The HxA Advisory Council is made up of higher education leaders and public intellectuals who share a commitment to open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement, and stand with HxA to offer support and guidance in its mission. These educators, researchers, authors, administrators, and public figures have advanced their fields, led national campaigns, impacted legislation, and founded and led transformative organizations.
Xav de Souza Briggs
“One of education’s most vital roles now is to enable engagement and insight across differences. Without that, democracy fails, and nothing else we care about can work.”
Xavier (Xav) de Souza Briggs is an award-winning educator and researcher as well as an experienced leader in philanthropy and government. He served for six years as vice president of the Ford Foundation, leading its work on inclusive economies and markets and, following a reorganization, launching its U.S. Programs division. For 2020, he is a distinguished visiting professor of public service, business, and sociology at New York University.
Earlier in his career, Xav was professor of sociology and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a faculty member at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He has led groundbreaking research in economic opportunity, democracy and governance, and racial and ethnic diversity and segregation. His most recent book is Moving to Opportunity: The Story of an American Experiment to Fight Ghetto Poverty.
In government, he served as a senior policy adviser under Presidents Obama and Clinton, most recently as associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Xav holds an engineering degree from Stanford University, an MPA from Harvard, and a PhD in sociology and education from Columbia University. He was a Rotary Scholar at the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil.
David A. Brooks
“In a very short period Heterodox Academy has become the nation’s leading champion of intellectual honesty, open debate and viewpoint diversity — for a very simple reason: Its members practice the intellectual virtues that they preach.”
David Brooks is a columnist for the New York Times and a commentator on PBS Newshour, NPR’s All Things Considered, and NBC’s Meet the Press.
Brooks’ most recent book, The Second Mountain, was released in 2019. He is also the author of The Road to Character, Bobos in Paradise, and The Social Animal.
Brooks is on the faculty of Yale University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He is also executive director at the Aspen Institute, where he has created Weave: The Social Fabric Project.
Taffye Benson Clayton
“If colleges and universities do not adequately foster an environment where open inquiry is encouraged, and inclusion and diversity are prioritized, the highest ideals and aspirations of our institutions may go unrealized.”
Taffye Benson Clayton is the inaugural Vice President and Associate Provost for Inclusion and Diversity at Auburn University. She serves as the designated executive administrator for coordinating the university’s diversity and inclusion strategy and is the principal advocate and adviser to the president, provost and senior university leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion.
She also serves as convener of the Chief Diversity Officer Cabinet, an institutional body connecting diversity liaisons from units across the campus. Clayton and her team are tasked with expanding Auburn’s diversity and inclusion footprint within the institution and nationally.
She is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and is co-chair of the Membership Committee. She sits on the Diversity and Inclusion Executives Council of The Conference Board — a global, independent business membership and research organization serving 1,200 public and private corporations — and recently became a member of its Executive Committee for the Council. Clayton also serves on the Executive Committee of the Commission on Access, Diversity and Equity (CADE) of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU).
Nicholas A. Christakis
Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, Ph.D., MPH, is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University. His work is in the fields of network science, biosocial science, and behavior genetics. He directs the Human Nature Lab and is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006; the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010; and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.
Ronald A. Crutcher
“We must welcome the debate, modeling for our students how to listen more intently to understand competing perspectives and learn from the rich diversity of people and ideas on our campuses.”
Ronald A. Crutcher is a national leader in higher education who became President of the University of Richmond in 2015. He previously served as President of Wheaton College for ten years. He was the founding Chair of the Leadership Council for LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise), the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ national campaign to demonstrate the value of liberal education. He writes and speaks widely on the value of liberal education, the democratic purposes of higher education, diversity, inclusion and thriving, and free expression on college campuses.
He also serves on the boards of the American Council on Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Crutcher is also a Professor of Music and a distinguished classical musician. He is a former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and several other orchestras, and currently serves on the board of the Richmond Symphony.
For almost forty years, he has performed in the U.S. and Europe as a member of The Klemperer Trio.
“Heterodox Academy is the one place where I can play the token social justice feminist sex radical and still be in great company.”
