John Gans is Director of Communications and Research. In addition to leading Perry World House's Graduate Associates program, Gans teaches Penn undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to joining Perry World House, he was the chief speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at the Pentagon. In addition to leading the writing team at the Defense Department, Gans served as senior speechwriter for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew.
In 2019, Gans published White House Warriors: How the National Security Council Transformed the American Way of War, which the Wall Street Journal said was a "bottom-up history," The New Republic called "enlightening," and Lawfare concluded was “rollicking and compellingly told.” Gans earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.