DURHAM, N.C. -- Professor, journalist and former presidential adviser David Gergen has been elected to Duke's Board of Trustees, the university's 37-member governing body.
His appointment was effective July 1.
Gergen is a professor of public service at Harvard University and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also editor-at-large at U.S. News & World Report.
Over the past 30 years, Gergen has been an active participant in American national life, including serving as an adviser to four U.S. presidents. At age 30, he was head of the speech writing and research team for President Richard Nixon. He was special counsel to President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977, and in the early 1980s he served as the first communications director for President Ronald Reagan. In 1993, he served as counselor to President Bill Clinton on both foreign policy and domestic affairs, then as special international adviser to the president and to Secretary of State Warren Christopher.
A long-time journalist, Gergen frequently lectures and comments on world news events. In 2000, he published a best-selling book titled "Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton," now used in many college classes.
Gergen, a native of Durham, has strong ties to Duke and to Durham. He was a member of the faculty of Duke's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy from 1995 to 1998. His father, John J. Gergen, was a professor of mathematics at Duke from 1936 to the time of his death in 1967. Gergen received an honorary degree from Duke in 2001 and delivered the commencement address at Duke's graduation ceremonies in 1995.
Gergen is an honors graduate of Yale University (1963) and the Harvard Law School (1967), and is a member of the Washington, D.C., bar. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1967 to 1971. Among his many non-profit activities, he was elected by the alumni to serve on the Yale board from 1996 to 2002.
He and his wife Anne, a psychologist, have two children: Christopher and Katherine. Christopher graduated from Duke in 1993.
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For a comprehensive story about Duke's three new trustees, see http://www.dukenews.duke.edu.