The role of the Center Advisors is to offer guidance and support to Director Philip Kunhardt and help him advance the Center’s mission.


David W. Blight a Professor of American History at Yale University. He is also Director, of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale. He is currently writing a new, full biography of Frederick Douglass. Blight works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards of museums and historical societies, and as a member of a small team of advisors to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum team of curators. In 2012, Blight was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and delivered an induction address, “The Pleasure and Pain of History.”


Ron Chernow is an American writer, journalist, historian, and biographer. In 2011, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, the American History Book Prize, and is a recipient of the National Book Award for Nonfiction. His biographies of Alexander Hamilton and John D. Rockefeller Sr. were nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and his biography of Hamilton inspired the recent Broadway musical of the same name. He contributes to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.


Kathryn Wasserman Davis  (February 25, 1907 - April 23, 2013) was an American philanthropist and a founding supporter of the Center. She worked for the Council on Foreign Relations, and authored Kathryn W. Davis The Soviets at Geneva: The USSR and the League of Nations, 1919-1933. She was committed to funding projects for peace and along with her son Shelby Davis, a Princeton trustee, helped to create the Kathryn W. and Shelby Cullom Davis International Center.


Andrew Delbanco, winner of the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates, is an author whose work has been translated into several languages, including German, Spanish, Korean, Russian, and Chinese.  Professor Delbanco's essays appear regularly in The New York Review of Books and other journals, on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to contemporary issues in higher education. He is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, a trustee of the Teagle Foundation, the Library of America, and trustee emeritus of the National Humanities Center. In February 2012, President Barack Obama presented Professor Delbanco with the National Humanities Medal for his writings on higher education and the place classic authors hold in history and contemporary life.


David Hackett Fischer (born December 2, 1935) is University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University. Fischer received a B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and received the 2006 Irving Kristol award from the American Enterprise Institute. In 2006 he was admitted as an honorary member of The Society of the Cincinnati.



Doris Kearns earned a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. She worked as assistant to President L. Johnson until 1969 after which, she taught government at Harvard for ten years. In 1995 she won the Pulitzer Prize for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Homefront During World War II. In 2005 she won the Lincoln Prize, for Team of Rivals, a book about Abraham Lincoln's presidential cabinet, on which the 2012 film Lincoln was based.


Stephen Heintz is the sixth president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. He was a founding member of Demos and serves on the boards of Dēmos, the EastWest Institute, the Asian Cultural Council, and the Rockefeller Archives Center. He chairs the Independent Sector board of directors and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 the Nonprofit Times named Mr. Heintz one of the 50 most influential leaders of the nonprofit sector.


Elizabeth Hodder is Board Chair of Breakthrough Cambridge which is focused on making teacher training a priority. Prior to this role, Lissa taught Math and English, from pre-school through adult education, and went on to become Director of the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program at Harvard's Graduate School of Education.


William A. Johnson is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Brandeis University where he taught for many years and was chair of the Department. An ordained minister in the Episcopal Church, Dr. Johnson obtained his PhD from Columbia University, and has served at Canon of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He is the author of numerous works and has lectured around the world, including in India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Mexico.


Peter W. Kunhardt is a documentary film-maker who produces shows for HBO, PBS, and other U.S. television networks. He started KunhardtMcGee Productions – formerly Kunhardt Productions Inc. - located in Pleasantville, New York. He is the winner of three national television Emmy Awards and co-author of the book Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography (1992).


Dr. McGrath is an adjunct professor in the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and faculty member at the University of California Irvine Medical School and University of Rochester School of Medicine. Dr. McGrath works as a clinical psychologist and as the Head of the Behavioral Section of the La Palestra Weight Management Program.  She is the President and Founder of the educational and training center, Bridge Coaching Institute.


David Michaelis is the author of two bestselling biographies, including N. C. Wyeth, which won the Ambassador Book Award for Biography and Autobiography, given by the English-Speaking Union of the United States. He lives in New York City, and is currently working on a new biography of Eleanor Roosevelt.


Nancy Steiner is a television producer who has worked for NBC News in New York, and who was Katy Couric’s producer on the Today Show. In 2001 she and Couric won a Peabody Award for their series “Confronting Colon Cancer.” Nancy has produced numerous films for PBS, HBO, and other networks and is currently working on an American Masters production on Daniel Patrick Moynihan. She graduated from Hampshire College and studied at St. Peter's College, Oxford University.


Dan Tishman is vice chairman at AECOM Technology Corporation, and chairman and CEO of Tishman Construction Corporation, one of the country’s largest construction companies. Dan serves on the board of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, as well as on the board of the Meserve Kunhardt Foundation. A leading environmentalist, he also chairs the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council.


Douglas L. Wilson is a professor and co-director of Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College. Wilson is the George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and is the author of numerous books including Lincoln Sword (2006).


Jonathan Zimmerman is Professor of Education and History and Director of the History of Education Program, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He also holds an appointment in the Department of History of NYU's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Jonathan is a former Peace Corps volunteer and high school teacher.