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 Feb 20Gwen’s Take: The Jeb and Hillary chronicles
Living in the shadows can be such a drag. But it’s demonstrably worse if the shadow is cast by somebody who used to be President of the United States.
Politics Feb 13Gwen’s Take: On loss and opportunity
This has been a wrenching week for those of us in the business of telling the truth on television.
Politics Feb 06Gwen’s Take: The perils of tripping over one’s tongue
In the 24-hour news cycle, the perils of even thinking about running for president are clear. For every ticket punched, there is a slippery spot that can trip you up in a flash. This week’s featured players: Paul and Christie.
Politics Jan 30Gwen’s Take: When movies are more than reality
Documentaries about "real" reality, not “inspired by” reality, remind us that the most compelling and important stories we can tell play out in complicated, many-hued shades of gray.
Nation Jan 23Gwen’s Take: Finding the real people at the heart of Washington’s debates
The interviewer wanted to know what it was like to live in “Mad Men” Washington, where women have no power and men rule the roost. I had no idea what he was talking about. Once again, I was seeing how…
Politics Jan 16Gwen’s Take: 3,2,1 … The 2016 presidential campaign starts now
Now it’s time to start paying attention to the 2016 race for president. The field basically breaks down into two categories -- the familiar names who have Been Here Before; and the new faces who could become the Next New…
Politics Jan 09Gwen’s Take: Ping-pong politics
So here we are. No matter how trivial or horrific, it seems we have reached a stage in our national and international debates where no event is allowed to rise or fall on its own merit anymore.
Politics Dec 12Gwen’s Take: Selma — then and now
There is a shock of recognition in the scenes that begin and end “Selma,” the elegiac new work by filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Even if you know only a little about your history, the events surrounding the 1965 Selma to Montgomery,…
Politics Dec 05My Kingdom for a Magic Wand
I sympathize with your confusion. If cameras pinned to officers’ lapels are the solution, then why didn’t a video of a man being choked to death sway a New York grand jury? If a government shutdown was such a costly…
Politics Nov 28Gwen’s Take: Why I hate roller coasters
Roller coasters were the worst. It took me some years to realize what I dreaded was not the steep drops and the sudden turns. It was the inevitability -- the slow chug-a-lug to the top of the ride, knowing all…