Elizabeth Kolbert (born 1961) is an American journalist and author and visiting fellow at Williams College. She is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, and as an observer and commentator on environmentalism for The New Yorker magazine. As of March 2017, Kolbert serves as a member of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist's Science and Security Board.
Kolbert spent her early childhood in the Bronx, New York; her family then relocated to Larchmont, New York, where she remained until 1979.
After graduating from Mamaroneck High School, Kolbert spent four years studying literature at Yale University. In 1983, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Universität Hamburg, in Germany.
Elizabeth Kolbert started working for The New York Times as a stringer in Germany in 1983. In 1985, she went to work for the Metro desk. Kolbert served as the Times' Albany bureau chief from 1988 to 1991, and wrote the Metro Matters column from 1997 to 1998.
Since 1999, she has been a staff-writer for The New Yorker.
She received a Lannan Literary Fellowship in 2006. She served as a judge for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award in 2012. She received the Sam Rose and Julie Walters Prize for Global Environmental Activism at Dickinson College in 2016.
Kolbert resides in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband, John Kleiner, and three sons. She appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on February 11, 2014, to discuss her book The Sixth Extinction.