Chris whipple
An acclaimed documentary filmmaker, author, journalist, and speaker

Chris Whipple is a critically-acclaimed writer, a documentary filmmaker, a journalist and a speaker. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Gatekeepers: How the White House chiefs of staff define every presidency. Already drawing raves from readers (“If you’re a political junkie or just curious, this is the book for you”—Tom Brokaw), The Gatekeepers, to be published April 4, 2017 by Crown, is the first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the men who have been the president’s closest advisers, whose actions—and inactions—have defined the course of our country

Since George Washington, presidents have depended on the advice of key confidants. But it wasn’t until the twentieth century that White House Chief of Staff became the second most powerful job in government. Unelected and unconfirmed, the chief serves at the whim of the president, hired and fired by him (or her) alone. He is the president’s most important adviser, and the person he depends on to execute his agenda.

Through extensive, intimate interviews with all seventeen living chiefs and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity, whose members have included Rahm Emanuel, Dick Cheney, Leon Panetta and Donald Rumsfeld.

In doing so, he revises our understanding of presidential history, showing us how James Baker and Panetta skillfully managed the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, ensuring their re-election—and, conversely, how Jimmy Carter never understood the importance of a chief, crippling his ability to govern. From Watergate to Iran-Contra to the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the Iraq War, Whipple shows us how the chief of staff can make the difference between success and disaster.

As an outsider president tries to govern after a bitterly divisive election, The Gatekeepers could not be more timely. Filled with shrewd analysis and never-before-reported details, it is a compelling history that changes our perspective on the presidency.

A multiple Peabody and Emmy Award-winning producer at CBS News 60 Minutes and ABC News PrimeTime, Chris Whipple is the chief executive officer of CCWHIP Productions. He is the writer and executive producer of The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs, airing on Showtime. For this groundbreaking film, Whipple conducted, for the first time ever, more than 100 hours of exclusive interviews with all twelve living CIA directors and their top operatives.



Chris Whipple's Awards


George Foster Peabody Award:
“Mr. Snow Goes to Washington,” CBS News 60 Minutes.
George Foster Peabody Award:
For outstanding coverage for ABC News of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
Emmy Award, Outstanding Investigative Journalism:
“Morgan Medical,” ABC News PrimeTIME Live
Emmy Award:
For outstanding coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks, ABC News
Emmy Nomination:
“Connally,” CBS News 60 Minutes
Emmy Nomination:
“A World Full of Guns,” ABC News, 20/20
Columbia Dupont Gold Baton Award:
For coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks, ABC News
Sigma Delta Chi Award (with ABC News investigative unit):
For coverage of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 ABC News
Christopher Award:
For work that “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.”
“ICU—Arkansas Children’s Hospital
CINE Golden Eagle Awards (6)
For excellence in the media industry