Julie Scelfo photoPhoto credit: Johannes Kroemer

Julie Scelfo is a former staff writer for The New York Times, author of The Women Who Made New York, and a media critic who helps people discover the forces that help shape human thinking. She is the founder and Executive Director of Get Media Savvy, a nonprofit initiative devoted to helping people navigate the 21st century media environment – and defend humanity.

Recently, she gave a TED Talk about how humans make meaning and why being “media savvy” — having an understanding how media works — is essential for parsing today’s cluttered information environment.

Previously, Scelfo was a staff writer for The New York Times, where she wrote stories about how we live in contemporary American society that frequently ended up on the Times’s most-emailed list. Before joining the Times in 2007, Scelfo was a Correspondent at Newsweek where she covered breaking news, including the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

Scelfo is most popularly known as the author of The Women Who Made New York (Seal Press/Hachette, 2016), a collection of intersectional biographies that reveal how it was women — and not just men — who built one of the world’s greatest cities. Irin Carmon described the book as “both a public service and a pleasure;” Maria Popova of Brain Pickings deemed it “rigorously researched and elegantly written.”

Scelfo earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in Media Ecology from New York University. In 2017, she received NYU’s Dorothy Height Distinguished Alumni Award, named for the pioneering civil rights and women’s rights activist.

Scelfo, who lives in New York City, is a frequent public speaker and has made numerous appearances on television, radio and podcasts. She is a member of PEN America, a supporter of Narrative 4, and believes radical empathy is where it’s at.