Death By Design
Allison Gilbert is an Emmy award-winning journalist and one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on grief and resilience. The author of numerous books including the groundbreaking, Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive, her stirring work exposes the secret and essential factor for harnessing loss to drive happiness and rebound from adversity. She serves on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance for Grieving Children and the Advisory Board for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, the preeminent national organization providing grief support to families of America’s fallen heroes.
Allison’s other books include, Parentless Parents: How the Loss of Our Mothers and Fathers Impacts the Way We Raise Our Children and Always Too Soon: Voices of Support for Those Who Have Lost Both Parents. She is also co-editor of Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11, the definitive historical record of how broadcast journalists covered that tragic day. The landmark book was turned into a documentary by the U.S. State Department and distributed to embassies and consulates around the world. Allison is the official narrator of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum’s core historical exhibition audio tour and her voice is introduced by Robert De Niro on the museum’s “Witnessing History” tour, the only female journalist to be so honored.
On Allison’s popular grief and resilience blog, she features Q & A’s with some of the most notable names in our culture today including, Arianna Huffington, Jon Stewart, and New York Times bestselling authors Gretchen Rubin, Dani Shapiro, and Susan Orlean.
Allison is a sought-after expert on grief, loss, resilience, cancer prevention, and September 11, appearing on TODAY, CNN, and MSNBC. She’s appeared at New York Open Center with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Soledad O’Brien, and she’s frequently quoted in print and online, her perspective featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.
Allison is a popular workshop leader and keynote speaker, helping individuals transform personal and professional setbacks into opportunity. She has spoken to such diverse groups as Google, Time Warner, National Association for Female Executives, Women’s Enterprise Development Center Inc., JCC in Manhattan, 92Y, Gilda’s Club, and New York Public Library. She also partners with hospitals, hospices, funeral homes, and religious institutions, to bring her one-of-a-kind Memory Bash® events to communities across the country. She has run these fun and meaningful events for many groups, including New Song Center for Grieving Children in Phoenix, Hospice of the South Shore in Boston, and NorthShore University Hospital and Hospice in Chicago, to name just a few. Allison has served as Executive Family & Memories Editor for Legacy Republic and spokesperson for Funeral Service Foundation’s Have the Talk of a Lifetimecampaign.
Her work can also be quite personal and revealing. After the death of Allison’s mother to ovarian cancer and her aunt and grandmother to breast cancer, (and following genetic testing that determined she is BRCA1 positive), she made the life-affirming choice to have two preventative cancer surgeries. Her pioneering series for HuffPost, “My Journey to Prevent Ovarian Cancer,” chronicles her decision to have a prophylactic hysterectomy. Allison writes about undergoing a double mastectomy in The New York Times and talks about the operation and recovery on MSNBC and with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Allison started her career in TV news, covering most every major news story in the last 20 years — including 9/11, when she was on the job and nearly killed by falling debris. At CNN, Allison produced TV segments and wrote stories for CNN.com. Before CNN, she was a special projects producer at WABC-TV and an investigative producer at WNBC-TV, both in New York. She was also part of the original launch teams for New York 1 News and MSNBC. Allison currently serves as Senior Writer for The Center for Parent and Teen Communication, located within the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Allison has received three Emmy awards and six Emmy nominations for various hard news reporting. She’s been awarded first place for consumer investigation by the National Association of Black Journalists, won “Best Multi-Part Investigative Series” by the Society of Professional Journalists, and received “Best Public Service” award by the Associated Press. For Parentless Parents, she’s winner of the Washington Irving Book Award.
Allison graduated from Georgetown University and lives outside New York City. She and her husband have a son in college and a daughter soon to finish high school. You can learn more about her here: www.allisongilbert.com.