Board of Advisors
Michael Tomasky, the Editor of Democracy as of March 2009, is a highly respected writer and editor with more than 20 years’ experience covering American politics and helping to define and update progressive ideas. Tomasky has been at the forefront of defining the contours of 21st century progressivism for many years, first as a journalist in New York and, since 2003, in Washington.
In 2006, while editor of The American Prospect magazine, Tomasky wrote the much-discussed essay “Party in Search of a Notion,” which argued that the Democratic Party should de-emphasize its claims on behalf of particular interest groups and become a party of “the common good.” Such was the attention the essay garnered that it received front-page treatment in The New York Times - a rare feat for a piece of intellectual journalism.
Tomasky is American-editor-at-large for The Guardian (UK), where he writes a blog and monthly print column. He also contributes to the New York Review of Books, where he writes regularly on national affairs. He was a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center for the Press, Politics, and Public Policy in 2003. He has formerly worked for the New York Observer and the Village Voice. In 1995, he joined New York magazine, where he wrote a political column for the next eight years. He is the author of Left for Dead, on the rebirth of civic liberalism, and Hillary’s Turn, about the 2000 New York Senate race.
Elbert Ventura is the Managing Editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. Prior to joining Democracy, he was the Managing Editor of the Progressive Policy Institute and a Research Fellow at Media Matters for America. He has written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, Slate, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other outlets. He received a B.A. in English Literature and Political Science at Brown University and an M.A. in Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University.
Ethan Porter has written for Dissent, The Nation, The New Republic, and The Boston Globe, among other publications. He graduated from Bard College in 2007, where he majored in Literature and Political Studies. He is pursuing a doctorate in political science at the University of Chicago.
Editorial Board Bios
E.J. Dionne, Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University. He spent 14 years with The New York Times, reporting on state and local government, national politics, and from around the world, including stints in Paris, Rome, and Beirut.
In 1990, Dionne joined The Washington Post as a reporter, covering national politics. His best-selling book, Why Americans Hate Politics (Simon & Schuster), was published in 1991. The book, which Newsday called "a classic in American political history," won the Los Angeles Times book prize, and was a National Book Award nominee.
Dionne began his op-ed column for the Post in 1993, and it is syndicated to more than 100 other newspapers. He has been a regular commentator on politics on television and radio. His second book, They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era (Simon & Schuster), was published in February 1996. Dionne’s Stand Up Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge (Simon & Schuster) was published May 2004. His most recent book is Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right (Princeton University Press, 2008).
Dionne grew up in Fall River, Mass. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from Harvard University in 1973 and received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 1994-95, he was a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. In 2006, he gave the Theodore H. White Lecture at the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.
He lives in Bethesda, Md. with his wife Mary Boyle and their three children, James, Julia, and Margot.
Christopher Edley, Jr. became Dean and Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2004. Prior to his arrival at Berkeley, Edley spent 23 years as a professor at Harvard Law School. Edley’s research and writing focuses on civil rights and administrative law. While teaching at Harvard, he co-founded the Harvard Civil Rights Project, an interdisciplinary research initiative on racial justice.
Edley served in the Carter Administration as Assistant Director of the White House domestic policy staff. He later served as National Issues Director for Michael Dukakis’s 1998 presidential campaign and as a Senior Adviser on economic policy for the 1992 Clinton transition team. Under President Clinton, Edley served as Associate Director for Economics and Government at the Office of Management and Budget, as special counsel to the president, and as a consultant to the president’s Advisory Board on the Race Initiative. Between 1999 and 2005, he sat on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and in 2001 he served on the Carter-Ford National Commission on Federal Election Reform.
Edley is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Academy of Public Administration, a trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and the Century Foundation, and a member of the executive committee of the advisory board for the Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Academies of Sciences.
The author of several books, Edley used his experience working on racial issues in the Clinton White House to write Not All Black and White: Affirmative Action, Race and American Values, which appeared in 1996.
Edley received his undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, and a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the law review.
