John Bridgeland

Practitioner Senior Fellow

Fast Facts

  • Founder and CEO of Civic
  • Vice chairman of the Service Year Alliance
  • Former director, White House Domestic Policy Council
  • Expertise on domestic policy, volunteerism, education, environment

Areas Of Expertise

  • Domestic Affairs
  • Education
  • Law and Justice
  • Social Issues
  • Leadership

John Bridgeland, practitioner senior fellow, is founder & CEO of Civic, a social enterprise firm in Washington, DC. He is also co-founder and CEO of the COVID Collaborative, a national platform that marshals top leaders and institutions in health, education, and the economy to work with state and local leaders to combat COVID. He is the co-founder of ACT NOW, a ground-up effort to re-envision policing and public safety across 14 communities representing the diversity of the United States. As well, Bridgeland is vice chairman of UNITE, a national platform that brings together leaders across sectors and political parties to tackle public challenges. 

Bridgeland is vice chair of Service Year Alliance at The Aspen Institute, to make a service year a common expectation and opportunity for all 18-28 year-olds; co-convener of GradNation, to reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020; and vice chairman of Malaria No More, a nonprofit working to end malaria deaths in Africa.

Previously, Bridgeland was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the White House Council for Community Solutions. He also served as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, assistant to the president, and first director of the USA Freedom Corps after 9/11 under President George W. Bush. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law and has given commencement addresses at the College of William & Mary, Johns Hopkins University, Saint Anselm College, Averett University, Hamline University, and Ripon College. In addition, he founded Tennis for America in 2020 with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, which awarded him their Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Wimbledon Champion Stan Smith.

John Bridgeland News Feed

The country’s ability to address public problems is paramount and requires an understanding of present trends in the United States’ civic health.
Matthew N. Atwell, Bennett Stillerman, and John M. Bridgeland
“We’re very cognizant of the supply and demand issue, but we also know we have to get out there with an educational effort,” said John Bridgeland, a former senior official in the George W. Bush White House and co-founder of the COVID Collaborative, an independent initiative created to help states and localities coordinate their pandemic responses.
John Bridgeland POLITICO
From the perch of the vice presidency, Harris has the potential to change the face of U.S. politics. Harris’ election is a clear signal that the American people are willing to elect women.
Jennifer Lawless POLITICO Magazine
Robert Putnam and co-author Shaylyn Romney Garrett discuss their book The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again. It's a brilliant analysis of economic, social, and political trends over the past century demonstrating how we have gone from an individualistic “I” society to a more communitarian “We” society and then back again, and how we can learn from that experience to become a stronger, more unified nation. We’ve been here before. During the Gilded Age of the late 1800s, America was highly individualistic, starkly unequal, fiercely polarized, and deeply fragmented, just as it is today. However as the 20th century opened, America became—slowly, unevenly, but steadily—more egalitarian, more cooperative, more generous; a society on the upswing, more focused on our responsibilities to one another and less focused on our narrower self-interest. Sometime during the 1960s, however, these trends reversed, leaving us in today’s disarray.
John Bridgeland Miller Center Presents
The catastrophic effects of the coronavirus crisis are reversing progress for many young people.
Melody Barnes and John Bridgeland The Hill
John Bridgeland, who ran George W. Bush’s Domestic Policy Council, and Alan Khazei, who co-founded the nonprofit City Year, suggest that the Coons bill be supplemented with a provision to create 250,000 “service year fellowships.”
John Bridgeland The New York Times