Gail Kern Paster was Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. from 2002 until 2011. Until January 2018, she also served as editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, the leading scholarly journal devoted to Shakespeare. She earned a B.A., magna cum laude, at Smith College and a Ph.D. in English Renaissance Literature at Yale University. From 1974 to 2002, she was a Professor of English at George Washington University. She has won many national fellowships and awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment from the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. She was named to the Queen’s Honours List as a Commander of the British Empire in May 2011.
The author of numerous scholarly articles and three books on Shakespeare and the drama of his time, she also lectures nationally and internationally. Dr. Paster has been a trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America and served as its President in 2003. She is a member of the governing boards of Folger and the Newberry Library in Chicago, and is a member of the Council of Scholars for Theatre for a New Audience in New York.