About Gwen @gwenifill
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 Aug 14The joys of Iowa: Part 1
It has become something of a cliché (as are butter cows), but the Iowa State Fair gives us an opportunity to see most of the 2016 candidates in one location with actual people. How they work a crowd, answer an…
Politics Aug 07Gwen’s Take: Candidates debates, and why we should love them
Ninety minutes in, Jeb Bush found his voice, speaking out for civility. Shortly after, John Kasich admitted he went to a gay friend’s wedding. About an hour before, Ben Carson thanked the moderator for remembering to call on him. And…
Politics Jul 31Gwen’s Take: The third term myth
In his final speech to the African Union this week, President Obama addressed corruption on the continent. And then he mentioned, in what seemed an offhand fashion, the one thing that he had to know would rankle his critics back…
Politics Jul 242016 politics: The need for unwelcome intrusions
For voters, the unexpected should be seen as welcome. Any presidential hopeful has to be aware that no path is smooth; no ambition easily attained.
Politics Jul 17Gwen’s Take: Who do these candidates think they are?
For me, by far the most eye-opening revelation in the early stages of this 2016 campaign is the sheer breadth of diversity in the field. Count it up. Two women. Two Cuban Americans. One African American. Candidates hailing from California…
Politics Jul 03Gwen’s Take: How we see each other … and how we don’t
The U.S. Census has officially concluded that the majority of Americans under the age of 5 are children of color. Yet we still live in a world where our continuing tugs of war over identity periodically explode into incomprehensible violence…
Politics Jun 26On flags, forgiveness and fairness: Charleston lessons
If there is one question I get every time I speak to young, aspiring journalists, it is this: How do you keep your opinion/bias/emotion out of the story you’re covering? My answer has been pretty straightforward: Keep an open mind,…
Politics Jun 05Gwen’s Take: A blacksmith and a gamer walk into a bar … What you didn’t know about the 2016 candidates
In my business we’re often criticized for focusing too heavily on the horse race nature of a political campaign. This is often a fair and just criticism. We do it because it’s easy, and because sometimes it’s fun. Here’s the…
Politics May 29Why polls are ridiculous … until they’re not
The Republican race is taking shape! The latest poll conducted by Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University says so. But with so many numbers to digest, here’s why it’s all so ridiculous.
Politics May 15Gwen’s Take: Politics through a glass, darkly — trade edition
Is Washington transparent? Certainly not. Are all lawmakers friends, even within their own parties? No way. So it helps to have a glossary when you listen to them speak.