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Kenneth Prewitt

Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs
International & Public Affairs
International Affairs Building, Room 1314A
  • Director, The Future of Scholarly Knowledge
  • Co-chair, University Forum on Global Columbia

Kenneth Prewitt, Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs (SIPA), was the Vice-President for Global Centers (2007-12).  Prior to his Columbia appointments he taught Political Science at the University of Chicago (1965-1982), and for shorter stints was on the faculty of Stanford University, Washington University, the University of Nairobi, Makerere University and the Graduate Faculty at the New School University (where he was also Dean).

Prewitt's professional career includes: Director of the United States Census Bureau, Director of the National Opinion Research Center, President of the Social Science Research Council, and Senior Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation, responsible for its international programs. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Russell-Sage Foundation, and member of other professional associations, including the Council on Foreign Relations. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, honorary degrees from Carnegie Mellon and Southern Methodist University, a Distinguished Service Award from the New School for Social Research, the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany, the Charles E. Merriam Lifetime Career Award, American Political Science Association. He serves on a number of Boards & Advisory Committees, and presently chairs the Advisory Board, Division of Social & Behavioral Sciences, National Research Council.

In addition to numerous articles and books in American Politics, he has written on foundations and higher education.  His most recent book is What is Your Race?  The Flawed Effort of the Census to Classify Americans, Princeton (2013).  He chaired the NRC committee responsible for a report on Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy (2012), and has written related essays on science policy. Prewitt holds a BA from Southern Methodist University (1958); MA from Washington University (1959), Harvard Divinity School (1960) as a Danforth fellow; PhD from Stanford University (1963).

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