Broadcaster and bestselling author Krista Tippett founded and leads the On Being Project—a groundbreaking media and public life initiative pursuing “deep thinking and moral imagination, social courage and joy, to renew inner life, outer life, and life together.” The Peabody Award-winning On Being radio show that she created and hosts, takes up the great questions of meaning as they are being reframed in 21st century lives and disciplines: What does it mean to be human? How we do want to live? Who will we be to each other? On Being is now heard on 400 public radio stations across the US, reaching over 680,000 weekly listeners across U.S. geographic and urban/rural divides. The On Being podcast has been downloaded over 250 million times and was named Best Spirituality & Religion Podcast in the 2020 iheartradio Podcast Awards. Also curated by Tippett, the Civil Conversations Project has been lauded across the US political and cultural spectrum and is inspiring and resourcing initiatives across the globe.
“The Tippett style represents a fusion of all her parts — the child of small-town church comfortable in the pews; the product of Yale Divinity School able to parse text in Greek and theology in German; and, perhaps most of all, the diplomat seeking to resolve social divisions.”
—The New York Times
Tippett grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, attended Brown University, and worked as a young journalist and diplomat in Cold War Berlin. After returning to the US and pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Yale University in the early 1990’s, she saw a black hole where intelligent public reflection and conversation about the religious and spiritual aspects of humanity might be. President Obama awarded her National Humanities Medal at the White House in 2014 for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of every background to join her conversations about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.”
Launched in 2011, the Civil Conversations Project is a series of conversations, public events, and resources that offer ideas and tools for healing our fractured civic spaces. Bringing together thought leaders, activists, and everyday people representing diverging viewpoints, Tippett engages them in thoughtful conversation to explore the tough questions that we often don’t know how to ask each other. Past guests have included naturalist and writer Terry Tempest Williams, Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis, abortion rights advocate Frances Kissling, and Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family.
Tippett’s third book, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, was a New York Times bestseller and named a best nonfiction book of 2016 by The Washington Post and The Library Journal. She is also the author of The New York Times bestselling Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit; and Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters and How to Talk About it, a memoir of religion in our time.
Her next book, Letters to a Young Citizen, which Tippett describes as a response to the questions she has been asked by audiences in today’s rapidly changing world. Like Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, Tippett’s new book will speak to the young citizen in each of us—to everyone struggling to discern the contribution we might make to this moment.
“Hardly anyone in our time has been a greater amplifier of spirits than longtime journalist, On Being host, and patron saint of nuance Krista Tippett…In her interviews with the great spiritual geniuses of our time, Tippett has cultivated a rare space for reflection and redemption amid our reactionary culture—a space framed by her generous questions exploring the life of meaning. “
In recent honors, Tippett was a 2019 recipient of the Four Freedoms Medal of the Roosevelt Institute at Hyde Park. She also received an honorary doctorate from Middlebury College, and was a Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at the Hass Center for Public Service at Stanford University.