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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Advisory Board

Photo of the Boisi Center Advisory Board

The Boisi Center Advisory Board, 2011. Front Row, left to right: Anna Greenberg, Kay L. Schlozman, Ourida Mostefai. Back Row, left to right: Paul Baumann, Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, Erik Owens, Nancy Tatom Ammerman, Alan Wolfe, Cullen Murphy.

AmmermanNancy Tatom Ammerman
Dr. Nancy Ammerman has spent more than a decade studying American religious organizations and the people who participate in them. Her 2005 book, Pillars of Faith: American Congregations and their Partners (University of California Press) describes the common organizational patterns that shape the work of America’s diverse communities of faith.  It was named distinguished book of the year by the American Sociological Association’s Religion Section.   She has also written extensively on conservative religious movements.  Her 1990 book, Baptist Battles: Social Change and Religious Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention (Rutgers University Press), was named distinguished book of the year by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR).  She has served as President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, the ASA Religion Section, and the SSSR and has lectured widely in the U.S., Europe, Israel, South Africa, and China.  Currently, with funding from the Templeton Foundation, she is exploring “Spiritual Narratives in Everyday Life,” a research project that will analyze how and when religion is present in the everyday worlds of ordinary Americans.  Nancy earned the Ph.D. degree from Yale University and is currently Professor of Sociology of Religion at Boston University, with appointments in the School of Theology and the Department of Sociology, where she is serving as the department’s interim chair.   

BaneMary Jo Bane

Mary Jo Bane is Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management, Academic Dean, and Chair of the Management and Leadership area. She is currently a professor at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. From 1993 to 1996 she was Assistant Secretary for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From 1992 to 1993 she was Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services, where she previously served as Executive Deputy Commissioner from 1984 to 1986. From 1987 to 1992, at the Kennedy School, she was Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. She is the author of a number of books and articles on poverty, welfare, families, and the role of churches in civic life. She is currently doing research on poverty in the United States and international context. She lives in Dorchester, Massachusetts, with her husband Kenneth Winston and enjoys hiking, gardening, and reading novels.

GreenbergAnna Greenberg
Anna Greenberg is Vice President at the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and is a leading Democratic pollster and polling expert. She advises advocacy organizations, foundations, and political campaigns. Greenberg is one of America’s leading experts on public opinion and religion, youth, and women’s health.  Greenberg's academic research focused on the role that churches play in communities and politics, and she has published on faith based initiatives.  More recently, she conducts research on religion and values in public life for PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and on youth and religious identity for Reboot, a network of young Jewish professionals. Greenberg has played a key role in helping to elect Democratic women to Congress, including, in 2006, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She has also polled extensively for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, EMILY’s List, and other independent expenditure campaigns. In the 2004 election cycle, she worked closely with organizations involved in the presidential campaign including, edia Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Women’s Voices Women Vote, and the League of Conservation Voters, helping them develop message, advertising, and targeting strategies. Greenberg has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and taught at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She was a visiting scholar at the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and is currently a research fellow at American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies.

HehirRev. J. Bryan Hehir
J. Bryan Hehir is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also an advisor to Cardinal Sean O'Malley and Secretary for Social Services in the Archdiocese of Boston. Prior to assuming these positions, Father Hehir served as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the national network of Charities in the United States, from 2001-2003. From 1973-1992, he served on the staff of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops in Washington, D.C., addressing issues of both foreign and domestic policy for the church in the United States. From 1984-1992, he served on the faculty at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. From 1993-2001, he served on the Harvard Divinity School faculty as Professor of the Practice in Religion and Society. From 1998-2001 he served as Interim Dean and Dean of the Divinity School. Father Hehir took his A.B. and M.Div. degrees at St. John’s Seminary and his Doctor of Theology at Harvard Divinity School. His research and writing focus on issues of ethics and foreign policy, Catholic social ethics and the role of religion in world politics and in American society. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the Board of the Arms Control Association, the Global Development Committee, and the Independent Sector. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1984. His publications include: “The Moral Measurement of War: A Tradition of Continuity and Change”; “Military Intervention and National Sovereignty”; “Catholicism and Democracy”; “Social Values and Public Policy: A Contribution from a Religious Tradition”; and “The Moral Dimension in the Use of Force.”

