Kai Ryssdal

Host and senior editor

SHORT BIO

I speak my native tongue into a microphone.

What was your first job?

Lifeguard. (Well, that and mowing lawns.)

What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?

Staying calm.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?

Don't think — just talk.

In your next life, what would your career be?

Helicopter pilot.

Latest Stories (5,132)

How a stained glass business is holding up in a shaky economy

Jul 9, 2020
A family business that's endured for five generations figures out new ways to stay relevant.
Stained glass artwork hangs at Judson Studios in South Pasadena, California.
Bennett Purser/Marketplace

How a Baltimore detective teaches about implicit bias

Jul 7, 2020
"I do feel optimistic," says Edward Gillespie, an instructor at the city's police academy. "But it's not going to be an easy fight."
Protesters in Baltimore demand better police accountability and racial equality following the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

June’s jobs gains weren’t just big. They were widespread across the economy.

Jul 2, 2020
The diffusion index, a measure of the breadth of job gains across industries, jumped for the second month in a row.
Personal and laundry services, which includes dry cleaners, laundromats and other businesses, was among the many sectors that expanded payrolls in June.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The pipeline problem for Black women in economics

Jul 1, 2020
Kai Ryssdal talks with Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, CEO of the Sadie Collective.
Graduates of Spelman College in Georgia, a historically Black women's college, attend commencement ceremonies in 2002.
Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

Visa CEO: "The world has changed dramatically"

Jun 30, 2020
Visa CEO Al Kelly discusses the consumer economy and corporate responsibility today, amid the global pandemic and nationwide protests for racial justice.
"We've seen debit card volume increase much more than credit card volume," Visa CEO Al Kelly says.
Courtesy of Visa Inc.

How does race fit into intro econ courses?

Jun 25, 2020
Gary Hoover of the University of Oklahoma said talking about race in Econ 101 would help increase diversity in the field.
"What we expect in economics is that everyone will be ... rational," says economist Gary Hoover. Above, students at a university in Germany.
Torsten Silz/Getty Images

Here's what the crescendo of unemployment sounds like

Jun 24, 2020
Jordan Wirfs-Brock "sonified" data from unemployment claims to give us another way to process historic job losses.
Keystone/Getty Images

Companies are saying they'll diversify, but will they follow through?

Jun 22, 2020
Many companies are committing to diversifying the workforce. But if previous efforts have failed, will this time be different?
Kenneth Frazier, leader of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., is one of the few Black CEOs running a Fortune 500 company.
Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images

"For too long, economists have dodged the issue of racism and discrimination"

Jun 18, 2020
In an “open letter to economists,” Howard University professor and Chief Economist for the AFL-CIO William Spriggs asked his fellow economists to consider how the profession views race.
As protests over racial inequality continue around the country, many economists are reconsidering their profession's approach to race.
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

What's behind the national debt?

Jun 17, 2020
We look into how the government borrows money and what it means in the long run.
Then-Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in 2016. The national debt has since passed $26 trillion.
Alex Wong/Getty Images