Robert Lehrman, Adjunct Faculty
Robert Lehrman was the first Chief Speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore in the White House and has spent much of his career writing speeches for politicians, corporate and non-profit CEOs, and celebrities—as well as award-winning novels. Lehrman’s new book, The Political Speechwriter’s Companion: A Guide for Speakers and Writers, has won praise from Democrats, Republicans, and a wide variety of journalists, and academics, for its even-handed approach, and the way it fuses Lehrman’s story telling ability with his political insight. Lehrman, who appears frequently on radio and TV to talk about speech, writes op-eds and articles on politics under his own name, and has spoken about the subject on many campuses. He has presented speechwriting clinics at the University of Southern California, the National Education Association, and the Ragan National Speechwriters Conference, among others, and coaches professional writers, as well. In the 2004 Presidential campaign, Lehrman was Chief Speechwriter for the Democratic National Committee and in 2006, wrote actor Bradley Whitford’s narration for the award-winning Alliance for Justice documentary, Quiet Revolution.
A graduate of Tufts University and the famed University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where he studied with Kurt Vonnegut and Revolutionary Road author Richard Yates, Lehrman began his career as a community college teacher, before his Illinois and New York experience, then wrote for the CEOs and other officers of Texaco and Fannie Mae, before returning to politics in 1987. After writing for Bentsen (D-TX) and Democratic Majority Whips Bill Gray (D-PA) and David Bonior (D-MI), Lehrman wrote over 250 speeches for Vice President Gore, and supervised 250 more speeches before leaving to launch Lehrman Communications in 1996.
He teaches Speech Writing.