Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy — radio or television, commercial or public broadcasting — in the country. In addition, he joins forces with Marketplace Tech’s Molly Wood to connect the dots on the economy, tech and culture as co-host of the podcast Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly.
Since joining the flagship Marketplacebroadcast in 2005, Kai has hosted the program from China, the Middle East and dozens of cities, big and small, across the United States. Kai speaks regularly with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, startup entrepreneurs, small business owners and everyday participants in the American and global economies. He’s also interviewed President Obama four times. Kai first came to Marketplace in 2001 as the host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he covered the economic aftermath of the Sept. 11attacks, the collapse of Enron, and the slow buildup to the housing crash, the financial crisis and the Great Recession.
His one and only big-time journalism award was, as it happens, for television: a 2012 Emmy for investigative journalism on a PBS “Frontline” documentary about money in politics called Big Sky, Big Money. Kai has appeared often on CNN, CNBC and CBS news. His written work has been featured in The New York Times and The Atlantic.
Before his career in broadcasting, Kai spent eight years in the United States Navy, flying from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, and later worked with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He also served in the United States Foreign Service, with postings to Ottawa, Canada, and Beijing. Kai is a graduate of Emory and Georgetown universities.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children.Twitter: kairyssdal