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National Council on the Humanities

NEH's chairman is advised by the National Council on the Humanities, a board of twenty-six distinguished private citizens appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The National Council members serve staggered six-year terms.

*Council members with expired terms continue to serve until their replacement has been confirmed by the Senate and sworn in at the following council meeting.

Rolena Adorno
Appointed on November 6, 2009
Term Expires on January 26, 2014

Rolena Adorno is the Sterling Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University. Her books on Colonial Latin American literary and cultural history, including The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative; De Guancane a Macondo: estudios de literatura hispanoamericana; Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca: His Account, His Life, and the Expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez, and Guaman Poma: Writing and Resistance in Colonial Peru, have been awarded prizes by the Modern Language Association, the American Historical Association, the Western Historical Association, and the New England Council of Latin American Studies. She holds an Honorary Professorship at La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and is an Honorary Associate of the Hispanic Society of America. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2015, she received the Modern Language Association's Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award. Born and raised in an Iowa farming family of German descent, Ms. Adorno holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa, an M.A.T. from the University of Hartford, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Camila A. Alire
Appointed on January 7, 2013
Term Expires on January 26, 2018

Camila A. Alire is Dean Emerita at both the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University. She is also professor of practice in the Managerial Leadership Ph.D. program within Simmons College’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science since 2007 and an adjunct professor at the University of Denver since 2011. From 2009 to 2010, Dr. Alire served as President of the American Library Association. Earlier in her career, she served as Dean of the University of New Mexico’s libraries from 2002 to 2006, as Dean of Colorado State University’s libraries from 1997 to 2001, and as Dean of The University of Colorado at Denver Auraria Library from 1989 to 1997. She has co-written a number of books, including Academic Librarianship, Serving Latino Communities, and Academic Librarians as Emotionally Intelligent Leaders. Dr. Alire served as Chair of the Colorado Humanities Board of Directors from 1999 to 2000. She received a B.A. from Adams State College, an M.L.S. from the University of Denver, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado.

Francine Berman
Appointed on November 24, 2015
Term Expires on January 26, 2020

Dr. Francine Berman is the Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). She is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a 2009 ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award recipient for "influential leadership in design, development and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure." Dr. Berman is U.S. lead of the Research Data Alliance, an international organization created to accelerate research data sharing.  She is also Chair of the Anita Borg Institute Board of Trustees, co-Chair of the NSF Advisory Committee for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, and a member of the Sloan Foundation Board of Trustees.  Previously, Dr. Berman served as Director of San Diego Supercomputer Center and Vice President for Research at RPI. She was co-Chair of the NRC Board on Research Data and Information, the Blue Ribbon Task Force for Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, Chair of the AAAS Information, Computing and Communication Section, and a member of the NIGMS Advisory Council. Dr. Berman has been recognized by the Library of Congress as a "Digital Preservation Pioneer.” (Term expires January 26, 2018.)

Albert J. Beveridge*
Appointed on June 1, 2011
Term Expires on January 26, 2016

Albert J. Beveridge is a founding member and Senior Council of the law firm of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. and has served as General Counsel of the American Historical Association for more than 15 years. He was a founding member of the National Trust for the Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition, Mr. Beveridge serves as a lecturer in history at Johns Hopkins University and as Distinguished Historian in Residence at the American University in Washington, D.C. He received his B.A. from Princeton University, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins, and his J.D. from Harvard University.(Term expires January 26, 2016.)

Allison Blakely*
Appointed on January 10, 2011
Term Expires on January 26, 2016

Allison Blakely is a Professor of European and Comparative History, and the George and Joyce Wein Professor of African American Studies at Boston University. He joined the Boston University faculty in 2001 after teaching for thirty years at Howard University. He is the author of Blacks in the Dutch World: Racial Imagery and Modernization; Russia and the Negro: Blacks in Russian History and Thought (a winner of an American Book Award in 1988); several articles on Russian populism; and others on various European aspects of the Black Diaspora. His interest in comparative history has centered on comparative populism and on the historical evolution of color prejudice. He is the immediate past President of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and serves on its governing Senate and the Editorial Board of its journal, The American Scholar. Mr. Blakely was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam, was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in 1962-63, and an Andrew Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, 1976-77. He received the Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award from Howard University in 1992. Mr. Blakely received his B.A. from the University of Oregon and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. (Term expires January 26, 2016.)

