Ira Glass started working in public radio in 1978, when he was 19, as an intern at NPR’s headquarters in D.C. Over the next 17 years, he worked on nearly every NPR news show and did nearly every production job they had: tape-cutter, desk assistant, newscast writer, editor, producer, reporter, and substitute host. He moved to Chicago in 1989 and put This American Life on the air in 1995.
Sarah came to This American Life from Gimlet Media, where she was a Senior Producer, and where she launched and ran a number of the company's shows. Most recently, Sarah was the Senior Producer for The Nod.
Bim is a journalist and playwright who has written for BuzzFeed News, the Guardian, Vogue and many other titles. For Follow This on Netflix, she reported on Amish romance novels, Black survivalists, and modest fashion. She also cohosts a podcast called Thirst Aid Kit. As her accent suggests, she is British.
Elna Baker is a writer and comedic storyteller. She’s appeared on This American Life, A Prairie Home Companion, The Moth Radio Hour, BBC Radio 4, All Things Considered, WTF with Marc Maron, and Studio 360, among other shows. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, and she published a memoir called The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance.
Sona joined This American Life and Serial as CFO in 2016. She provides strategic and financial guidance to start-up and high-growth businesses as Founder of Banker Financial Consulting. Prior to that, she spent eight years at Goldman Sachs Group. Sona is a CFA charterholder and received a B.A. from the University of Chicago, where she also ran cross country and track. She’s completed three NYC marathons and the Boston Marathon.
Emanuele came to This American Life from Gimlet Media. There she worked on several shows including The Nod, Undone and StartUp. Previously, Emanuele worked as a public radio reporter in Michigan and Missouri. Emanuele is a 2014 AIR New Voices Scholar. She is also the recipient of a 2015 Fulbright award to Macau, China.
Susan Burton came to This American Life as a producer in 1999 and rejoined the show in 2016. She's written for The New York Times Magazine and other publications. Her memoir, Empty, will be published in June 2020.
Ben first joined the show in 2010. He was a reporter and producer on the team that created our "Harper High School" episodes, which won a Peabody Award. He also, questionably, won a James Beard Award for this story. Before all that, Ben started in the WBEZ newsroom, and went on to do stories for Radiolab, NPR, Marketplace, and others. In late 2014, Ben left us to serve as vice president of content and programming for WBEZ, where he grew audience, co-authored the station’s new strategic plan, and expanded the station’s content operation. Ben returned to the show in 2017.
Zoe joined the show in 2015. Before that, she was a reporter for NPR’s Planet Money team, as well as an NPR producer.
Dana joined This American Life as the fellow in 2013. Before that, she covered education at NBC News and was a photo editor at National Geographic. She also works as a producer on Serial.
Sean contributed to the show on and off starting in 1999, and then came on staff in February 2014. He’s also worked as a producer at Radiolab, a regular contributor to Marketplace, and a freelance reporter for lots of other shows and podcasts including Studio 360 and 99% Invisible. His career started at WBUR in Boston where he was a news-writer, engineer, announcer, field-producer, reporter and, finally, a correspondent for the station’s award-winning documentary unit Inside Out.
Cassie joined This American Life as Finance Manager in 2018. As a Certified Public Accountant, she has focused her career on helping mission-driven companies grow stronger financially. When she’s not behind a computer screen, you might find her behind a sewing machine.
Chana won a Peabody Award for her coverage of education and our shows on school segregation. Before joining the show, Chana reported on schools, health care and global economics for NPR, where she helped create NPR’s Planet Money.
David came to This American Life from NPR where he was a reporter for 18 years covering science and eventually economics with the Planet Money team. He has a Ph.D. in particle physics.
Seth joined This American Life as production manager in 2006. As director of operations, he heads up sponsorship, partnerships and distribution. He is also co-creator of the improvised science fiction podcast Mission to Zyxx. In 2015, he created and hosted the podcast festival Cast Party, beamed live into 500 movie theaters.
Tobin is the co-creator of the LGBTQ podcast Nancy, which recently concluded its award-winning run at WNYC Studios. He has also served as a producer on shows like Radiolab and More Perfect. Before making the jump to radio, Tobin worked in New York as a professional cellist; and before that, he was a child who attended circus camp.