William Galston is Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Prior to joining Brookings in January 2006, he was a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, the Director of its Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, and Founding Director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Galston’s research and writing, which includes eight books and more than 100 articles, focus on political theory, public policy, and American politics.
Galston’s political involvement includes serving as chief speechwriter for John Anderson’s National Unity campaign, Issues Director for Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign, and senior adviser to Al Gore’s 1988 and 2000 presidential campaigns. Under Bill Clinton he served as Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy from 1993 to 1995.
After leaving the Clinton administration, Galston served as Executive Director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal from 1996 to 1998. He has also served as Director of Economic and Social Programs at the Roosevelt Center for American Policy Studies. He currently serves as a founding member of the board of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and as Chair of the campaign’s Task Force on Religion and Public Values. Galston has served on the editorial boards of numerous journals, including Ethics, The Responsive Community, and Perspectives on Politics.
Leslie Gelb is the President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. A respected foreign policy analyst, Gelb is a former correspondent, columnist, and editor for The New York Times. He won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism.
In 1967, Gelb joined the Department of Defense as the Director of Policy Planning and Arms Control for International Security Affairs, where he served until 1969, winning the Distinguished Service Award, the Pentagon’s highest honor. Gelb went on to be a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a visiting professor at Georgetown University, and, from 1973 to 1977, a diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times. He returned to government service in 1977, serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Political/Military Affairs. Gelb won that department’s highest award as well, the Distinguished Honor Award. He left the State Department in 1979 to become a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Gelb returned to The New York Times in 1981, serving as, in turn, national security correspondent, deputy editorial page editor, op-ed page editor, and columnist. Gelb became President of the Council on Foreign Relations in 1993. He moved into his current emeritus position in 2005. Gelb is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The author of several books, Gelb received the Woodrow Wilson Award for the best book on international relations from the American Political Science Association for his 1981 book The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked, co-authored with Richard Betts.
Gelb received his undergraduate degree from Tufts University and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Harvard University.
Elaine Kamarck has lectured on public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government since 1997. She served four years in the Clinton Administration, where she developed and ran the National Performance Review and worked on the President’s welfare reform task force. Kamarck also served as a domestic policy adviser to the 2000 Al Gore presidential campaign.
Earlier in her career, Kamarck served as Director of Special Projects for the 1980 Carter presidential campaign and as a staff member of the Democratic National Committee.
Since coming to the Kennedy School, Kamarck has directed the Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century program and has served as faculty advisor to the Innovations in American Government Awards Program. Kamarck’s research focuses on government reform, the role of the Internet in political campaigns, homeland defense, and intelligence reorganization.
Eric Liu is an author, educator, and civic entrepreneur. Liu co- authored The True Patriot with Nick Hanauer, and together the two have created the True Patriot Network to advance the book’s ideals of progressive patriotism. His first book, The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker, was a New York Times Notable Book featured in the PBS documentary “Matters of Race.” He is also the author of Guiding Lights: How to Mentor — and Find Life’s Purpose, the Official Book of National Mentoring Month, and is founder of the Guiding Lights Network, a mentoring advocacy organization.
His latest book, Imagination First, co-authored with Scott Noppe-Brandon of Lincoln Center Institute, explores ways to unlock imagination in education, politics, business and the arts.
Liu served as a White House foreign policy speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and, during the second term, as the President’s deputy domestic policy adviser. After the White House, he was an executive at the digital media company RealNetworks. In 2002 he was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow.
Liu lives in Seattle, where he teaches at the University of Washington and serves on the Washington State Board of Education, and on the boards of the Seattle Public Library, the League of Education Voters, the Swedish Medical Center Foundation, and the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, and a proud Seattle Public Schools parent.
Robert Reich is a professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. Reich has a long and distinguished career in public service, including four years as Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton.
A native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Reich graduated from Dartmouth College, Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar), and Yale Law School. He went on to serve as Assistant to the Solicitor General under Gerald Ford and to direct the policy planning staff of the Federal Trade Commission under Jimmy Carter. Reich co-founded both the Economic Policy Institute and The American Prospect, where he also served as Chairman.
