Carolyn Ann Khouri was born in San Antonio, Texas, to a Syrian American father. Following her graduation from St. Mary's High School in Paducah, Kentucky, she studied landscape architecture at Purdue University before changing her major to drama. After college, she studied at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in Los Angeles. On June 2, 1990, she married David Weaver Warfield, a writer and a producer. Khouri began working in film production in 1991. From 1996 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2002, Khouri served on the WGA board of directors; she sat on the board of trustees of the Writer’s Guild Foundation from 2001 to 2004. She was a member of Hollywood Women's Political Committee, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Women's Media Watch Project. Khouri is now married to T-Bone Burnett.