Miki Meek interned and freelanced for the show before joining the staff in December 2012. Previously, she worked as an online producer and editor at National Geographic and The New York Times. Miki has won two Emmy Awards for new approaches to documentary programming, and a duPont Award for her immigration coverage.
Lina came to This American Life after making The Last Days of August and The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson. She was a producer and reporter on The Out Crowd — our episode about the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" asylum policy — which won the first Pulitzer Prize ever given to audio journalism. Lina also makes Oh, Hello: The P'dcast with Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. In 2011 she was an NBC Page, where her primary duty was telling tourists that the closest public bathroom in Rockefeller Center was (and is!) located in the basement by the Swarovski store.
Rae has a background in sound for film, live audio, and documentary editing. Before working at This American Life, she was often found with the audio department of Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting. When not doing audio things, she loves riding her bike.
Stowe joined This American Life in 2018. He also mixed and sound designed the third season of Serial. Before joining the show, he worked primarily as a theatrical sound designer, specializing in new and devised plays.
Emana is an actress, writer, comedian, and independent producer. She was the 2018-2019 I Am Soul Producing Resident at the National Black Theatre (NBT). At NBT she served as the production coordinator for the Playwrights-In-Residence season, and developed, conceived, and oversaw all aspects of production for the one day event, Black Girls Are From Outer Space. As a performer, Emana’s select film/television credits include: Insecure (HBO), 30 Rock (NBC), and Amazon Prime. Emana received her MFA from West Virginia University (WVU) where she was a W.E.B. DuBois Graduate Fellow.
Brian first came to This American Life as an intern, rejoined the staff as a producer in October 2011, and became senior producer in 2015. He has created some of the program's most ambitious stories, including “The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra,” an investigation into the Federal Reserve that inspired hearings in the U.S. Senate, and “What Happened at Dos Erres,” which earned him a Peabody Award and the Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage On Trauma. Brian is also the host and co-creator of our podcast series S-Town.
Nadia Reiman has been making radio since 2005, when she started covering Capitol Hill with a minidisc recorder and no journalism experience for a small Spanish-language politics show. She then worked for many years at StoryCorps, where she and other team members won a Peabody Award for their 9/11 coverage. Nadia was also the Senior Editor at NPR's Latino USA, where her work received the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Ñ Award, among others. She has also translated both fiction and nonfiction from Spanish to English.
Ari is a multimedia journalist. Previously, he was an assistant producer at KPCC. Ari's writing has been featured in New York Magazine and The Wall Street Journal and his artwork has appeared in The New Yorker. Prior to joining This American Life, Ari was on a chainsaw crew doing trail maintenance in the Tennessee and Georgia wilderness.
Alissa has been a producer at This American Life since July 2006. She handles film and television adaptations, and rights, for the show. She most recently produced, for Netflix, the movie Come Sunday, which was based on the 2005 episode "Heretics." She also occasionally works on stories for the radio show. Prior to This American Life, Alissa worked as a production executive at Warner Bros., and at a number of film and publishing jobs.
Laura comes to This American Life from Reveal, where they were a lead producer and reporter for “American Rehab,” a series that catalyzed a federal investigation into the addiction treatment industry. At Reveal, they also covered everything from racial discrimination in mortgage lending to the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. Laura got their start as a fact-checker before beginning in public radio at WNYC, and later reported for State of the Re:Union and NPR's Science Desk.
Lilly joined the show in 2015. Before that, she worked with StoryCorps recording oral histories around the country. She used to work with literature.
Frances joined This American Life as the office manager in 2018. She also works as a freelance stage manager for various theater companies around NYC.
Matt joined This American Life in 2015. For much of his career prior to that, he worked nationally and internationally as a theatrical sound designer. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2014.
Nancy Updike is one of the founding producers of This American Life.
Julie helps run all things digital for This American Life. Before joining the show, she worked on the social media team for the Hillary Clinton campaign. She has also worked at WNYC, BuzzFeed, and Doctors Without Borders.
Diane started at the show as a fellow in 2017. She's also worked at Science Vs from Gimlet Media. Before that, she was a scientist.