Kim Barker grew up in Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon, and graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism. She worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, for four years, and The Seattle Times for two years, winning awards for her investigative reporting.
In 2001, at age thirty, she joined the Chicago Tribune and began making reporting trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan the next year. Barker was the Tribune’s South Asia bureau chief from 2004 to 2009. She was then awarded the Council on Foreign Relations Edward R. Murrow press fellowship to study Afghanistan and Pakistan.
She now lives in New York City, where she works as a reporter at ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.