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David Richmond Gergen (born May 9, 1942) is an American political commentator and former presidential advisor who served during the administrations of Nixon , Ford , Reagan , and Clinton . He is currently Director of the Center for Public Leadership and a professor of public service at Harvard Kennedy School . and is the former Editor-at-large for U.S. News and World Report . He frequently contributes to an array of publications, including Parade Magazine , The New York Times , and Newsweek . David Gergen was born in Durham , North Carolina . He is the youngest of four children of Aubigne Munger (nee Lermond) and John Jay Gergen, who once chaired Duke University 's mathematics department. . David Gergen gave the Duke University Commencement Speech in 1995. Gergen served in the U.S. Navy for three-and-a-half years, serving on a ship home-ported in Japan .
Gergen earned his bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1963 and was a member of Manuscript Society . In 1967, he received his law degree from Harvard Law School . In 1967, Gergen married Anne Gergen of England . She is a family therapist; they live in Cambridge , Massachusetts. They have two children, Christopher and Katherine, and four grandchildren. . Gergen began his federal career in the Nixon administration in 1971. Gergen has served four presidents including Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Gergen joined the Nixon White House in 1971, as a staff assistant on the speech writing team, a group that included Pat Buchanan , Ben Stein , and William Safire . Two years later, he took over as the director. Gergen went on to become the Director of Communications for President Gerald Ford and President Ronald Reagan, a counselor on domestic and foreign affairs for President Bill Clinton and his secretary of state, Warren Christopher , and an adviser to the 1980 George H.W. Bush presidential campaign. Despite his long-standing association with Republicans, Gergen has stated that he is actually an independent .
Following his years in public service, Gergen worked as a political journalist, commentator, editor, teacher, public servant, and is a best-selling author. He was the first managing editor of Public Opinion , a magazine affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute , and from 1985-1986, he worked as an editor at U.S. News & World Report . Following his service in the Clinton administration, Gergen resumed his relationship with U.S. News , and currently serves as editor-at-large. In 2000, he published a New York Times bestseller book, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton Gergen's career in television began in 1985, when he joined the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour for Friday night discussions of politics. During that period, he was a regular commentator for five years on the NewsHour , providing a conservative viewpoint counterposed to that of Mark Shields . During his tenure, Gergen had the opportunity to interview many leading intellectuals. Gergen also moderated PBS 's World@Large discussion program for two seasons. . , Gergen is a Senior Political Analyst for CNN and frequently appears on Anderson Cooper 360 and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer . Gergen has also been a guest on NPR and Face the Nation Gergen's frequent television appearances as a political commentator and pundit occasionally made him the target of satire. In a biting critique of the pedantic and frequently self-evident predictions made on some televised political talk programs, humorist Joe Bob Briggs made the observation that David Gergen bore an uncanny resemblance to The Cat in the Hat . Gergen has been actively involved in higher education. As of 2006, Gergen has been a professor of public service at Harvard 's John F. Kennedy School of Government and director of its Center for Public Leadership. . A Durham native, Gergen has also taught at Duke University from 1995 to 1999. He is now a trustee. Gergen served as Elon University 's inaugural Isabella Cannon Distinguished Visiting Professor of Leadership and as the Chair of the Elon University School of Law Advisory Board. Gergen is active on many non-profit boards and is Chairman of the National Selection Committee for the Ford Foundation's program on Innovations in American Government. He is an active as a speaker on leadership and sits on many boards, including Teach for America and the Aspen Institute. He is a member of the Washington D.C. Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations , and holds 21 honorary degrees. .