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.
Since joining the flagship Marketplace broadcast 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 CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, start-up entrepreneurs, small business owners, and everyday participants in the American and global economies. He’s interviewed the leader of the free world twice – once in the Oval Office and once on a folding chair in the middle of the Nevada desert. Kai first came to Marketplace in 2001 as the host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he covered the economic aftermath of the September 11th attacks, 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, 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, China. Kai is a graduate of Emory University and Georgetown University.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children.