Alice Dreger received the Heterodox Academy’s inaugural Courage Award in 2018. She is also the author of four books, including the Guggenheim Fellowship-funded Galileo’s Middle Finger, published by Penguin Press and named a New York Times Editors’ Choice.
Her Ph.D. is in History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University and her work has focused on the epistemology of democracy.
Dreger is a frequent keynote speaker on academic freedom, medicine, and the humanities, and her bylines include the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and WIRED.
Robert P. George
“No organization in the history of American academic life has done, or is doing, more to promote the basic freedoms and viewpoint diversity we urgently need in our colleges and universities today than Heterodox Academy.”
Robert P. George holds Princeton’s McCormick Professorship of Jurisprudence and is Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.
He has served as Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the President’s Council on Bioethics. He was a Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. George holds the degrees of J.D. and M.T.S. from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L., D.C.L., and D.Litt. from Oxford University.
He is a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Canterbury Medal of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the Irving Kristol Award of the American Enterprise Institute. His most recent book is Conscience and Its Enemies.
Diane F. Halpern
“There is something wrong if you are not able to articulate the reasons of the other sides on this issue. Without even attempting to listen to the opposition, we can never come together as a society in which all views are respected and evaluated.”
Diane F. Halpern is the Dean of Social Sciences, Emerita at the Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute and Professor of Psychology, Emerita at Claremont McKenna College. She has served as the president of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Teaching of Psychology.
Halpern has published hundreds of articles and many books including: Thought and Knowledge, Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities (4th ed.), and Women at the Top (co-authored with Fanny Cheung). She also created the Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment which allows test takers to demonstrate their ability to think about everyday topics using both constructed response and recognition formats.
Halpern has won many awards for her teaching and research, including the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science; the Arthur W. Staats Lecture on Unifying Psychology Award from the American Psychological Association; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western Psychological Association; and the California State University’s State-Wide Outstanding Professor Award.
Panayiotis (Pano) Kanelos is the Founding President of the University of Austin. From 2017-2021, he served as President of St. John’s College, Annapolis. Other appointments include Dean of the Honors College at Valparaiso University, professor of theater at Loyola University Chicago, professor of English at the University of San Diego, and as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. An ardent Shakespeare fan and scholar, he has authored and edited numerous books, articles, and essays on Shakespeare, including the “Shakespeare and the Stage” series. Kanelos holds a Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at University of Chicago, an M.A. in Political Philosophy and Literature from the University Professors Program at Boston University, and a B.A. in English from Northwestern University.
Randall Kennedy is the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School where he teaches courses on contracts and race relations law. He attended St. Albans School, Princeton University, and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk to Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States. A member of the Bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court, he is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Law Institute. His most recent book is Say It Loud! On Race, Law, History and Culture.
Glenn C. Loury
“Ideological pluralism makes everyone smarter, and it is precisely what the folks around Heterodox Academy have in mind. They are doing the Lord’s work.”
Glenn C. Loury is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at Brown University. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
As an academic economist, he has published mainly in the areas of applied microeconomic theory, game theory, industrial organization, natural resource economics and the economics of race and inequality. He has been elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society, Member of the American Philosophical Society, Vice President of the American Economics Association and President of the Eastern Economics Association.
As a prominent social critic and public intellectual, writing mainly on the themes of racial inequality and social policy, he has published over 200 essays and reviews in journals of public affairs in the U.S. and abroad. Loury’s books include One by One From the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in America (winner of the American Book Award and the Christianity Today Book Award); The Anatomy of Racial Inequality; Race, Incarceration and American Values; and Ethnicity, Social Mobility and Public Policy: Comparing the US and the UK.
“If you love life, you love diversity — including viewpoint diversity.”
Irshad Manji is the founder of Moral Courage College, which equips people to do the right thing in the face of fear–particularly in the fractious space of diversity and inclusion. Manji teaches “honest diversity,” which holds that different viewpoints, not complexions, are the key metric of pluralism. A fellow with Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights, Manji is also an internationally best-selling author and Emmy-nominated filmmaker.
Her latest book, Don’t Label Me, is being used by schools to teach a new generation about how to harvest common ground from our differences. Educators also draw from her award-winning Moral Courage Channel.
