Svitak was born in Springfield. Her mother, Joyce, was a Chinese immigrant who grew up during the Cultural Revolution. Her father, John, studied physics and worked as a software engineer. She got her first computer at 4, and began to write short stories on it.
- InfoCom 2013 closing keynote, Calcutta, India, December 7, 2013.
- INK Talks (in association with TED) in Lavasa, India, December 2010, speaking on how young people use technology in the modern world.
- United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum Conference, keynote with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in attendance. NY, March 2013.
- Girls' State of the Union at National Press Club, Keynote, Washington, D.C., January 2013, introduced by Gloria Steinem.
- Mashable Social Good Summit, Speaker, New York, NY, September 2012.
- ECIS (European Council of International Schools) keynote in Nice, France and visit to speak to students at the Dubai Women's College.
2015 Svitak addressed the National School Boards Association in an "Un-General" session, and followed up with an extended session on encouragement of writing and reading that is relevant to students.
From 2010 to 2013, Adora organized the annual TEDx (x = independently organized TED event) conference TEDxRedmond with an all-youth planning committee. The conference took place at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, WA. Over 700 people attended the inaugural conference in September 2010. Svitak said in a Microsoft interview that she hopes TEDxRedmond attendees are empowered by participating, adding, “I would love to see kids taking up issues that were important to them, whether it’s something that needs fixing at their school, or an environmental program that they’d like to start. I want them to see it’s OK to take action. As a kid, your voice is important. Use it.” 
Writing and journalism
Svitak's first full-length novel, Yang in Disguise, which she began working on in 2006, was published on March 14, 2011 (ISBN 978-1460979976). She also served as a spokesperson for Verizon Reads campaign for literacy and edited a novella, The Pickpocket Princess. Her second book, Dancing Fingers, which her older sister Adrianna, who is a musician, helped write was published on April 30, 2008 (ISBN 978-1888045567).
- Edited Green My Parents: Join the Youth Movement to Seed the Green Economy in 2010.
- Contributed poems to the Redmond Centennial Poetry Anthology in 2012.
- Huffington Post featured blogger for Women, Education, Parenting, and Teen verticals. "Would You Let Your Daughter Wear This?" article received upwards of 2000 comments, becoming one of the most popular articles on the Huffington Post.
- Mashable featured blogger.
- Edutopia blogger.
- Adora reported for online news site VICE on the ji6SETI organization, interviewing astronomer and TED Prize winner Jill Tarter and producing the video "The Thankless Search for Intelligence Out There...Somewhere" 
- Special columnist for Gulf News; writing a column for parents about the new generation and how interactions with technology would necessarily shape family and social dynamics.
- Gates Foundation Impatient Optimists blogger.
- Women's Media Center blogger.
From 2005–2009, Svitak was a Verizon Foundation Literacy Champion. In that capacity, she appeared on behalf of the Foundation alongside James Earl Jones at National Center for Family Literacy convention in Orlando, Florida and at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference (formerly the National Education Computing Conference). During the summer of 2012 Adora wrote scripts for, and appeared in, Google’s “Teach Teachers Tech” videos, modeled after the company’s “Teach Parents Tech” videos, promoting digital tools for use in education. From her Girls’ State of the Union address at the National Press Club to her 2014 speech at the Orange County Girls’ Conference at UC Irvine, Adora has publicly espoused feminist values. Forbes writer Denise Restauri wrote about Adora in an article titled “Is this 15-year-old Feminist a New Kind of Gloria Steinem in the Making?”  In a later interview for Forbes commenting on the controversy around Sports Illustrated using Barbie as a cover girl, Adora said of the doll, “She encourages an unrealistic expectation of beauty grounded in narrow ideals – whiteness, thinness, a lack of hair and an abundance of breast tissue – instead of kindness, smarts, self-confidence, or athleticism.” 
