Melanie Kirkpatrick is a writer-journalist based in Connecticut and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank. She contributes reviews and commentary to various publications, including the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal, for which she worked for 30 years. Her books include Lady Editor: Sarah Josepha Hale and the Making of the Modern American Woman (2021), Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience (2016) and Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia’s Underground Railroad (2012).
Melanie joined The Wall Street Journal in 1980, working as a copyeditor on the overnight desk in Hong Kong. She rose to become the global newspaper’s op-ed editor, a member of the editorial board, and deputy editor of the newspaper’s editorial pages. During her career at the Journal, she also oversaw the launch of OpinionJournal.com and other online products, managed the editing and production of books published by the Journal, and served as a member of the board of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund.
Melanie was a co-editor of the Journal’s series, Whitewater, a six-volume collection of Journal commentary during the Bill Clinton Administration. She was also co-editor of several editions of the Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by the Journal and the Heritage Foundation; the Index evaluates and ranks the world’s economies.
Melanie spent 10 years in Asia, working for The Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong and, prior to that, for a division of Time-Life Books in Tokyo. She received the 2001 Mary Morgan Hewett Award for Women in Journalism from the Friends of the East-West Center in Honolulu. The annual award recognizes a journalist who has demonstrated commitment, hard work and expanding influence throughout her career.
She received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree in English from the University of Toronto. She was a Gannett Newspaper Foundation Fellow in Asian studies at the University of Hawaii. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a trustee emerita of Princeton in Asia, an internship program in Asia for young graduates of American universities; a member of the Trollope Society; a member of the advisory board of the Human Freedom Program of the George W. Bush Institute; and a director of the America for Bulgaria Foundation.
Ms. Kirkpatrick is married to Jack David, a senior fellow and trustee of the Hudson Institute.