Jacobsen is a contributing editor at The Los Angeles Times Magazine and a widely published journalist who specializes in national defense and covert intelligence issues. She is the author most recently of Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis. Her book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base (Little Brown 2011), was a runaway New York Times bestseller. The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency (Little Brown 2015) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Amazon. She is also the author of Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America (2014).
Each of her books is in television development (Valhalla/AMC, Plan B/RatPac, Warner Brothers/J.J. Abrams/Bad Robot, Spielberg’s Amblin/Blumhouse). A frequent guest in national media, including CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air,” and Comedy Central’s “Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” she began her writing career as a business and finance journalist for WomensWallStreet.com.
Jacobsen is a 1989 graduate of Princeton University, where she wrote under the tutelage of Joyce Carol Oates and served as captain of the Princeton women’s ice hockey team. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.