Awards and honors
In 2011, the National Education Association Foundation gave Adora their Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education. Past recipients include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, and Fred Rogers. The Huffington Post included her on their 2012 “18 under 18 Most Amazing Young People of the Year” list alongside athletes like Gabby Douglas and pop culture icons like Harry Styles. In her junior year of high school, Svitak was named a Redmond Rotary Club Student of the Month. Her “Girls’ State of the Union” video, submitted to a Women’s Media Center contest, took first place; subsequently, she spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. In 2013, Svitak was named a Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leader by the New York City-based We Are Family Foundation for her work organizing TEDxRedmond and raising awareness for the UN World Food Programme. As a Global Teen Leader, she participated in a week-long leadership summit in New York City in March 2013.
- "Adora Svitak". Goodreads. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- Corr, Kate (January 14, 2009). "Is Adora Svitak the cleverest child in the world?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 30, 2009. (Note however the Telegraph's tagline is incorrect to confuse Adora Svitak with Dora the Explorer, a confusion which Adora decried on her blog in 2013.)
- "Kavita Chhibber". www.kavitachhibber.com. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
- "Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids". TED Conference. Retrieved April 11, 2010.
- Chakraborty, Samhita (7 Dec 2013). "Writer, teacher, speaker... teen – Keep up with ‘child prodigy’". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- Carpenter, Shanna (12 Dec 2010). "The INK Conference: Day 2". TED Blog – TEDIndia. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "Youth ECOSOC 2013 on "Shaping tomorrow's innovators: Leveraging science, technology, innovation and culture for today's youth"". ECOSOC. Esango.UN.org. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "Redmond junior Adora Svitak speaks at UN in New York". Redmond Reporter. 3 Apr 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "Adora Svitak's Girls State of the Union". Archived from the original on 27 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "Activism at Any Age: Interview with Adora Svitak". Speak up for change. ACCESS.ca. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- Swan, Melanie (3 Dec 2010). "US teenage teacher inspires future educators". The National. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "TEDxRedmond: Microsoft Conference Center September 15th".
- Ganesan, Priya. "TEDxRedmond: By Students, For Students". King 5. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "TEDxRedmond Conference Brings Some of the World’s Youngest Artists, Writers and Musicians to Speak on Microsoft Campus". Microsoft News Center. September 16, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Hoyle, Antonia (September 28, 2006). "Exclusive: World's Cleverest Kid". Daily Mirror. Retrieved October 30, 2009.
- "Young People Who Rock". CNN.com. July 2, 2007.
- "八岁华裔女童出万字书被美誉为文坛小巨人(图)". Xinhua News Agency. June 6, 2006. Retrieved October 30, 2009.
- "Green My Parents".
- Adora Svitak (August 12, 2011). "Would You Buy This for Your Daughter?". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "Adora Svitak, Mashable".
- "Adora Svitak, Edutopia".
- Adora Svitak (September 28, 2009). "The Thankless Search for Intelligence Out There... Somewhere". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Adora Svitak (August 25, 2012). "Parenting digital natives: Social media — the new empowerment". Gulf News. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "Adora Svitak". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "Who We Are: Adora Svitak". Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Nine-Year-Old Author, With Help From Legendary Actor James Earl Jones, Performs 'Literary Improv' to Showcase Technology's Impact on Education". Verizon. June 26, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Teach Teachers Tech". Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Girls Conference Orange County". Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Denise Restauri (July 9, 2013). "Is This 15-Year-Old Feminist A New Kind Of Gloria Steinem In The Making?". Forbes. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Clare O'Connor (February 19, 2014). "Mattel's Latest Affront To Little Girls: Entrepreneur Barbie". Forbes. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Adora Svitak to Receive the NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education". The NEA Foundation. February 8, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "18 Under 18: HuffPost Teen's List Of The Most Amazing Young People Of The Year". Huffington Post Teen. December 31, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Svitak and Torres named Redmond Rotary students of the month". Redmond Reporter. December 18, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Redmond Teen Adora Svitak Wins Women’s Media Center Girls’ State Of The Union Video Contest". February 9, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Adora Svitak". Retrieved July 30, 2014.