Bachelor of Arts, Macalester College, 1968; Master of Arts, University of California-Berkeley, 1970.
Examiner, Office Management and Budget, Washington, 1970-1973; administrative officer, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 1973-1984; assistant secretary history and art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 1984-1985; under secretary, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 1985-1990; deputy director management and planning, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, 1990-1997; acting director, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, since 1997.
Trustee Interlochen Center for Arts. Member Interlochen Alumni Organization (president 1994-1998, national board directors), Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha.
Married Elaine Heumann Gurian. Children: Erik Wheeler, Matthew Edward.