“This is no time for complacency and apathy, this is a time for vigorous and positive action. We need to light the danger up and illuminate the transformative power of a liberal education.”
Lynn Pasquerella was appointed President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 2016, after serving as the eighteenth President of Mount Holyoke College from 2010-2016. Pasquerella was the provost at the University of Hartford, from 2008 to 2010. She previously served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Rhode Island, where she began her career as an ethics professor in 1985.
A philosopher whose work has combined teaching and scholarship with local and global engagement, Pasquerella is committed to championing liberal education, access to excellence in higher education, and civic engagement. She has written extensively on medical ethics, metaphysics, public policy, and the philosophy of law and is the host of Northeast Public Radio’s The Academic Minute.
Pasquerella is a member of the advisory board of the Newman’s Own Foundation, and sits on the board of the Lingnan Foundation and the National Humanities Alliance. She is also President of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She is a graduate of Quinebaug Valley Community College, Mount Holyoke College, and Brown University.
“Diversity is not just the differences you like, and dogmas rarely lead to the best answer — for these two reasons and many more, I think the work of Heterodox Academy is essential.”
Eboo Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a non-profit organization working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm in America. He has spoken on over 150 campuses and served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship.
Patel was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report in 2009. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground, Interfaith Leadership and Out of Many Faiths. He also publishes a regular blog for Inside Higher Ed, “Conversations on Diversity.”
Judith R. Shapiro
Judith R. Shapiro is a cultural anthropologist who began her faculty career at the University of Chicago. She then spent a decade on the faculty of Bryn Mawr College where she served as provost between 1986 and 1994. She served as President of Barnard College between 1994 and 2008 and President of the Teagle Foundation from 2013 to 2018.
Shapiro’s scholarly work has been in the areas of gender differences, social organization, cultural theory, and missionization. She was President of the American Ethnological Society, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the American Council of Learned Societies. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Shapiro also serves on the board or council of Scholars at Risk, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Phi Beta Kappa, and The University of the People.
Richard A. Shweder
“At this historical moment marked by a rise in various forms of anti-intellectualism, one welcomes and values a countervailing force such as Heterodox Academy, which provides a robust forum for expressions of anti-anti-intellectualism.”
Richard A. Shweder is a cultural anthropologist and the Harold Higgins Swift Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago.
Shweder’s research examines the scope and limits of tolerance for cultural diversity in Western liberal democracies. He has co-edited two books on this topic (with Martha Minow and Hazel Markus): Engaging Cultural Differences and Just Schools.
Shweder has also edited volumes in the areas of cultural psychology, psychological anthropology and comparative human development. His monographs include Thinking Through Cultures and Why Do Men Barbecue?
“Engagement with people who are broadly diverse, in terms of experience and ideas, is essential for promoting understanding in both senses of that word: knowledge and empathy.”
Nadine Strossen is the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School. She is also a leading scholar, advocate and frequent speaker/media commentator on constitutional law and civil liberties issues, who has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. The National Law Journal has named Strossen one of America’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers.”
The immediate past President of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008), Strossen serves on the national advisory boards of the ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center and FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education).
Her acclaimed 2018 book HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship was selected by Washington University as its 2019 “Common Read.”
“We don’t lose ourselves in some homogeneous kumbaya union. No. We acknowledge our differences. We acknowledge the ways in which we might look at the world through different lenses. And yet we can still be mutually empowered.”
Cornel West is the Class of 1943 Professor of African American Studies Emeritus at Princeton University, and Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy in the Divinity School and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale University and the University of Paris. He graduated magna cum laude in Near Eastern Studies from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton. He holds more than twenty honorary doctorates.
West has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics Race Matters and Democracy Matters. His memoir is entitled Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. He appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span, and other media outlets.
West made his film debut in The Matrix, and he was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004. He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries. He has made three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One, Bootsy Collins, and Gerald Levert. His spoken word interludes were featured on Terence Blanchard’s Choices (which won the Grand Prix in France for the best Jazz Album of the year of 2009).
West has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of publics in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. — a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.