Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist and political analyst living in the Washington, D.C. area. She is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Institute. She received her undergraduate degree at Barnard College, Columbia University, with honors. Ms. Charen also holds a degree in law from George Washington University. Ms. Charen began her career at National Review magazine where she served as editorial assistant. On her first tax return at the age of 22, Ms. Charen listed her occupation as “pundit,” explaining later, “You have to think big.” In 1984, Ms. Charen joined the White House staff, serving first as Nancy Reagan’s speechwriter and later as Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison. In the latter post, she lectured widely on the Administration’s Central America policy. Later in her White House career, she worked in the Public Affairs office helping to craft the President’s communications strategy. In 1986, Ms. Charen left the White House to join the presidential campaign of then-Congressman Jack Kemp as a speechwriter. Ms. Charen launched her syndicated column in 1987. It is featured in more than 150 newspapers and websites. She spent 6 years as a regular commentator on CNN’s Capital Gang and Capital Gang Sunday, and has served as a judge of the Pulitzer Prizes. She has served as a fellow at the Hudson Institute and the Jewish Policy Center and is the author of two bestsellers: Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First (2003); and Do-Gooders: How Liberals Harm Those They Claim to Help – and the Rest of Us (2005). In 2010, she received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism. Ms. Charen is the co-host, with Jay Nordlinger, of the weekly podcast Need to Know, and is a frequent guest on television and radio public affairs programs.