2014 Commencement Speaker
Gwen Ifill is moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour.
The best-selling author of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, she also moderated the vice presidential debates during the presidential elections in 2004 and 2008.
She will speak at the commencement ceremony for American University’s School of Public Affairs at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 11 in Bender Arena. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Ifill has covered seven 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.
Ifill joined both Washington Week and the NewsHour in 1999, interviewing newsmakers and reporting on issues ranging from foreign affairs to politics. Before joining PBS, she spent five years at NBC News as chief congressional and political correspondent. She joined NBC News from The New York Times where she covered the White House and politics. She also covered national and local affairs for The Washington Post, Baltimore Evening Sun, and Boston Herald American.
A native of New York City and a graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Ifill has received more than 20 honorary doctorates. 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 serves on the board of the News Literacy Project, on the advisory board of the Committee to Protect Journalists and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.