Appointed on June 1, 2011
Term Expires on January 26, 2016

Constance M. Carroll has served as Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District since 2004. Prior to becoming Chancellor, Dr. Carroll served as president of three community colleges in California and also worked with two universities. Ms. Carroll's board service has included the American Council on Education, American Association of Community Colleges, League for Innovation, California Council for the Humanities, Maine Humanities Council, NEH Panel on Museums and Historical Societies, and the Community College Humanities Association. She received her B.A. in Humanities from Duquesne University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Pittsburgh. (Term expires January 26, 2016.)

Jamsheed K. Choksy
Appointed on May 22, 2008
Term Expires on January 26, 2014

Jamsheed K. Choksy is a professor of central Eurasian studies, history, and India studies as well as an adjunct professor of religious studies and an affiliated faculty member of ancient studies, medieval studies, and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a frequent presenter at international conferences and has written three books: Evil, Good, and Gender; Conflict and Cooperation; and Purity and Pollution in Zoroastrianism. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and has been awarded grants from the American Academy of Religion and the Social Science Research Council. He has served as a consultant for UNESCO and the U.S. Department of Education. Mr. Choksy received an A.B. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Cathy N. Davidson
Appointed on June 1, 2011
Term Expires on January 26, 2016

Cathy N. Davidson is the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University. She was Duke's first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, serving in that position until 2006. She is co-founder of HASTAC, the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, a network of educators dedicated to new models of learning for the digital age. In addition, Professor Davidson is past President of the American Studies Association, former editor of the journal American Literature, and co-directs the annual HASTAC/ MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions. She received her B.A. in English and Philosophy from Elmhurst College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton. (Term expires January 26, 2016.)

Dawn Ho Delbanco
Appointed on May 22, 2008
Term Expires on January 26, 2014

Dawn Ho Delbanco is an adjunct professor of East Asian art at Columbia University and, since 1991, has taught Western and Asian art in the Columbia University Core Curriculum. She is the author of Art from Ritual: Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessels from the Arthur M. Sackler Collection and has published on various aspects of Chinese art, including painting, woodblock prints, ceramics, and ritual bronzes. She has lectured at many institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Asia Society, and the Yale Art Gallery. She has consulted for a documentary film on the National Palace Museum in Taipei and has curated an exhibition at the Fogg Art Museum. Ms. Delbanco received an A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Paula Barker Duffy
Appointed on June 1, 2011
Term Expires on January 26, 2016

Paula Barker Duffy is the former Director of the University of Chicago Press, the nation's largest university press. She previously served as publisher of the Free Press, best known for its books in the social sciences and public affairs, and as vice president of its parent company, Simon and Schuster, New York. Ms. Duffy currently serves on the boards of the Great Books Foundation and Valid Sources, Inc., and advises the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago. She holds a B.A. in French Literature from Smith College and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. (Term expires January 26, 2016.)

Gerald L. Early, photo
Appointed on August 5, 2013
Term Expires on January 26, 2018

Dr. Gerald L. Early is Director of the Center for Humanities, Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, and a Professor of English at Washington University in Saint Louis.  Since 1982, he has held various positions at Washington University, including Professor of English, African and Afro-American Studies, and Director of the American Culture Studies Program.  Dr. Early serves on the Board of Advisory Editors of Oxford Companion to African-American Literature and is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Missouri Historical Society and the Advisory Board of The Antioch Review.  He is the author of One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture and The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Award.  Dr. Early received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.

David Michael Hertz
Appointed on May 22, 2008
Term Expires on January 26, 2014

David Michael Hertz is a professor of comparative literature and an adjunct professor of American studies at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is the author of three books, including Angels of Reality: Emersonian Unfoldings in Frank Lloyd Wright, Wallace Stevens, and Charles Ives and Frank Lloyd Wright in Word and Form. Mr. Hertz is a recipient of an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at New York University and a Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts grant recipient. A composer and pianist, he teaches annual undergraduate colloquia on music and culture in the Hutton Honors College at Indiana University. In addition to co-founding the Center for Comparative Arts at Indiana University, he has co-organized several international conferences on the sense of time in world poetry. Mr. Hertz received a B.A., B.S., and M.A. from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from New York University.

