Ira Katznelson has been Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University since 1994 and, since 2012, president of the Social Science Research Council. He served as president of the American Political Science Association in 2005–06, as chair of the Russell Sage Foundation Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2002, and as president of the Social Science History Association in 1997–98. His most recent book, Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time (Liveright, 2013), has been awarded the Bancroft Prize in history, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award in political science, the Sidney Hillman Prize for Book Journalism, and the J. David Greenstone Book Prize in history and politics. Other recent books include Liberal Beginnings: Making a Republic for the Moderns (Cambridge University Press, 2008), written with Andreas Kalyvas; When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America (Norton, 2006); and Desolation and Enlightenment: Political Knowledge after Total War, Totalitarianism, and the Holocaust (Columbia University Press, 2003). Professor Katznelson has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and he is a research associate at Cambridge University's Centre for History and Economics.
In addition to his current position as president, Dr. Katznelson has played a role in various SSRC activities over the years, notably as a member of the Committee on States and Social Structures, a major Council initiative connecting new analyses of modern states within the social sciences, and a contributor to that committee's volume on Bringing the State Back In (Cambridge University Press, 1985).