Gwen Ifill (born September 29, 1955 in New York City) is a journalist and host of PBS's Washington Week. She also appears as a political pundit in television programs such as Meet the Press and News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Ifill graduated from Simmons College in Boston in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Her first major job as a reporter was working for the Boston Herald-American. Her career in journalism focused mostly on politics when writing publications in the Washington Post and The New York Times. From 1994-1999 Ifill served as the chief congressional and political correspondent for NBC News. Ifill was then hired by PBS as a senior correspondent, and is currently the moderator for Washington Week. She also occasionally guest host's for Jim Lehrer in News Hour.
Gwen Ifill was selected to be the moderator for the 2008 Vice Presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. Questions arose about her objectivity when it was discovered that she was writing a pro-Obama book entitled "Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama". The book promised to "shed new light" on Obama and other "emerging young African American politicians" who were "forging a bold new path to political power."  The McCain campaign said it had not seen Ifill's book until two days before the debate. He said that the situation concerned him but he was sure Ifill would be professional.