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Academy President

Jonathan F. Fanton

On July 1, 2014, Jonathan Fanton began his service as the president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Previously, he served as the president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation from 1999 to 2009 and as the president of The New School for Social Research from 1982 to 1999. In addition to his leadership of these organizations, he has served as board chair for several organizations, including Human Rights Watch, the Security Council Report, and the New York State Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. He currently serves on the boards of Scholars At Risk, the Asian Cultural Council, and the Benjamin Franklin House, and he chairs the advisory board of the Newman’s Own Foundation.

Dr. Fanton was elected a fellow of the American Academy in 1999.

Below please find selected remarks and communications from Jonathan Fanton’s service to the American Academy. Additional speeches and remarks by Dr. Fanton are available at


2072nd Stated Meeting: Annual David M. Rubenstein Lecture
A Conversation with Justice Sonia Sotomayor
October 7, 2018
2071st Stated Meeting: Induction Ceremony October 6, 2018
2070th Stated Meeting: A Celebration of the Arts and Humanities October 5, 2018
2065th Stated Meeting: Jefferson, Race, and Democracy February 7, 2018


2062nd Stated Meeting: Redistricting and Representation November 8, 2017
2054th Stated Meeting: "How Do We See?"
A Discussion on Visual Perception
May 17, 2017
2057th, 2058th, and 2059th Stated Meetings:
Induction 2017
October 6-8, 2017
Our Compelling Interests:
The Value of Diversity for Democracy and a Prosperous Society
April 18, 2017
2053rd Stated Meeting:
A Celebration of the Arts and Sciences
Emerson-Thoreau Medal and Talcott-Parsons Prize
April 6, 2017
2052nd Stated Meeting: Morton L. Mandel Public Lecture
Ethics and the Global War on Terror
March 8, 2017
Commission on Language Learning—Press Conference February 28, 2017


R2P Cultural Heritage Exploratory Fund Meeting November 30, 2016
“The Past Has a Future” September 8, 2016
2040th Stated Meeting: Russia Beyond Putin June 1, 2016
Russia Authors’ Conference, Opening Session June 1, 2016
A message to Foreign Honorary Members June 1, 2016
Future of Jazz in America May 19, 2016
Chicago Arts Meeting May 11, 2016
2038th Stated Meeting: Morton L. Mandel Public Lecture
Managing the Benefits and the Risks of Nuclear, Biological,
and Information Technologies
May 10, 2016
Northwestern Members Lunch May 9, 2016
The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Higher Education April 27, 2016
The Lincoln Project: New England Regional Meeting April 20, 2016
Lowell House Visit to the House of the Academy April 18, 2016
2037th Stated Meeting:
A Celebration of the Arts and Sciences:
Sarton Prize for Poetry and Rumford Prize for Science
April 14, 2016
The Lincoln Project: Excellence and Access in Higher Education—Press Conference April 7, 2016
Lunch and Book Discussion: Featuring John Browne, Author of Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society March 10, 2016
Bellagio Conference: Ethics and International Affairs February 23, 2016
A Reading from Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, and Discussion with Catalyst Collaborative@MIT February 8, 2016
Lunch and Book Discussion: Featuring Geoff Cowan, Author of Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary February 8, 2016
2033rd Stated Meeting:
From Local to Global: Public Research Universities in the 21st Century
February 4, 2016
2032nd Stated Meeting:
Water: California in a Global Context
February 2, 2016
2031st Stated Meeting:
Consensus & Controversy in Science: Genes, GMOs, and Climate
February 1, 2016
Human Performance Enhancement Workshop January 21, 2016


2029th Stated Meeting:
Fear and Democracy: Reflections on Security and Freedom
December 7, 2015
2028th Stated Meeting: The Crisis in Legal Education December 4, 2015
Reception at the British Academy for American Academy Members November 24, 2015
Roundtable Discussion and Reception at Université Paris-Sorbonne November 23, 2015
2027th Stated Meeting:
Inaugural Distinguished Morton L. Mandel Annual Public Lecture
November 11, 2015
American Academy Symposium: Making Justice Accessible November 11, 2015
Dædalus Authors’ Workshop:
New Dilemmas In Ethics, Technology, And War
November 4, 2015
2026th Stated Meeting:
Scientific Advances and their Impact on Society
October 21, 2015
2023rd, 2024th, and 2025th Stated Meetings:
Induction 2015
October 9-11, 2015
Meeting with Foreign Honorary Members in Russia September 24, 2015
Re-Imagining the Global Nuclear Order Workshop September 21, 2015
2022nd Stated Meeting:
Evolving Role of Technology in Higher Education
September 17, 2015
Symposium on Cognitive Computing June 18, 2015
The Columbus Partnership May 14, 2015
The Global Nuclear Future:
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Grand Bargain
May 4, 2015
Restoring the Foundation: Reviving the U.S. Science, Engineering, and Technology Enterprise April 30, 2015
Dædalus Event on Successful Aging of Societies April 21, 2015
2020th Stated Meeting:
Technology, Surveillance, and the Contemporary Self
April 16, 2015
MIT Online Learning Summit April 8, 2015
Lincoln Project Regional Forum: New York April 6, 2015
Teaching and the Digital Humanities: Symposium at Emory University April 2, 2015
Lincoln Project Regional Forum: Georgia April 2, 2015
Bellagio Conference: The Knowledge Ecosystem March 18, 2015
Friday Forum: Charles Simic March 6, 2015
2019th Stated Meeting: Forty Years of Evolution March 5, 2015
2017th Stated Meeting: Mr. g February 11, 2015
2016th Stated Meeting:
Policy Perspectives on Police Use of Lethal Force
February 4, 2015
2015th Stated Meeting: Replenishing the Innovation Pipeline—
The Role of University Research
February 3, 2015
Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi: Roundtable Discussion January 22, 2015


Restoring the Foundation: Roundtable Discussion on the National Laboratories November 6, 2014
New Dilemmas in Ethics, Technology, and War: Project Meeting October 9, 2014

Academy Leadership

The Academy has a distinguished tradition of leadership, dating back to James Bowdoin in 1780.

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Charter of the American Academy

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has provided a forum for scholars, members of the learned professions, and government and business leaders to work together on behalf of the democratic interests of the republic. As stated in the Academy’s Charter, the “end and design of the institution cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”

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Seal of the Academy

With Minerva — the goddess of wisdom, science and trade, the arts, and war — as the principal figure, the Academy’s seal “...depicts the situation of a new country, depending principally on agriculture but attending at the same time to arms, commerce, and the sciences...”

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Academy Location

In 1981, the Academy’s first permanent home, known as the “House of the Academy,” was designed at 136 Irving Street in Cambridge.

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