31st Annual MLK Celebration Keynote
Moderator and Managing Editor, Washington Week, National Public Radio
Political reporter Gwen Ifill holds two of the most highly respected posts in her field. She is moderator and managing editor of Washington Week, the longest-running public affairs program on public television, and senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
For Washington Week, Ifill selects each week's stories to examine, chooses each panel of leading Washington D.C.-based news correspondents and moderates the lively Q&A format on air. Ifill is also frequently asked to moderate debates in national elections, most recently the Vice Presidential debate during the 2004 election.
On The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS's nightly newscast, Ifill is a familiar presence as both a correspondent and a moderator. She helps provide its trademark in-depth coverage of current events with a unique mix of informed debates, comprehensive interviews and expansive feature stories. Ifill spent several years as a Washington Week panelist before assuming the moderator's chair in 1999.
Prior to joining PBS, Ifill served at NBC News for five years as chief congressional and political correspondent. While at NBC she covered national political stories for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Today, Meet the Press and MSNBC.
Ifill also worked as a reporter at papers such as The New York Times, where she covered the White House and politics, The Washington Post, where her focus was national and local affairs, The Baltimore Evening Sun and The Boston Herald American.
Ifill grew up in New York City and lives in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Simmons College in Boston and has received eight honorary degrees. She serves on the board of the Harvard Institute of Politics and the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.