Staff

Ira Glass

Host and Executive Producer

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.

Bim Adewunmi

Producer

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

Producer

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 Banker

CFO

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 Berry

Editor

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

Editor

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 Calhoun

Editor

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 Chace

Producer

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 Chivvis

Supervising 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 Cole

Supervising Producer

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.

Whitney Dangerfield

Digital Editor

Whitney works on editorial projects for the website, including the new redesign, and does the same for Serial and S-Town. Before joining the show, she was a senior staff editor in the Opinion and Sunday Review sections of The New York Times and also a writer/researcher at National Geographic magazine. 

Neil Drumming

Producer

Neil Drumming is a journalist and filmmaker who has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Gawker. His feature film debut Big Words was released in July 2013.

Cassie Howley

Finance Manager

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 Joffe-Walt

Producer

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 Kestenbaum

Executive Editor

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 Lind

Director of Operations

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 ZyxxIn 2015, he created and hosted the podcast festival Cast Party, beamed live into 500 movie theaters. 

Jessica Lussenhop

Fellow

Before coming to This American Life, Jessica was a senior staff writer at BBC News in Washington, D.C. 

Miki Meek

Producer, Deputy Managing Editor

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 Misitzis

Producer

Lina made The Last Days of August and The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson. In addition to producing at This American Life, she's working on a new podcast with comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. In a past life, she was an NBC Page, where her primary duty was telling tourists that the closest public bathroom in Rockefeller Center is located in the basement by the Swarovski store. 

Katherine Rae Mondo

Mixer

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 Nelson

Production Manager

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.

Brian Reed

Producer

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

Supervising Producer

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's also written about music for online publications and has translated both fiction and nonfiction. 

Robyn Semien

Editor

Before becoming a producer in June 2007, Robyn was a film and TV picture editor. She has won a handful of awards for her work on the show, including two Peabody Awards— one for being a producer on the “Harper High School” episodes, and another for producing and reporting “Anatomy of Doubt.”

Alissa Shipp

Producer

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. 

Lilly Sullivan

Producer

Lilly joined the show as a fellow in 2015 and has since worked with both This American Life and Serial Productions. Before coming to TAL, she worked with Radiolab and as a traveling facilitator with StoryCorps. She used to work with literature as an online editor. 

Frances Swanson

Office Manager

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. 

Christopher Swetala

Head of Fact-Checking

Christopher Swetala joined the show as the head of fact-checking in 2015. He’s written about his job for transom.org

Matt Tierney

Technical Director

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

Editor

Nancy Updike is one of the founding producers of This American Life.

Julie Whitaker

Digital Manager

Julie helps run all things digital for This American Life: Facebook, the newsletter, the website, etc. 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 Wu

Managing Editor

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.