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 the founder and CEO of Civic, a bipartisan ideas company in Washington, DC. He is also vice chairman of the Service Year Alliance, to make a year of national service a common expectation and opportunity for all 18-28 year olds; co-convener of Grad Nation, to reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020; vice chairman of Malaria No More, a nonprofit working to end malaria deaths in Africa; producer of the film Sea of Hope; and co-founder of the High Seas Initiative, to bring the national park idea to the ocean.

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 the first director of the post-9/11 Freedom Corps under President George W. Bush.

Bridgeland is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law. He practiced law in the New York and Paris offices of Davis, Polk & Wardwell and served as chief of staff for Congressman Rob Portman. He has given commencement addresses at the College of William & Mary, Johns Hopkins University, Saint Anselm College, Hamline University, Averett University, and Ripon College. In addition, he was given the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, and was named Non-Profit Executive of the Year in 2009 for his work in developing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act that was signed into law. Bridgeland serves on numerous nonprofit boards and national commissions.

John Bridgeland News Feed

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
President Kennedy's famous call to service, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," served as an inspiration to Americans in the 1960s. Join us for an exploration of national service, civic responsibility, and presidential leadership as we face 2020's daunting coronavirus challenge.
John Bridgeland Miller Center Presents
There is a hole at the center of our economic debate where hope should be. Heading into a presidential election year, we are a nation divided, looking for solutions. Some prioritize the protection of jobs from global competition. Others talk about addressing income inequality, while others emphasize overall economic growth.
John Bridgeland PBS NewsHour