Adam B. Seligman, President
Seligman is a professor of religion at Boston University and research associate at the university’s Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs. He has taught at universities in the United States, Israel, and Hungary, where he was a Fulbright Fellow from 1990 to 1992. He lived for close to 20 years in Israel, where he was a member of Kibbutz Kerem Shalom in the early 1970s. His books include The Idea of Civil Society (Free Press 1992); Inner-Worldly Individualism (Transaction Press 1994); The Problem of Trust (Princeton University Press 1997); Modernity’s Wager: Authority, the Self and Transcendence (Princeton University Press 2000); Market and Community: The Bases of Social Order, Revolution, and Relegitimation (with Mark Lichbach) (Penn State University Press 2000); Modest Claims: Dialogues and Essays on Tolerance and Tradition (Notre Dame University Press 2004); Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity (with Robert Weller, Michael Puett, and Bennett Simon) (Oxford University Press 2008); and Rethinking Pluralism: Ritual, Experience, and Ambiguity (with Robert Weller) (Oxford University Press 2012). His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He founded the International Summer School on Religion and Public Life in Sarajevo in 2002 and facilitated its growth into CEDAR.
Fredriksen teaches comparative religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has published widely on the social and intellectual history of ancient Christianity and pagan-Jewish-Christian relations in the Roman Empire. The author of Augustine on Romans (Scholars Press 1982) and From Jesus to Christ (1988; 2000 Yale University Press), her Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews (Vintage 1999), won a 1999 National Jewish Book Award. More recently, Fredriksen explored the development of Christian anti-Judaism, and Augustine’s singular response to it, in Augustine and the Jews: A Christian Defense of Jews and Judaism (Doubleday 2010), and she investigated the shifting conceptions of God and of humanity in Sin: The Early History of an Idea (Princeton University Press 2012). A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she has appeared widely in the media, both here and abroad, and has been featured on BBC, NBC, ABC, the Discovery Channel, and the History Channel; she is also a contributor to the Washington Post and Newsweek. She and her family divide their time between Boston and Jerusalem.
Sumka is an expert in post-conflict reconstruction and development in fragile and conflict-ridden regions, who recently completed a 25-year career with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). For more than 17 of those years, he lived and worked in Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East, operating as the director of USAID country missions in Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; and, most recently, the West Bank and Gaza. He provided strategic leadership for programs in complex multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies that fostered economic, social, and political development and delivered humanitarian assistance. Sumka attained the rank of minister counselor in the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. In the West Bank and Gaza, he was intimately involved with U.S. efforts to stimulate and advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by helping to build the institutions of a Palestinian state. During his four-year tenure, USAID directed more than $1.6 billion toward this effort. In Sarajevo from 2002 to 2006, Sumka led USAID’s programs to help rebuild Bosnia and Herzegovina’s multi-ethnic society. As the USAID director in Albania from 1999 to 2002, he rebuilt the mission and its programs following two security-related evacuations, managed its assistance to Kosovo refugees in 1999, and then led an extensive array of development programs for Albania. Sumka’s areas of technical expertise include low-cost shelter and urban development as well as governance and rule of law. Before joining USAID, he managed inner-city policy and research programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He received a PhD in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina and also holds degrees from the Stevens Institute of Technology and Northwestern University.
Winship, the Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology at Harvard University obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology and mathematics from Dartmouth College and a PhD from Harvard University in 1977. Following a one-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin and a two-year fellowship at the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC), in 1980 he joined the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University. During his 12 years there he directed the Program in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, chaired of the Department of Sociology for four years, was a founding member of the Department of Statistics, and held a courtesy appointment in Economics. From 1984 to 1986 he was director of the Economics Research Center at NORC. Winship has been a member of Harvard’s Department of Sociology since 1992 and is currently conducting research on several topics: The Ten Point Coalition, a group of black ministers who are working with the Boston police to reduce youth violence; statistical models for causal analysis; the effects of education on mental ability; causes of the racial difference in performance in elite colleges and universities; and changes in the racial differential in imprisonment rates over the past 60 years.