Mona Charen is an American columnist, political analyst, and the author of two best-selling books, Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First (2003) and Do-Gooders: How Liberals Harm Those They Claim to Help ... and the Rest of Us (2005). Her political stance is conservative. Charen typically writes about foreign policy, terrorism, politics, and culture. She regularly writes about her faith in Judaism and is also known for her generally pro-Israel views. Her columns are nationally syndicated.
Charen earned an undergraduate degree from Barnard College, Columbia University (with honors) and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School. She worked for National Review magazine as an editorial assistant and then in 1984 joined the staff of First Lady Nancy Reagan as a speech writer. Later in the White House’s "Office of Public Liaison" Charen advocated the Reagan Administration's Central America policies.
In 1986, Charen backed Jack Kemp in his unsuccessful presidential bid, serving as his speech writer. Ms. Charen launched her syndicated column in 1987, and it has become one of the fastest-growing columns in the industry. She is syndicated by Creators Syndicate and is featured in more than 200 papers, including the Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The Washington Times.
Charen is perhaps best known as a regular weekly commentator on CNN's The Capital Gang, which appeared on Saturdays. Following an on-air blowup with fellow panelist Al Hunt, after which the two of them did not appear on the same panel for several weeks, Charen switched to Capital Gang Sunday when that program was launched, appearing until the program's cancellation. Her columns also appear online at National Review Online, TownHall.com and the e-zine Jewish World Review. Charen has spoken out in disagreement with former Capital Gang co-host Robert Novak regarding her tenure on the show and the reason for her departure. This caused a heated editorial exchange between her and Novak.
In 2010, Charen won the Eric Breindel Journalism Award.
Charen is married to Bob Parker, who is a litigation partner with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Together they have three sons: Jonathan, David and Benjamin. Charen grew up in Livingston, New Jersey.