Michael J. Gerson is the Roger Hertog senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. His work focuses on issues of global health and development, religion and foreign policy, and the democracy agenda. He is the author of Heroic Conservatism (HarperOne, October 2007), a columnist syndicated with the Washington Post Writers Group, and a contributor to Newsweek. He serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience, and on USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid.
Before joining the Council in July 2006, Mr. Gerson was a top aide to President George W. Bush as assistant to the president for policy and strategic planning (February 2005-June 2006). Prior to that appointment, he served in the White House as deputy assistant to the president and director of presidential speechwriting (January 2001 to July 2002) and assistant to the president for speechwriting and policy advisor (July 2002 to February 2005). Mr. Gerson joined Bush’s presidential campaign in early 1999 as chief speechwriter and senior policy adviser. He was previously senior editor covering politics at U.S. News and World Report. Mr. Gerson was a speechwriter and policy adviser for Jack Kemp and a speechwriter for Bob Dole during the 1996 presidential campaign. He has also served Senator Dan Coats from Indiana as policy director. Mr. Gerson is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois. He grew up in the St. Louis area and now lives with his wife and sons in northern Virginia.