Few know the political backroom as well as David Gergen. As an advisor to four U.S. presidents (Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton) and a senior political analyst for CNN, Gergen has made a career of bearing witness to some of the most compelling political figures of our times. In 2000, he published the best-selling book, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton.
These days, Gergen works as a political journalist and analyst. He was the first managing editor of Public Opinion, a magazine affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, and from 1985-1986 he worked as an editor at U.S. News & World Report, where he remains an editor-at-large. Gergen's career in television began in 1985, when he joined the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour for Friday night discussions of politics. Today, he appears frequently on CNN as an analyst for Anderson Cooper 360and The Situation Room.
Gergen is also a professor of public service and the director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, having joined the Harvard faculty in 1999. He is active as a speaker on leadership and sits on many boards, including Teach for America, The Aspen Institute, and the Center for Global Development. He is a member of the Washington D.C. Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds 18 honorary degrees.
He graduated with honors from both Yale College (1963) and Harvard Law School (1967), and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. In 1971, Gergen joined the Nixon White House as a staff assistant on the speech writing team, a group of heavyweights that included Pat Buchanan, Ben Stein, and Bill Safire. Two years later, he took over as director. Gergen went on to become the Director of Communications for Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, a counselor on domestic and foreign affairs for Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, and an advisor to the 1980 George H.W. Bush presidential campaign.
NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in The Forum program on October 2, 2010.
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