Gwen Ifill

About Gwen

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.

Remembering Gwen Ifill

Gwen's Recent Stories

Politics May 09

Gwen’s Take: The perils of keyboard activism

The Internet makes it so easy. You see a compelling picture, you retweet it, Instagram it, or post it to your Facebook page. Instantly, you have joined a movement and signaled to everyone you know (or kind of know) that…

Politics Apr 25

Gwen’s Take: Politics as an extinct species

It is an entirely human condition to pine for the good old days, when candy cost a penny, hopscotch was the best way to spend recess and politicians actually talked to, not only at, one another. But as the…

Politics Apr 04

Women’s voices: three ways to get heard

I met a member of a dying breed this week. But I had to leave Washington and travel to Pittsburgh to do it. There, on the campus of Chatham University, I made the reacquaintance of Elsie Hillman, who has spent…

Politics Mar 28

Gwen’s Take: The tyranny of heightened expectations

It is fascinating to watch the cloud of expectation that follows the president around. Obama supporters, somewhat emotionally deflated after five years of reality checks, still appear to expect him to confront dictators (without troops), end deportations (while protecting the…

Politics Feb 28

Gwen’s Take: The first 47 years

My producer alerted me earlier this week that Washington Week is celebrating its 47th birthday. Forty-seven does not seem to be particularly noteworthy, so I looked it up. Halle Berry, John Cusack and Janet Jackson are 47. So are Adam…

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