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

When John Bridgeland left a senior position in George W. Bush’s White House and joined Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in the fall of 2004, an eager undergraduate got assigned to him as a student fellow and facilitator of his seminar. “She was so excited because I was one of the few Republicans” then at the school’s Institute of Politics (IOP), Bridgeland told me this week. He remembered her as “extremely bright” and “through-and-through public-service-oriented.” She was so impressive in the seminar that he chose her to do a project with him selling Harvard students on the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and other service opportunities. “I thought the world of her,” Bridgeland said.

The young woman’s name was Elise Stefanik.
John Bridgeland The Washington Post
Too many of our policymakers aren't willing to defend our system.
John Bridgeland USA Today
The event was moderated by Margaret Brennan, host of the CBS “Face the Nation” program. Brennan is a Class of 2002 alumnus, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs and Middle Eastern studies and a minor in Arabic. The panel featured Freedom House President Michael Abramowitz, Miller Center Senior Fellow John Bridgeland, Seema Shah, head of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and Ian Vásquez, vice president for international studies at the Cato Institute.
John Bridgeland The Cavalier Daily
There are a number of metrics and indices developed to assess the vibrancy, stability, and health of democratic institutions and culture. But they often measure different things. This Democracy Dialogue will examine a few of the ways we measure the strength of freedom and democracy, exploring the health of democracy in America and around the world.
John Bridgeland Miller Center Presents
Since the late winter of 2019, the world has been consumed and transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the rise and waning of variants and successive waves of infection, together with the rollout of vaccines around the world and some associated hesitancy related to them, now is a good time to take stock of what we’ve experienced, what we’ve gotten right and wrong about the virus, and what the future might hold.
John Bridgeland Miller Center Presents
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