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Polis Distinguished Fellows: John Harwood

Harwood Updated Website Graphic

"Extreme polarization is debilitating for American political institutions. But polarization itself is not at the core of what ails our democracy. The heart of the problem is that a substantial minority of citizens view the economic, social and cultural changes of recent decades as existential threats to their way of life and to the kind of country they identify. Diminishing that sense of fear is critical to securing America’s future as a pluralistic, multi-racial democracy."

– John Harwood

About John Harwood

For more than three decades, John Harwood has covered the White House, Congress, national politics and the economy for America’s most prestigious news organizations. He has interviewed every president from George H.W. Bush to Joe Biden and received an Emmy nomination for his hour-long live CNBC town hall with President Barack Obama.

Steeped in public affairs since childhood, when his father was among the nation’s top journalists of the last half of the 20th century, he graduated from Duke University with degrees in history and economics. He spent a year as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

For the Wall Street Journal, Harwood covered the first Bush White House, President Bill Clinton’s agenda in Congress and four presidential campaigns. He was part of the Journal’s team covering the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, which won the Pulitzer Prize. For the New York Times and CNBC, he chronicled the financial crisis and Great Recession, including the first 2009 television interview of Obama as he prepared to enter the presidency that January. He moderated Republican presidential debates during the 2012 and 2016 campaigns. For CNN, Harwood covered the tumultuous final year of Donald Trump’s presidency, and his 2020 election battle with Biden. He subsequently tracked the new chief executive’s attempt to fashion and navigate a post-Trump era.