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Gwen Ifill

managing editor, Washington Week

After attending Simmons College, Ifill was hired by *The Boston Herald* in 1977. It was a gig that put her, an African American, into the fire, as she arrived during that city's notorious busing crisis. After leaving the *Herald* and covering Maryland politics for the *Baltimore Sun* (along with *New York Times* writer and *Washington Week* regular Richard Berke), Ifill joined the staff of the *Washington Post*. During her 7 year stint at the *Post*, she began to appear on *Washington Week* as a panelist. After leaving the *Post* in 1991, Ifill became a congressional correspondent and covered the White House for the *New York Times*. She was wooed by numerous networks, and finally came to terms with NBC in 1994. Her charge there included on-air reportage, covering the White House, Capitol Hill and presidential campaigns. Ifill spent 5 years with the network; the Public Broadcasting Service approached her with job offers twice during that period. She was first courted for the *Washington Week* job months before accepting it. According to sources, Ifill was irked at PBS's treatment of Bode, who was ousted after refusing to turn *Washington Week* into a version of *The McLaughlin Group*. But after PBS added the prestigious job of senior correspondent along with Jim Lehrer to the package, she and her agent, with some help from *Meet the Press* host Tim Russert, negotiated an out clause to her agreement with NBC, and Ifill became an employee of PBS. She also has joined the *NewsHour* and *Washington Week*.