Reich has written ten books, including The Work of Nations, The Future of Success, and Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America. In 2003 he received the Vaclav Havel Prize for his work in economic and social thought. Reich is also a prolific writer for newspapers and magazines, and he is a weekly contributor to National Public Radio’s “Marketplace.”
Susan Rice, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1997 to 2001, one of the youngest assistant secretaries ever. An expert on terrorism, conflict resolution, and international development, Rice had previously worked in various positions at the National Security Council, including Senior Director for African Affairs and Director for International organizations and Peacekeeping. In 2004 Rice served as Senior Advisor for National Security Affairs for the Kerry campaign.
A graduate of Stanford University, Rice received her doctorate at Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2000 she received the White House’s Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award, given for distinguished contributions to the promotion of peaceful international relations.
Isabel Sawhill is the Vice President and Director of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where she also co-directs the Center on Children and Family.
An expert on social and economic policy, Sawhill previously served as a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute and, during the Clinton Administration, as Associate Director of Human Resources at the Office of Management and Budget. Sawhill has also taught as a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, directed the National Commission for Employment policy, and served as President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Apart from her work at Brookings, Sawhill is the President of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and Senior Editor of The Future of Children. She has written and edited a number of books, including Welfare Reform: An Analysis of the Issues and Challenge to Leadership: Economic and Social Issues for the Next Decade.
Sawhill received both her undergraduate education and doctorate from New York University.
Theda Skocpol is a professor of government and sociology and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. A well-renowned political scientist and comparative-historical sociologist and the first female sociologist to receive tenure at Harvard, Skocpol is a past president of the American Political Science Association and the Social Science History Association, a past director of Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Skocpol is the author of nine books, nine edited collections, and almost 150 articles. Her first book, 1979’s States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China, won the C. Wright Mills Award and the American Sociological Association Award for a Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship. Her other books include Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life, Bringing the State Back In, and Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States, which won five scholarly awards.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Skocpol completed her undergraduate studies at Michigan State University and received her Ph.D. from Harvard. Along with her association posts, she has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Sean Wilentz is the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History and the Director of the Program in American Studies at Princeton University.
Wilentz is the author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (winner of the Bancroft Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Andrew Jackson, The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th Century America, The Key of Liberty: The Life and Democratic Writings of William Manning, and Chants Democratic: New York City & the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850, the last of which won several academic awards. He has also edited two volumes of historical works, Major Problems in the Early Republic and Rites of Power: Symbolism, Ritual and Politics Since the Middle Ages.
A member of the executive board of the Society of American Historians and a fellow of the Society of American Historians, Wilentz received bachelor’s degrees from Columbia and Oxford and his Ph.D. from Yale.
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas:
Join us for a discussion of Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer’s “The ‘More What, Less How’ Government”
on March 9 at NDN. Liu and Hanauer will be joined by Michael Lind of the New America Foundation, Megan McArdle of The Atlantic, and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post. Click here to RSVP
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas:
In our Winter 2010 issue, Shadi Hamid wrote
of the dilemma confronting the U.S. in Egypt. His closing lines: “Egyptians, along with Arabs and Muslims throughout the region, have demonstrated their desire for substantive political change. It is time we did the same.”
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas:
President Obama today announced the appointment of Gene Sperling as the new director of the National Economic Council. Readers who are wondering what to expect from Sperling can find their answer in the pages of this journal
Michael Tomasky: Progressives aren’t going to give up on government because of one election. A strong role for the federal government as incubator, nurturer, and watchdog is central to the progressive vision of society.
Rick Perlstein: Historically, nothing has terrified conservatives so much as efficient, effective, activist government.
Alan Wolfe: Rather than using government badly out of a conviction that it always fails, they now refuse to allow government to do its work at all.
Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer: What is government for? Over the last two years, this has been the dominant question of American politics. Yet so few leaders have offered coherent answers.