About Kirstin Downey

Kirstin Downey is  a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, where she was a staff writer from 1988 to 2008, winning press association awards for her business and economic reporting. She shared in the 2008 Pulitzer Prize awarded to The Washington Post for its coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings, and she was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. She left The Post in 2008 to focus on finishing her biography of Frances Perkins, the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, titled The Woman Behind the New Deal. Weaving Frances Perkins’s story and legacy with current events and legislation, Downey lectures on the current state of employment in the United States, addressing the perennial hot-button issues of Social Security, the minimum wage, and unemployment insurance.

Kirstin Downey is currently managing editor of FTC: Watch, the nation’s leading independent newsletter focused on antitrust and consumer protection enforcement developments.

Praise for The Woman Behind the New Deal:

“Kirstin Downey’s excellent new biography of Perkins . . . is timed perfectly as the U.S. faces the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression.”
—Deirdre Donahue, USA Today

“The book is more than a biography of an extraordinary woman. It is a window to another time through which we are able to observe the birthing pains of reforms we now take for granted. . . . Many passages dealing with the Great Depression, immigration and the impending world war could have been lifted from today’s news.”
Charleston Post and Courier