Dorothy Kosinski
Appointed on August 5, 2013
Term Expires on January 26, 2016

Dr. Dorothy Kosinski has served as Director of The Phillips Collection since 2008.  Prior to joining The Phillips Collection, Dr. Kosinski worked at the Dallas Museum of Art, where she served in a number of capacities from 1995 to 2008, last as Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture.  From 1985 to 1997, she worked with the Douglas Cooper Collection of cubist art in Basel, Switzerland.  She also served as an independent curator of major exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; The Kunstmuseum Basel; The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg; and The National Gallery in Prague. Dr. Kosinski has written and edited many books and catalogs on a variety of art topics including 19th Century Symbolism, Dada, Surrealism, 20th Century sculpture and contemporary art.  She currently serves on the Board of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Advisory Board of The Musée Rodin, Paris. Dr. Kosinski received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Marvin Krislov
Appointed on November 6, 2009
Term Expires on January 26, 2014

Marvin Krislov is the 14th president and a professor of politics at Oberlin College. Previously, he was vice president and general counsel at the University of Michigan where he led the University’s legal team in the 2003 Supreme Court case that upheld the constitutionality of the consideration of student body diversity in university admissions. Prior to entering academic life, Mr. Krislov served as Acting Solicitor and the Deputy Solicitor for National Operations at the U.S. Department of Labor, as Associate Counsel in the Office of Counsel to the President, and as a Federal prosecutor at the Justice Department on cases involving racial or religious violence as well as police brutality. He taught law at the University of Michigan Law School, sat on the Board of Aldermen for New Haven, Connecticut, and also taught law at George Washington University. Mr. Krislov received bachelor’s and law degrees from Yale University, where he served as editor of the Yale Law Journal. As a Rhodes Scholar, he studied at the University of Oxford’s Magdalen College, where he received an M.A. degree in modern history. He clerked for Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Patricia Nelson Limerick
Appointed on November 24, 2015
Term Expires on January 26, 2018

Patty Limerick is the Faculty Director and Chair of the Board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she is also a professor of environmental studies and history. She is the author of Desert Passages, The Legacy of Conquest, Something in the Soil, and A Ditch in Time. A frequent public speaker and a columnist for the Denver Post, Limerick has dedicated her career to bridging the gap between academics and the general public, to demonstrating the benefits of applying historical perspective to contemporary dilemmas and conflicts, and to making the case for humor as an essential asset of the humanities. A recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and the Hazel Barnes Prize (the University of Colorado’s highest award for teaching and research), she has served as president of the American Studies Association, the Western History Association, the Society of American Historians, and the Organization of American Historians, as well as the vice president for teaching of the American Historical Association. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her Ph.D. from Yale University. (Term expires January 26, 2018.)

Shelly C. Lowe
Appointed on November 25, 2015
Term Expires on January 26, 2018

Shelly C. Lowe is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.  She is Bilagaana, born for Náneesht’ézhí Tách’iinii. Her paternal grandfather’s clan is Tábaahí.  Ms. Lowe grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Ganado, Arizona.  She is currently the Executive Director of the Harvard University Native American Program and was previously the Assistant Dean for Native American Affairs in the Yale College Deans Office and Director of the Native American Cultural Center at Yale University.  Prior to her position at Yale, she spent six years as the Graduate Education Program Facilitator for the American Indian Studies Programs at The University of Arizona.  During her time at The University of Arizona she was actively involved in the Native American Student Affairs Office and the American Indian Alumni club.  She has served on the board of the National Indian Education Association and as a Board of Trustee for the National Museum of the American Indian.  She currently serves on the board of the Beantown Cats Alumni Chapter.  Ms. Lowe has presented and published in the field of American Indian higher education and is completing her doctorate in Higher Education with a focus on American Indian student success and services. (Term expires January 26, 2018.)

