The David Mathews Democracy Fellowship Award
This fellowship award is named for David Mathews, who served as president and CEO of the Kettering Foundation from 1981 to 2022 and is now president emeritus. While at Kettering, he led the foundation’s research on the work of democracy, focusing on peoples’ capacity to govern themselves and resolve their common problems. He led the creation of the National Issues Forums, which encourages deliberative dialogue over public issues. Mathews is the author of eight books and has written extensively on deliberation and democracy, education, and public policy.
Mathews served as secretary of health, education, and welfare in the Ford administration, focusing on restoring public confidence in government and reforming the regulatory system. From 1965 to 1980, Mathews taught history at the University of Alabama and served as president from 1969 to 1980, an era of significant change and innovation, including the integration of the institution. Mathews received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and classical Greek, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Alabama, and a doctorate in history from Columbia University. He is the recipient of 17 honorary degrees. In 2007, the Alabama Center for Civic Life was renamed the David Mathews Center for Civic Life in his honor.