Nancy Reid Gibbs (born January 25, 1960) is an American essayist, speaker, and presidential historian. She is the former Managing Editor for TIME magazine, a best-selling author, and commentator on politics and values in the United States. She is the co-author, with Michael Duffy, of The New York Times Bestsellers The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House (2007) and The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity (2012). Gibbs currently serves as the Lombard Director of the Shorenstein Center at the Havard Kennedy School of Government. She is also the Visiting Edward R. Murrow Professor of Press, Politics and Public Policy.
Life and career
Gibbs was born in New York, the daughter of Janet (née Stang), who worked at Friends Seminary, and Howard Glenn Gibbs, who was the Associate National Director for the Boys Clubs of America. She graduated from Yale University in 1982, summa cum laude, with honors in history. She studied at New College, Oxford as a Marshall Scholar (M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics) graduating in 1984.
A "third-generation Chautauquan", Nancy began her journalism career in 1976, writing for The Chautauquan Daily, Chautauqua Institution's during the summers until 1980.
Nancy joined TIME in 1985 as a part-time fact checker in the International section. She became a writer in 1988 and has written more cover stories than any other writer with over 175 stories published, including the black-bordered special issue on the September 11th attacks, which won a National Magazine Award in 2002. The Chicago Tribune named her one of the ten best magazine writers in the country in 2003; her articles are included in the Princeton Anthology of Writing, Best American Crime Writing 2004, Best American Political Writing 2005 and TIME: 85 years of Great Writing. She has been a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose, and a guest essayist on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She has lectured extensively on the American presidency, including at the Bush, Reagan, Carter, Johnson and Truman libraries, the Aspen Institute, the Dallas World Affairs Club, the Commonwealth Club and the National Archives.
In October 2013, Nancy became the 17th Editor in Chief and first-ever female managing editor of TIME magazine. Under her leadership, TIME's digital audience grew from 25 to 55 million, video streams passed 1 billion a year, and TIME won a primetime Emmy award for its two-part "A Year in Space" documentary, produced with PBS. TIME won the ASME award for Cover of the Year.
Nancy stepped down from the position in September 2017 but remains an Editor at Large. Most recently, Nancy has published a series of essays in TIME, with topics including, "The Danger of Donald Trump's Ignorance," "Joe Biden and the Hard Choices for Democrats in 2020" and "How Donald Trump Lost by Winning."
In 1993 and 2006, Nancy served as a Ferris Professor of writing at Princeton University. She is a former elder and deacon of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. Nancy currently serves as the Co-Chairwoman of the Board for USC's Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. In 2019, Nancy joined the Board of Trustees of Chautauqua Institution.
In April 2019, Nancy was named Faculty Director of the Shorenstein Center in Media, Politics and Public Policy in addition to her appointment as the Visiting Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice of Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School.
Awards and honors
- 2013 Chautauqua Prize, shortlist, The Presidents Club