Before joining The Times, Ms. Tavernise was a freelance writer in Russia for publications including BusinessWeek. From 1997 to 1999, she worked for Bloomberg News in Moscow.
In 2010, she became a national correspondent covering demographics and was the lead writer for The Times on the Census, capturing major demographic shifts underway in the United States, including in mortality and fertility, race and ethnicity.
Ms. Tavernise grew up in a rural town in western Massachusetts, where she picked blueberries for summer work. She went to Westfield High School and graduated from Barnard College in 1993. She moved to the eastern coast of Russia in 1995, to a town called Magadan, where she helped run a United States Agency for International Development-funded business training center.
She is now based in Washington, DC.