About

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Kirk Wallace Johnson is the author of 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 founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies.

His writing has appeared in The New Yorkerthe New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policyamong others.

Prior to 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.  Johnson 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.

His third book, The Fishermen and the Dragon: Two Dreams at War off the Texas Coast, will by published by Viking Press in 2021.