Ned Gallagher in Havana.

Ned Gallagher:
Professional Biography

Ned Gallagher joined the Choate Rosemary Hall community in 1987 after a brief stint on the faculty of Phillips Academy (Andover, MA), where his contributions were recognized with the M. Lawrence Shields Teaching Fellow Award. Prior to that, he started his prep school teaching career in the Advanced Studies Program at St. Paul’s School (Concord, NH).

Recognized with the Hubert S. Packard Chair for Distinguished Teaching in 2009, Ned has taught a wide range of subjects in the history and English departments at Choate and elsewhere, including such diverse course offerings as U.S. history; American government & politics; constitutional law; political philosophy; Japanese history; international relations; interdisciplinary humanities sequences (both classical and modern); U.S. foreign policy; satire; the Holocaust; Pandora’s Box: Humans and Machines; Chinese history; American literature; modern Africa; Russian history; world literature; classical Greek and Roman history; the Vietnam War; Use and Abuse of Power; Democracy: From Athens to Obama; and American Studies. Mr. Gallagher also has taught courses in computer technology and public speaking. For years he offered an English elective for seniors on William Shakespeare’s history plays (he has seen each of The Bard’s 39 plays performed on stage at least three times, and most of them many more). In May 2020 the University of Chicago selected Ned for an Outstanding Educator Award based on student nominations. Recently, Ned began offering mini-courses for adults (the school's alumni and parents) on American politics and on reading Biblical texts as literature.  

Ned has taught abroad as well—notably in Cape Town, South Africa—and has developed distance learning curricula in U.S. history and in the humanities for Chinese students planning to attend school in America.

For the better part of three decades, Mr. Gallagher served as Director of the school’s John F. Kennedy ’35 Institute in Government, a public policy summer program based in Wallingford and Washington, DC. In this capacity, he brought his students into close contact with all three branches of government, including multiple meetings with the President, the Vice-President, top-level White House staffers, and Cabinet members; with the Speaker of the House and numerous U.S. Senators and Representatives and their aides; and with U.S. Supreme Court personnel. The Kennedy Institute also facilitates meetings with journalists, lobbyists, party officials, public policy analysts, and representatives of various interest groups. Choate honored Ned with its Irzyk (2002) and Wingerd (2019) Faculty Awards for his long-term contributions to Summer Programs.

Beginning in 2018, he began overseeing a new two-year immersion program—also named for President Kennedy—for a select cohort of Choate students with a demonstrated interest in philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE). In addition to coördinated coursework and a significant off-campus experience, the JFK students engage in a tutorial with Mr. Gallagher during the winter of their senior year.

A pioneer in the use of technology to supplement classroom work, Mr. Gallagher is a certified Apple Teacher.

As a dedicated three-season athletic coach, Ned has the rare distinction of having produced New England prep school champions in each of his sports. He currently serves as head coach of boys’ cross country and tennis teams and JV coach in boys’ squash. His student-athletes have won dozens of individual and team titles over the years and have been recognized repeatedly for outstanding sportsmanship. An experienced tournament organizer, Mr. Gallagher served as the Executive Director of both the New England Interscholastic Squash Association and the New England Interscholastic Tennis Association for decades. He also sat on the U.S. Squash’s Junior Competition Committee for many years and works with the College Squash Association at the committee level. Ned also met regularly with the board of the New England Preparatory School Track Association as its liaison to NEPSAC. In 2009 the New England Division of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association named Gallagher its Coach of the Year. And in 2018, he received the Andrew B. Noel III Award for an “approach to athletics [that] embodies cultivation of character, hard work, and a deep-seated commitment to student-athletes.”

Mr. Gallagher was appointed Choate’s ninth Director of Athletics in June 1996. In this capacity, he led an athletic program that fields over 80 interscholastic teams in addition to an extensive range of intramural and instructional offerings. Under his stewardship the school modernized its sports and fitness facilities and embraced emerging technology in all aspects of its athletic program. Ned was elected president of both the Western New England Preparatory School Athletic Association and the New England Preparatory Athletic Council, and served on the NEPSAC Executive Board. He also was instrumental in the creation of the Eight Schools Athletic Council. He earned the Certified Athletic Administrator credential from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. After a tenure of twenty-one years as athletic director, Ned returned to full-time teaching in 2017. Two years later, he received the NEPSAC Distinguished Service Award for “enthusiasm, dedication, leadership, and vision” in support of athletics in independent schools.

A resident house adviser throughout his career, Mr. Gallagher currently lives on campus with third and fifth form boys and their prefects in Memorial House. Among extracurricular pursuits at Choate, Ned has coached the school’s debate team, advised various student clubs and publications, and hosted his own show on WWEB—the campus radio station. He occasionally has appeared on stage in student-directed scenes and major theatrical productions, and with one of the school’s a cappella music groups.

Ned has been a featured speaker at regional and national levels on a variety of topics, including electoral politics, implementing technology in education, risk management in interscholastic sports, faculty evaluation strategies, the life of President John F. Kennedy, athletic facility upgrades, and recruiting in independent schools. He has moderated a panel on social media at the National Athletic Directors Conference and in 2021 was a panelist on Japanese history and popular culture for the University of Colorado’s Program for Teaching East Asia and presented on the film Casablanca for the Graham School’s movie night program at UChicago. Recent public lecture topics include the 2016 U.S. elections, the centennial of the Versailles Conference, and key presidential inaugural addresses in U.S. history.

A native of Bayport, New York, he also is a veteran traveler, having been to all 50 U.S. states and all 10 Canadian provinces. In the coming months, Ned is on track to join the Century Club, having visited over 100 countries across six continents. He has toured with his students in England, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Turkey, China, South Africa, Bermuda, Jamaica, Curaçao, and the Dominican Republic. An expedition to Antarctica is now in the planning stages.

Mr. Gallagher is a graduate of Williams College. He has been named a Coe Fellow in the Department of History at Stanford University as well as a Summer Klingenstein Fellow at Columbia University. Ned has completed advanced coursework at Stanford, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago. He also has studied at Trinity College (CT), the University of Virginia, Wesleyan University, and Yale University, and at both Oxford and Cambridge in the U.K. And he has studied Shakespeare in performance at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He participates regularly in professional development opportunities, having attended three Gilder-Lehrman Seminars for history teachers (most recently at the University of Edinburgh) as well as the Summer Teachers Institute at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. Next summer he plans to study Homer on the Aegean island of Chios. In recent years Ned has audited French language and art history classes at Choate as well.


revised November 2, 2021