Evan Ratliff is an award-winning investigative journalist and two-time National Magazine Award finalist. Most recently, he is the writer and host of Persona: The French Deception (Pineapple/Wondery, 2022), the hit podcast about a scam that took over the world, and the man who made tens of millions of dollars fleecing some of the richest people on the planet. The show reached #3 on the Apple overall charts. Guy Raz called it “the podcast I wish I’d created… It’s so good. So smart and such a crisply written narrative.”
Evan is also the author of The Mastermind: A True Story of Murder, Empire, and a New Kind of Crime Lord (Random House: 2019), about the 21st century’s most ambitious cartel and the programming genius behind it. A New York Times 2019 Notable Book, The Mastermind has been translated into six languages. It has been called “a triumph” (The New York Times), “a masterwork of investigative journalism” (The Daily Mail), “a true crime classic” (Publisher’s Weekly), and “a tour de force of shoe-leather reporting—undertaken, amid threats and menacing, at considerable personal risk” (The Los Angeles Times).
Evan’s longform journalism also appears in Wired, The New Yorker, Bloomberg Businessweek, Outside, Business Insider, and National Geographic. He reports on transnational crime, cybercrime, science and technology, the environment, terrorism, corruption, and politics. He has interviewed con artists, money launderers, mercenaries, and hitmen, and reported from the far reaches of the Amazon, the deck of a Russian naval ship, the forests of Cameroon, the back alleys of Manila, and prisons on four continents.
As an editor, he is the former cofounder and editor in chief of Atavist and The Atavist Magazine, which under his editorship was nominated for two Emmy Awards and nine National Magazine Awards, among other accolades. (Atavist was acquired by Automattic/Wordpress in 2018.)
On the side, he cohosts the acclaimed Longform Podcast, a best-of-the-year selection by The Atlantic, New York, Time, and other publications.
He was also the cofounder of Pop-Up Magazine, the live magazine that The New York Times called “a sensation.”
Evan is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.
Awards and such:
Two-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards
Two-time finalist for the Livingston Awards
Finalist for the Deadline Club Award for Newspaper or Digital Feature Reporting
Citation recipient for the Overseas Press Club Award for Digital Reporting on International Affairs
Finalist for the Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award
Winner of the Clark/Payne Award for science writing.
Writing selected for The Best American Magazine Writing, The Best of Technology Writing, The Best American Nonrequired Writing, and The Best American Science Writing.
2009 Wired cover story “Vanish,” about Evan’s attempt to disappear and the public’s effort to find him, was selected by the magazine as one of the 25 best stories in its history. The article was published in French as a book, Disparaître Dans La Nature.