Christopher Merrill
Appointed on April 4, 2012
Term Expires on January 26, 2016

Christopher Merrill is the director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.  A poet, essayist, journalist, and translator, Mr. Merrill has published four collections of poetry, including Brilliant Waterand Watch Fire, for which he received the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has also published translations of Aleš Debeljak’s Anxious Moments and The City of the Child, edited several volumes, and published five books of nonfiction, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, and The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War. Prior to joining the University of Iowa, he held the William H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary Letters at the College of Holy Cross. In 2008, he led the initiative that resulted in the selection of Iowa City as a UNESCO City of Literature, a part of the Creative Cities Network.  Mr. Merrill received a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.A. from the University of Washington. (Term expires January 26, 2016.)

Ramón Saldívar
Appointed on January 7, 2013
Term Expires on January 26, 2018

Ramón Saldívar is the Hoagland Family Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and the Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. Dr. Saldívar’s research focuses on Chicano and Chicana studies, literary theory, and post-colonial literature. His publications include Figural Language in the Novel: The Flowers of Speech from Cervantes to Joyce, Chicano Narrative: The Dialectics of Difference and The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary. He served on the Editorial Board of American Literature and Modern Fiction Studies from 2003 to 2007, on the Board of Governors of the University of California Humanities Research Institute from 1994 to 1997, and on the National Council of the American Studies Association from 1993 to 1995. Dr. Saldívar received the 2011 National Humanities Medal. He earned his B.A. from the University of Texas, Austin, and his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Bruce R. Sievers
Appointed on January 7, 2013
Term Expires on January 26, 2018

Bruce R. Sievers is a visiting scholar and lecturer at the Haas Center for Public Service and the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, which he helped found in 2006, at Stanford University. Previously, he served as the Executive Director of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund from 1983 to 2002. He was the founding Chief Executive Officer of both California Council for the Humanities, now known as Cal Humanities, from 1974 to 1983, and Montana Committee for the Humanities, now known as Humanities Montana, from 1972 to 1974. In addition, Mr. Sievers is a Consulting Director of the Skirball Foundation and a Senior Fellow Emeritus with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. He is a past Treasurer of the Fulbright Association. He has written widely on topics of civil society and philanthropy, and in 2010, published his book Civil Society, Philanthropy and the Fate of the Commons. Mr. Sievers was a Fulbright Scholar and received a B.A. in International Relations, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University.

Katherine H. Tachau, photo
Appointed on August 5, 2013
Term Expires on January 26, 2018

Dr. Katherine H. Tachau is a Professor of History at the University of Iowa, where she has taught since 1985.  Previously, she taught at Pomona College from 1982 to 1985 and Montana State University from 1981 to 1982.  From 1979 to 1981, she was a researcher at the Institute for Medieval Greek and Latin Philology at Copenhagen University in Denmark.  Dr. Tachau has published extensively on medieval philosophy, science, and art; and has received the John Nicholas Brown Prize from the Medieval Academy of America.  In addition, she received the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence at the University of Iowa in 2009, and she has been awarded fellowships from the Stanford Humanities Center, the National Humanities Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Dr. Tachau received a B.A. in Spanish and Medieval Studies from Oberlin College, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

John Unsworth headshot
Appointed on August 5, 2013
Term Expires on January 26, 2016

John Unsworth is the Vice-Provost for Library and Technology Services and Chief Information Officer at Brandeis University.  Previously, Mr. Unsworth served as the Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from 2003 to 2012.  Before joining the University of Illinois, he served as the Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities and was a faculty member in the English Department at the University of Virginia.  He is the co-founder of Postmodern Culture, a peer-reviewed electronic journal in the humanities.  Mr. Unsworth received a B.A. from Amherst College, an M.A. from Boston University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Martha Wagner Weinberg
Appointed on June 1, 2011
Term Expires on January 26, 2016

Martha Wagner Weinberg is a consultant who has worked extensively with non-profit entities on issues of policy, strategy, leadership and program design. She previously served as Chief of Staff at Massachusetts General Hospital and was Vice President for Project Management and Chief of Staff at Partners Healthcare System at its founding in 1995. Ms. Weinberg advised the Rappaport Charitable Foundation when it established Harvard's Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston and Suffolk University's Rappaport Honors Program in Law and Public Policy. Formerly a professor of political science at MIT, she is the author of Managing the State, co-editor with Walter Dean Burnham of American Politics and Public Policy, and the author of articles on leadership in the private and public sectors. Ms. Wagner received her Ph.D. from Harvard, her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin, and her B.A. from Smith. (Term expires January 26, 2016.)