Kirk Wallace Johnson is a screenwriter and author. He is the creator of Drug Spies, a scripted series about pharmaceutical espionage, and his books include The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, To Be a Friend is Fatal: the Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind, and The Fishermen and the Dragon: Two Dreams at War Off the Texas Coast (forthcoming from Viking Press). He is also the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies.
His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy, 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 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.