Eric Gertler // U.S. News & World Report

When Eric Gertler speaks, people listen…and for good reason. Eric serves as CEO and chairman of U.S. News & World Report, which, besides being a trusted news source, has established itself as the leader in providing rankings for colleges, hospitals and many other organizations.
Eric (Ephraim Yehonasan), a seasoned entrepreneur, took over the helm of U.S. News almost ten years ago and helped ensure that the full transition from print to online has been a success. Additionally, he helped transform the company into a trusted source that consumers consult before making major decisions.
Eric has overall responsibility for both the editorial and business operations of this multifaceted digital media company, which reaches almost 450 million people annually.
Eric has also served in government. He was commissioner/president & CEO-designate of Empire State Development, New York State’s principal economic development agency, before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. During that time, he focused on meeting the unprecedented economic needs of the state arising from the pandemic; completing critical infrastructure (especially the opening of Moynihan Station); attracting companies to New York and expanding job growth; and implementing economic initiatives with long term benefits.
He had an earlier stint in government from 2013 to 2015 as executive vice president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and as managing director of the Center for Economic Transformation under multiple mayoral administrations. He was responsible for spurring economic development in New York City by managing more than 100 initiatives and directing hundreds of millions of dollars of city investments into the local economy.
In addition to heading U.S. News & World Report, Eric has used the power of the pen to address important social issues. Recently, with the rise of anti-Semitism and extremism on college campuses across America, Eric has not been afraid to speak out and write against these acts while calling for stronger leadership on these campuses.
This month, Eric is being honored in Washington, DC, along with Malcolm Hoenlein, the former longtime executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
I spoke to Eric about his career, his success in turning around companies, and his views on the climate on college campuses. Enjoy!


I was born in Montreal, Canada, and I went to a private all-boys school called Lower Canada College. I worked very hard in high school, and I was also very involved in the school’s sports scene; I was on the varsity hockey, football and rugby teams. When I graduated, I was also the president of the Student Council.
“My family was traditionally Jewish. I went to synagogue on the High Holidays and we celebrated other holidays, like Chanukah and Pesach. As a young kid, I attended Hebrew school on two afternoons a week after my regular school until my bar mitzvah.
“My father was born in Western Canada. On my father’s side, my family came from the Polish and Ukrainian regions. The border changed so many times that it’s hard to know exactly which country they were citizens of. My mother’s side came from Ukraine.
“When I was growing up, my father was in the furniture business. He was an entrepreneur, and like many entrepreneurs, he struggled for a long time. He was a good man and very determined. When I was graduating high school, his business finally started to do better, which was nice to see. I am also very proud of my mother—she worked full-time and followed her passions. She had a passion for books and worked first as a librarian. When I left for college, she followed her second passion, which was travel. She bought a travel agency and built a travel business, so both of my parents were small business owners.
“As a teenager, I wasn’t very entrepreneurial, but I was very focused on getting things done. For instance, when I was on the Student Council, I was concerned with making a difference and wasn’t just there to say I was on the council. I was focused on getting good grades and putting my full effort into everything I did. I had a lot of summer jobs; one summer I worked four jobs. I delivered newspapers in the morning, and then I worked as an accountant at a paper company. I also worked at a linen store two days a week, and I was a busboy at a hotel restaurant another two days a week. I made sure to push myself to not just do but to accomplish.
“For college, I went to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. I ended up going there because of the political situation in the province of Quebec. In the mid-1970s, the separatist government in Quebec, the Parti Quebecois, was elected on the platform of separating Quebec from the rest of Canada. My parents looked at me then, when I was still in elementary school, and said, ‘You better have good grades, because when you’re older, we’re going to send you to school in the United States.’ At the time, I didn’t know what they meant by that, but today I give my parents credit because they foresaw that the economy and the opportunities in Montreal and Quebec would start to diminish, and they were sadly right.
“At that time, there was deep resentment against the English-speaking community in Quebec. So, from an early age I was well aware of what it means to live in a community with separated cultures. In this case, a community with two groups separated by two different languages, i.e. French and English. There was a lot of tension between a dominant group wanting to level the playing field with the more commercial minority group. It is true that prior to those laws, the commercial English-speaking group ran commerce in Quebec in many ways, but it changed quickly. A whole slew of laws were put into place to ensure the dominance of the French language, but they also unfortunately had the effect of being a detriment to the overall economy.

To read more, subscribe to Ami