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Washington Week_Gwen Ifill Bio


Gwen Ifill is moderator and managing editor of WASHINGTON WEEK and senior correspondent for the PBS NEWSHOUR. She is also the best-selling author of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama (Doubleday, 2009).

Ifill reports on a wide range of issues from foreign affairs to U.S. politics and policies interviewing national and international newsmakers. She has covered six 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, Ifill 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 46th year on the air, WASHINGTON WEEK is the longest-running primetime news and public affairs program on television.

During the 2008 presidential campaign season WASHINGTON WEEK launched a nine-city series of road shows across America with live audiences. 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, Ifill 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. Her work as a journalist has been honored by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center, Ebony magazine and Boston’s Ford Hall Forum.

Ifill has received more than 20 honorary doctorates and currently 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. A native of New York City, she graduated from Simmons College in Boston.


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