Fr. J. Donald Monan, S.J.Fr. J. Donald Monan, S.J.
After serving 24 years as President of Boston College—the longest presidential tenure in the University’s history—J. Donald Monan, S.J. assumed the newly created post of Chancellor in August of 1996. Prior to joining Boston College in August of 1972, Father Monan held positions as Philosophy Professor, Academic Dean and Vice President at Le Moyne College in New York. Father Monan entered the Society of Jesus in 1942 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1955. He holds his doctoral degree from the University of Louvain in Belgium. He also conducted postdoctoral research at Oxford, Paris, and Munich. Father Monan has received more than a dozen honorary doctoral degrees from institutions ranging from Harvard and Boston College to the National University of Ireland. He is former chairman of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, served as a director of the Bank of Boston (1976-96), as interim president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (1996-97), board member of the Naval Academy Endowment Trust, the Yawkey Foundation, and recently chaired a Visiting Committee on Management in the Courts at the request of the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of The National Mentoring Partnership, of the Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership, of which he served as co-chair from 1992-2001, and of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. Father Monan is also a member of the Jesuit Philosophical Association, the Society of Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, the Society of Ancient Greek Philosophy, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Learn more about Fr. Monan at

CullenCullen Murphy
Cullen Murphy is the editor-at-large of Vanity Fair magazine. He was
previously, for two decades, the managing editor of The Atlantic
. Before that he was a senior editor at The Wilson Quarterly.
In addition to his work as a magazine editor, Murphy for twenty-five
years wrote the comic strip Prince Valiant, which was drawn by his
father, the illustrator John Cullen Murphy. Murphy's articles and essays have appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic, where he wrote a monthly column, Harper's, The New Republic, Slate, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, American Heritage, and Smithsonian. His books include The Word According to Eve (1998), about women and the Bible; Just Curious (1995), a collection of essays; and Rubbish! (1992, with William L. Rathje), an anthropological study of garbage. He is currently at work
on a book about the Inquisition.


SchlozmanKay L. Schlozman
Kay Lehman Schlozman serves as J. Joseph Moakley Endowed Professor of Political Science at Boston College. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She is co-author of Injury to Insult: Unemployment, Class and Political Response (with Sidney Verba); Organized Interests and American Democracy (with John T. Tierney); Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics (with Sidney Verba and Henry E. Brady), which won the American Political Science Association’s Philip Converse Prize; and, most recently, The Private Roots of Public Action: Gender, Equality, and Political Participation (with Nancy Burns and Sidney Verba), which was co-winner of the APSA’s Schuck Prize. She has also written numerous articles in professional journals and is editor of Elections in America. Among her professional activities, she has served as Secretary of the American Political Science Association and as chair of the APSA’s organized section on Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior. She is the winner of the APSA’s 2004 Rowman and Littlefield Award for Innovative Teaching in Political Science and the 2006 Frank J. Goodnow Distinguished Service Award. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


mostefaiOurida Mostefai
Ourida Mostefai is Associate Professor of French in the Romance Languages & Literatures Department of Boston College. She received a Ph.D. and M.A. from New York University, and a Licence de Lettres from the Université de Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle. Her fields of research include 18th century French literature, Rousseau, pamphlets and polemical literature, and strategies of reading and censorship. She is the author of Le Citoyen de Genève et la République des Lettres (2003) as well as numerous articles. Professor Mostefai is also the co-editor of Rousseau and l’Infâme: Religion, Toleration, and Fanaticism in the Age of Enlightenment (2009) and Approaches to Teaching Rousseau’s “Confessions” and “Rêveries” (2003). She is a past President of the Rousseau Association and has served on the editorial boards of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. She is a member of the editorial team preparing a new critical edition of the Complete Works of Rousseau for Classiques Garnier Publishers. In 2009 she was honored by the French National Ministry of Education with the award of Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques.