Peter A. Harkness

    Peter A. Harkness is the founder and publisher emeritus of Governing, a magazine for leaders of state and local governments.

    Before that, he was editor and deputy publisher of the Congressional Quarterly, a Washington information company known for publishing what is regarded as the unofficial and independent “bible” covering the U.S. Congress.

    Mr. Harkness has watched government at all levels, from Washington to the states, cities, and counties, for 50 years. His reporting assignments for CQ included the White House, Congress, and national politics. In 1987, with financial support from CQ‘s owner, he founded Governing magazine on the premise that much of the responsibility and authority for governing the country had moved down to the state and local level, yet no one in the national press was paying any attention.

    Governing’s circulation grew quickly to more than 85,000 state, city, and county leaders, plus pass-alongs across the nation. It was nominated four times as a finalist for the National Magazine Award, the highest honor in the industry. Traffic on, the magazine’s website, is approaching 1.5 million page views a month.

    Mr. Harkness studied political science at the University of North Carolina and journalism at the American University. He is a recipient of the Raymond Clapper Award for investigative reporting, awarded by the White House Correspondents Association, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, one of the few journalists to be inducted into its membership.