About Gwen @gwenifill
In Memoriam: Gwen Ifill was the moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and co-anchor and managing editor for "The PBS NEWSHOUR w/ Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff."
The best-selling author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," (Doubleday, 2009), she also moderated the Vice Presidential debates during the Presidential elections in 2004 and 2008.
Gwen covered eight Presidential campaigns, and during the 2008 campaign season, won the George Foster Peabody Award after bringing Washington Week to live audiences around the country as part of a 10-city tour.
Now in its 49th year, Washington Week is the longest-running prime-time news and public affairs program on television. Each week, Gwen brought together some of the best journalists in Washington to discuss the major stories of the week with the reporters who actually cover the news that emanates from the nation's capital and affects the nation and the world.
Gwen joined both Washington Week and PBS NewsHour in 1999, interviewing newsmakers and reporting on issues ranging from foreign affairs to politics. Before coming to PBS, she 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.
"I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, and my first love was newspapers," Ifill said. "But public broadcasting provides the best of both worlds-combining the depth of newspapering with the immediate impact of broadcast television."
A native of New York City and a graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Ifill received more than 25 honorary doctorates. 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 by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center, The National Association of Black Journalists, Ohio University, and was included in Ebony Magazine's list of 150 Most Influential African Americans.
She also served on the board of the News Literacy Project, on the advisory board of the Committee to Protect Journalists and was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Gwen’s Recent Stories
Politics Oct 07Gwen’s Take: The end is in sight
Just about a month from now, Election Day will have come and gone. Americans, who appear not to have much taste for either major presidential nominee, will have made their choice. But truth to tell, any politician who is being…
Politics Sep 23Gwen’s Take: How to moderate a debate
Moderating a debate means spending more time with briefing books than with your children. It means writing, and rewriting, and rephrasing. It means finding a way to be alert enough to notice when your question goes unanswered and nimble enough…
Politics Sep 02Gwen’s Take: The high dive
Every time one of those amazing, tightly muscled divers stepped confidently to the edge of a high board, I held my breath. As they sprang into the air and spiraled into the pool, I couldn't help but think of the…
Politics Jun 17Gwen’s Take: The gun debate, face to face
In the wake of Orlando, President Obama's words on the gun debate at a PBS NewsHour Town Hall take on new poignancy.
Politics Apr 08Gwen’s Take: Shocker then, shocker now
At a time when a debate about the correct way to eat pizza or use a New York City subway MetroCard can consume an entire news cycle, just imagine what the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings would do to us.
Politics Apr 01Gwen’s Take: Maybe the revolution is here
We have come to accept the head-snapping nature of this campaign. Is it because this is what revolution looks like?…
Politics Mar 25How mean can we get?
The story of infamous political rivals Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton is one of Broadway's hottest tickets. Then as now, running for president -- they both aspired to it; neither achieved it -- can be deadly serious.
Politics Jan 08Gwen’s Take: Resolving to rescue 2016
It may already be too late to stick to these resolutions. But if you fall off the hammock, climb back in, and try your hand at optimism. Believe me; it will make 2016 better for all of us.
Politics Dec 18I have one piece of holiday advice. Everybody calm down
I see you out there. You are the Bernie Sanders supporters up in arms that your guy is getting big union endorsements and attracting huge crowds, yet losing the headline wars to Hillary Clinton — or worse — Donald Trump.
Politics Dec 11Gwen’s Take: The dangers of hyperbole
At a time when covering a presidential campaign means sorting through your definitions of dishonesty, bigotry and intolerance, being reasonable seems to be a dodge.