Advisor to Presidents, Harvard Professor, and Author

David Gergen

About the Speaker

Commentator, editor, teacher, public servant, best-selling author and adviser to presidents – for 30 years, David Gergen has been an active participant in American national life. He served as director of communications for President Reagan and held positions in the administrations of Presidents Nixon and Ford. In 1993, he put his country before politics when he agreed to first serve as counselor to President Clinton on both foreign policy and domestic affairs, then as special international adviser to the president and to Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

David Gergen currently serves as editor-at-large at U.S. News & World Report. He is a professor of public service and the director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Gergen also regularly serves as an analyst on various news shows, and he is a frequent lecturer at venues around the world. He served as a moderator of World @ Large, the 13-part PBS discussion series, for the past two seasons. In the fall of 2000 he published a book titled, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton.

In the past, Mr. Gergen has served in the White House as an adviser to four Presidents: Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton. Most recently, he served for 18 months in the Clinton administration, first as Counselor to the President and then as Special Adviser to the President and the Secretary of State. He returned to private life in January 1995.

From 1984 to 1993, Mr. Gergen worked mostly as a journalist. For some two-and-a-half years, he was editor of U.S. News. Working with the owner and editor-in-chief Mortimer Zuckerman and a revived staff, he helped to guide the magazine to record gains in circulation and advertising. During that period, he also teamed up with Mark Shields for political commentary every Friday night for five years on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. The two were a popular political team and won numerous accolades for their political coverage.

A native of Durham, North Carolina, Mr. Gergen is an honors graduate of Yale University (A.B., 1963) and the Harvard Law School (LL.B., 1967). He is a member of the D.C. bar. In addition, Mr. Gergen served for three-and-a-half years in the U.S. Navy, where he was posted for about two years to a ship home-ported in Japan.
Mr. Gergen is active on many non-profit boards and is Chairman of the National Selection Committee for the Ford Foundation’s program on Innovations in American Government. He frequently lectures here in the United States and overseas and holds fourteen honorary degrees.

Mr. Gergen has been married since 1967 to Anne Gergen of England. She is a family therapist and they live in Cambridge, Mass. They have two children, Christopher and Katherine.