer Foundation. Prior to his work in Iraq, he conducted research on political Islamism as a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt. He received his BA from the University of Chicago in 2002.
Born in West Chicago, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, son, and daughter.