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

Nation Feb 14

Gwen’s Take: Exposing stereotypes and reflecting reality

Day after day, we are exposed to sneakier outrages – images that reinforce stereotypes and suppress ambition, especially in young women. Stock photos used to illustrate advertising campaigns as well as news stories invariably show them submissive, half-naked or harried.

Politics Jan 31

Butterflies, rainbows and midterm realities

The State of the Union speech gives Washington a chance to reacquaint itself with ritual. When else do we need to know the name of the House doorkeeper? What other extended opportunity do we get to study the body language…

Nation Jan 24

Gwen’s Take: Broad strokes and fine lines

Some years ago I was fortunate enough to land a reporting job at The Washington Post, which pretty much put me in a state of constant awe. Bob Woodward would dish up ice cream sundaes for anyone stuck working on…

Jan 20

Can the tech industry strike the privacy, safety balance?

Even before President Obama outlined his proposed changes in how the NSA should collect data for surveillance, many tech giants were vocal in their criticism. Gwen Ifill discusses what's at stake with Christian Dawson of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition and…

Nation Jan 10

Gwen’s Take: The art of the authentic apology

In many ways, it was a relief to hear New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declare he was apologetic, humiliated, embarrassed and sad after an odd tale of bridge and tunnel retribution exploded on his watch this week. “I had no…

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