Kenneth Prewitt

Columbia University
Political scientist; Educator; Government agency and academic administrator; Foundation executive
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Political Science


Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs and Vice-President for Global Centers at Columbia University. He taught Political Science at the University of Chicago from 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 also 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. He is a fellow of 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 and a Lifetime National Associate of the NRC/NAS. His current research focuses on role of the census in democratic politics. He has authored or coauthored another half-dozen books and more than 100 articles and book chapters. He is currently completing Counting the Races of America: Do We Still Need To? Do We Still Want To?

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