chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Gioia served as the chairman of the NEA from 2003 to 2009 where he helped create the largest programs in the agency's history. He also led the US cultural delegation to UNESCO. He is the author of numerous books, including Interrogations at Noon (2002), which won the American Book Award in poetry, and Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was short listed for the National Book Critics Circle Prize. A translator and opera librettist, Gioia has also edited over two dozen literary anthologies. Before becoming a full time writer in 1992, Gioia worked for 15 years in the corporate world as vice president of Marketing for Kraft General Foods, while continuing to write during nights and weekends. He has been a visiting writer at Johns Hopkins, Sarah Lawrence, Colorado College, Wesleyan, and other universities, and has also been an American cultural commentator for BBC Radio. He served on numerous boards and has 10 honorary doctorates.