Experts

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

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
One powerful idea to rebuild our civic bridges is universal national service. We should create a strong expectation that every young person as they come of age give at least one year of service—either military or civilian—and be provided with a structured opportunity to do so. This could restore our identity as Americans; it might even help us rediscover what makes us exceptional.
John Bridgeland Brookings