William John Bennett (born July 3, 1943) is an American conservative pundit, politician, and political theorist. He served as United States Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988. He also held the post of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (or "Drug Czar") under George H. W. Bush.
Bennett was born in Brooklyn but later moved to Washington, D.C., where he attended Gonzaga College High School. He graduated from Williams College and went on to get a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Political Philosophy. He also has a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
From 1976 to 1981 he was the executive director of the National Humanities Center, a private research facility in North Carolina. In 1981 President Ronald Reagan appointed him to head the National Endowment for the Humanities, where he served until Reagan appointed him Secretary of Education in 1985. It was in 1986 that Bennett switched from the Democratic to the Republican party. Bennett resigned from this post in 1988, and later that year was appointed to the post of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy by President George H. W. Bush. He was confirmed by the Senate in a 97-2 vote.