Kathryn S. Olmsted is a member of the history department at the University of California, Davis, where she has taught since 1993. A 1985 graduate of Stanford University, she gained her PhD in 1993 from the university where she now teaches. She chaired her department from 2013 until 2016 and since has been interim chair of gender, sexuality, and women's studies.
Olmsted is the author of several books, including Right Out of California: The 1930s and the Big Business Roots of Modern Conservatism (The New Press), Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI, Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley, and Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11. She is currently writing a book on newspaper publishers in the US and the UK in the years before World War II.