David Gergen, a Harvard University professor and senior political analyst for CNN who served during the administrations of four U.S. presidents, will deliver Carleton College’s convocation address on Friday, Feb. 8. Gergen will talk about his thirty-plus years of experience as a political insider and his views on leadership in American political life. Convocation is held from 10:50-11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel, and it is free and open to the public. Convocations are also streamed live and can be viewed online at http://apps.carleton.edu/events/convocations/.
Gergen began his career in politics in 1971 as an assistant speechwriter in the Nixon Administration, later becoming director of the speechwriting team. He went on to become White House Director of Communications under presidents Ford and Reagan and a political adviser to President Bill Clinton, as well as an adviser to the 1980 presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush. Gergen joined PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour as a political commentator from 1985 to 1990, and since 1988 he has served as an editor-at-large of U.S. News and World Report. Currently Gergen is a senior political analyst on CNN and regularly appears on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper 360, as well as occasional appearances on other shows and networks.
Gergen has been a member of the faculty of Harvard University since 1999 and is currently the director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He teaches courses on leadership and on contemporary American politics. Gergen’s memoir, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton (Simon and Schuster, 2001), looks back on his experiences in the White House and uses the examples of the four presidents for whom Gergen worked to examine the qualities that make a successful leader. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, Gergen is also a trustee of Duke University and sits on the boards of many nonprofit organizations including Teach for America and the Aspen Institute. Gergen is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations and holds 19 honorary degrees.
For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.