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Washington Week_Gwen Ifill BioNov2016

GWEN IFILL is moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and co-anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour.”

Gwen reports on a wide range of issues from foreign affairs to U.S. politics and policies interviewing national and international newsmakers. She has covered seven Presidential campaigns and moderated two Vice Presidential debates — in 2004 the debate between Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat John Edwards and in 2008 the debate between Democratic Senator Joe Biden and Republican Governor Sarah Palin.

Each week on “Washington Week,” Gwen leads a robust roundtable discussion with award-winning journalists who provide reporting and analysis of the major stories emanating from the nation’s capital. Now in its 50th year on the air, “Washington Week” is the longest-running prime-time news and public affairs program on television.


Gwen has led numerous public conversations and town halls exploring issues facing the country. In June 2016, she moderated a town meeting in Elkhart, Indiana with President Obama, exploring voters’ choices. In September 2015, she moderated “America After Charleston,” examining the issues propelled into public discourse after a white gunman shot and killed nine African-American parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. In September 2014, she moderated “America After Ferguson,” discussing the many issues facing communities in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri.


During the 2016 Presidential campaign season, “Washington Week” continued a tradition of special broadcasts and live audience events, this year in the sites of the national political conventions — Cleveland, Ohio and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — as well as one from Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 2012, “Washington Week” also hit the road for a series of broadcasts in three cities across America, allowing live audiences to interact with Gwen and her weekly panelists on the issues surrounding the election year. In 2008, “Washington Week” launched its first series of road shows with live audiences in ten cities across America. The regular broadcasts and whistle-stop series earned “Washington Week” a 2008 Peabody Award. In honoring “Washington Week” the committee cited the program for “its reasoned, reliable contribution to the national discourse,” and as the gold standard “for public-affairs enthusiasts who prefer illumination to confrontational fireworks.” 


Before coming to PBS in 1999, Gwen was chief congressional and political correspondent for NBC News, White House correspondent for The New York Times, and a local and national political reporter for The Washington Post. She also reported for the Baltimore Evening Sun and the Boston Herald American. Gwen is also the best-selling author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama” (Doubleday, 2009).


Gwen has received more than 20 honorary doctorates and serves on the boards of the News Literacy Project, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and she is a fellow with the American Academy of Sciences. In 2015 she was awarded with the National Press Club’s highest honor, the Fourth Estate Award. She has also been honored for her work as a journalist by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center, The National Association of Black Journalists, Ohio University, Boston’s Ford Hall Forum, and she was included in Ebony Magazine’s list of 150 Most Influential African Americans, among many other honors. A native of New York City, Gwen graduated from Simmons College in Boston.


Updated November 14, 2016


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