Press Release

American Academy of Arts & Sciences Names Leslie Berlowitz President


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has named Leslie Cohen Berlowitz President of the 230-year-old research center and learned society. Berlowitz has led the Academy as Chief Executive Officer since 1996.

In making the announcement, Louis W. Cabot, Chair of the Academy Board, noted that Berlowitz has presided over an unprecedented period of accomplishment.

“Leslie Berlowitz has dramatically raised the visibility and impact of the organization. She has expanded the scope and size of the research programs, enhanced our publications, increased the engagement of members around the country, created innovative new fellowship programs for early-career scholars, established an archives to conserve, catalog, and improve access to the Academy’s records, and overseen the most successful fundraising effort in our history,” Cabot said. “This new title reflects the value that the Board places in Leslie’s leadership and our confidence in her ability to bring the Academy to new levels of distinction.”

The Academy’s policy research program has expanded significantly during the past decade, with influential studies and publications on science and technology policy, global security, American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education. Berlowitz has helped to advance major Academy initiatives on issues such as energy policy, federal funding of science and technology research, the independence of the judiciary, and new norms for business practices. A national leader on humanities policy, she also led the creation of the Academy’s Humanities Initiative and its widely-cited Humanities Indicators, the first-ever comprehensive source of data on the state of humanities education in the United States. Berlowitz is currently directing the Academy’s response to a call from Congress to assess the state of the humanities and social sciences and their impact on the country’s education system, economic competitiveness, and cultural diplomacy.

In addition to its books and monographs, the Academy publishes the respected quarterly, Daedalus. In 2002, the Academy established the Visiting Scholars Program, a residential fellowship that supports scholars and practitioners in the early stages of their careers who show potential of becoming leaders in the humanities and social sciences. The program is supported by fifty-three academic institutions that are University Affiliates of the Academy. In 2008, the Academy began the Hellman Fellowship in Science and Technology Policy, a program for early-career professionals with training in science or engineering who are interested in transitioning to a career in public policy and administration. The Academy has also recently created an on-site archives facility to accommodate storage, workspace, and display areas for its archival resources in 2005.

“It is a great privilege to serve the members of the Academy,” Berlowitz said. “This is an historic organization with a vital contemporary mission. I am grateful to the officers and members for the faith they have placed in me and look forward to collaborating with the Board and the fellowship in the coming years as we work to serve the public good.”

Before joining the Academy, Berlowitz served as a Vice President at New York University, where she was responsible for policy formulation, academic planning, and major new institutional initiatives. The coeditor of several books and journals, she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy in 2004.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences ( is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,300 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs from around the world.