Eminent Americans from journalism, law, politics and higher education to work with foundation
The Charles F. Kettering Foundation today announced the appointments of seven distinguished Americans as Kettering Foundation senior fellows. These appointments are among the foundation’s most recent steps to implement its new strategic plan. The senior fellows are drawn from both major parties, with distinguished records in government, higher education, civil society, business and journalism.
The senior fellows are as follows:
Johnnetta Betsch Cole, former President of Spelman College, former President of Bennett College and former Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art;
James Comey, former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York;
Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government at Harvard University and coauthor of How Democracies Die and Tyranny of the Minority;
Chris Matthews, nationally known broadcast journalist, political commentator and author of eight books;
Maureen O’Connor, former Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, retired Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and cofounder of Citizens Not Politicians;
David Pepper, former chair of the Ohio Democratic Party and author of Laboratories of Autocracy and Saving Democracy; and
Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and recently involved in forming the Forward Party.
The Kettering Foundation will tap the unique strengths, interests and bases of experience of each of its fellows. In addition to amplifying their current activities, the appointees will be invited to contribute to the new Kettering Foundation blog series, From Many, We, be guests on the foundation’s new podcast series, The Context (launch date early 2024) and participate in Kettering’s public conversations as panelists, keynotes or moderators.
For more than 40 years, the Kettering Foundation has worked to strengthen citizen engagement in democratic societies around the globe. With last year’s appointment of Sharon L. Davies as its President and CEO, the organization has become more public facing in its work to enable it to respond to new threats to democracy and the rise of autocracy worldwide.
“With these appointments, the Kettering Foundation will continue its nonpartisan work to advance democracy and to combat the forces that seek to divide us,” Davies said. “Each of them brings to the foundation a record of integrity, accomplishment and commitment to democracy. I am delighted to welcome them and eager to provide a platform for their work.”
These senior fellows join two other recent appointments: distinguished broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff as the foundation’s Katherine W. Fanning Fellow in Journalism and Democracy and former Secretary of H.H.S. and former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as the first-ever David Mathews Democracy Fellow. The foundation plans to announce additional senior fellow appointments in the near future.
The Charles F. Kettering Foundation, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, operating foundation rooted in the American tradition of inventive research. Founded in 1927 “to sponsor and carry out scientific research for the benefit of humanity,” the foundation is inspired by the innovativeness and ingenuity of its founder, the American inventor Charles F. Kettering. For the past four decades, the foundation’s research and programs have focused on the needs of democracy worldwide. Today, the organization is committing itself to advancing inclusive democracies by fostering citizen engagement, promoting government accountability, and countering authoritarianism.