2014 Citation

Goucher College is proud to honor Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Class of 1964, with the AAGC Award for Excellence in Public Service. As a political analyst, journalist, and scholar, Sherry has dedicated her distinguished career to the free flow of information in the service of critical issues of public interest. Through dynamic political analysis and intellectual discussion, her work has stimulated and enhanced public discourse for decades.

After graduating from Goucher College with a degree in political science, Sherry continued her studies in the field, earning a master’s degree in political science in 1966 from Rutgers University, where she was a fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She put her political science education into practice in the complicated, unpredictable arena of California politics,
where she took successive positions on the staffs of state legislators and in election campaigns. Her understanding of the need for responsible scholarship in the public sphere stayed with her, and in 1980 she earned a doctorate in government from Claremont Graduate University, where she also taught political science.

In 1989, Sherry took a job as a political commentator on Pacific Public Radio, beginning a long and productive career in the field of journalism and political analysis. Her deep knowledge of California and national politics eventually earned her invitations to comment for news outlets all over the world, including CNN, NPR, PBS, ABC, Al Jazeera, Russian State Television, and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. She became a regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, and her writing has appeared in USA Today, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and many other newspapers.

In 2003, NBC’s Today Show relied on Sherry’s expertise to guide Americans through the legal wrangling and public spectacle of the nation’s first gubernatorial recall since 1921. Her keen insight and thoughtful analysis also earned her an Emmy nomination in 2006 for a news feature, “Decision 2005: A Voter’s Guide,” on KNBC in Los Angeles.

Currently the political analyst for KNBC and senior fellow at the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at the University of Southern California, Sherry also serves as an American politics analyst for BBC Scotland’s “Today” and on other BBC programs.

Sherry has generously shared her skills and experience with Goucher College. During the 2009 Reunion, she sat on a Goucher panel titled “Politics and the Obama Administration.” A member of the Committee of Visitors, she has also served as a Class Fund agent, hosted Goucher students as part of the Vagabonds program, and held many receptions in Los Angeles for incoming first-year students.

In the 50 years since her graduation, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe has dedicated herself to the ideal of an informed citizenry, to the critical work of training the next generation of leaders, and the numerous worthy causes, her alma mater among them; for that, the AAGC recognizes her with its Public Service Award.

Sherry was honored at the AAGC Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 26, 2104 during Alumnae/i Weekend.

  • (L to R): AAGC Immediate Past President Kathy Shaer Ellis ’86, Public Service Award Recipient Sherry Bebitch Jeffe ’64, President Sandy Ungar, AAGC President Steve Klepper ’97