This is what I hope to offer the world.
It also describes my two professional passions.
For the past decade, as a Pulitzer Prize-winning independent journalist, author, consultant, and public speaker, I have focused on neuroscience and energy reform. The two have more in common than may at first appear, not least because, as a species, our cognitive limits and increasing distraction have been holding us back from overcoming our energy and environmental challenges.
I’ve explored brain science and distraction as the author of three recent books: “The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes You Smarter”; “Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention,” and “Square Peg: My Story and What It Means for Raising Visionaries, Innovators, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers.” Simultaneously, I’ve freelanced articles and done consulting work on clean energy, encompassing writing speeches, website content, and congressional testimony for Silicon Valley firms including Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and Google.org. My environmental writing includes co-authoring “The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable,” and editing “The Atlas of Global Conservation.”
I’ve been a writing coach for Stanford University business students and on a private basis, and teach a workshop on Cardio-Writing every summer (pending Copyright: (c) 2013 by Katherine Ellison) at Rancho la Puerta in Mexico. I have also given keynote speeches on attention and learning issues at venues including Tufts University, UCLA, and Kaiser Permanente.
Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist, former foreign correspondent, writing consultant, author of four books, and mother of two sons.
Her writing has appeared in publications including Smithsonian, Time, Fortune, Working Mother, The Atlantic Monthly, and Conservation in Practice. She is a member of The Authors Guild and the N. 24th non-fiction writers' group.
From 1987-99, Katherine was based first in Mexico and then in Rio de Janeiro as bureau chief for Knight Ridder Newspapers. She has also reported extensively from Central and South America, Asia and Africa. She has traveled underground with Eritrean guerrillas fighting the Ethiopian government, reported from the front lines of U.S.-backed wars in Central America, hunted for Nazis in Paraguay and Argentina and spent a week traveling with a band of Huichol Indians during their annual ceremonial peyote hunt in central Mexico. She has been taken hostage by Mexican peasants, arrested by Cuban police, tear-gassed in Panama, chased by killer bees and required to watch more World Cup events than she cares to remember. She now lives in the San Francisco, California, Bay Area, where life is somewhat calmer.
In 1986, Katherine and two colleagues at the San Jose Mercury News -- Pete Carey and Lew Simons -- won a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for a series of articles that exposed how Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos had looted the Philippines' treasury and clandestinely purchased properties in the United States. The series led to congressional investigations in the United States and in the Philippines, which contributed to the Marcos' fall from power. Some of the material became the basis for Katherine's first book, Imelda: Steel Butterfly of the Philippines (McGraw-Hill, 1988).
Other journalism prizes Katherine has won include:
- The National Association of Hispanic Journalists' first-place award, in 1997, for coverage of problems with privatizations in Mexico and Argentina;
- The Inter-American Press Association's first-place award for feature-writing, won in both 1994 and 1995, for stories on politics and culture in South America;
- The Latin American Studies Association Media Award, in 1994, for several years of excellence in regional coverage;
- The Overseas Press Club Award, in 1989, for human rights reporting in Mexico and Nicaragua;
- The George Polk Award and the Investigative Reporters & Editors Award, in 1986, for coverage of the Philippines.