David Gergen, Political commentator and former Presidential advisor
David Gergen is a professor of public service and co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy
School, positions he has held for over a decade. In addition, he serves as a senior political analyst for CNN and works
actively with a rising generation of new leaders. In the past, he has served as a White House adviser to four U.S.
presidents of both parties: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times
best seller, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton (Simon & Schuster, 2001).
In the 1980s, he began a career in journalism. Starting with The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour in 1984, he has been a
regular commentator on public affairs for some 30 years. Twice he has been a member of election coverage teams that
won Peabody awards, and he has contributed to two Emmy award-winning political analysis teams. In the late 1980s, he
was chief editor of U.S. News & World Report, working with publisher Mort Zuckerman to achieve record gains in
circulation and advertising.
Over the years, he has been active on many non-profit boards, serving in the past on the boards of both Yale and Duke
Universities. Among his current boards are Teach for America, The Mission Continues, The Trilateral Commission, and
Elon University’s School of Law.
Gergen’s work as co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School has enabled him to work closely
with a rising generation of younger leaders, especially social entrepreneurs, military veterans and Young Global Leaders
chosen by the World Economic Forum. Through the generosity of outside donors, the Center helps to provide scholarships
to over 100 students a year, preparing them to serve as leaders for the common good. The Center also promotes
scholarship at the frontiers of leadership studies.
A native of North Carolina, Gergen is a member of the D.C. Bar, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a member of the Council on
Foreign Relations and a member of the U.S. executive committee for the Trilateral Commission. He is an honors graduate
of Yale and the Harvard Law School. He has been awarded 27 honorary degrees.
Gergen has been married since 1967 to Anne Elizabeth Gergen of England, a family therapist. They have two children
and five grand-children. Son Christopher is a social entrepreneur in North Carolina as well as an author and member of
the Duke faculty. Daughter Katherine is a family doctor, working with the underserved population at the Boston Medical