Visiting Committee to the Social Science Research Council

This advisory group brings a wide range of knowledge and experience to critical questions of organizational and programmatic strategy. Members are drawn from across a spectrum of business and academic backgrounds, expanding the Council’s networks and representing a diversity of viewpoints and skills.

Current members:

Sara Miller McCune, Chair

Cofounder, SAGE Publishing
Board of Directors, SSRC

Sara Miller McCune is the cofounder and executive chairman of SAGE Publishing, a global publishing house headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California, with offices in Washington, DC, London, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Cairo, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore. Sara has created the Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy, which publishes Pacific Standard, and the McCune Foundation, which offers practical assistance primarily to community-based organizations in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Sara serves on the Board of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and the Board of Directors of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. She is a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York.

Fay Lomax Cook

Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University
Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research

Fay Lomax Cook is Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University and Faculty Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research, where she was director for 16 years. From 2014 to 2018, she served as Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation and headed the Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences. She is the author of many scholarly articles and book chapters as well as five books, including Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America. Fay is past president of the Gerontological Society of America, an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. She has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. She served as co-chair for the White House National Science and Technology Council’s interagency Social and Behavioral Sciences Subcommittee of the Committee on Science and as co-chair of the Federal interagency committee to assess research needs related to the nation’s opioid crisis.

Jonathan Fanton

President Emeritus, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Former President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Before assuming the presidency of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Jonathan Fanton served as Franklin D. Roosevelt Visiting Fellow and interim director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Those appointments followed a decade of service at the helm of the MacArthur Foundation. Earlier, he was vice president for planning at the University of Chicago, then, for seventeen years, he led the New School as president. Jonathan holds a PhD in American history from Yale University, where he earned his BA.

Jonathan Freedman

Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
Jonathan Freedman is the co-leader of the Insurance and Financial Services practice in New York at the international law firm Sidley Austin LLP. His practice focuses on transactional matters in the insurance industry, including Capital Markets transactions, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Securitizations involving insurance companies. Jonathan serves on the Board of Visitors for the Columbia University Center for American Studies and on the Steering Committee of the Department of History Board of Visitors at Columbia. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. (magna cum laude) in History in 1978, and from Georgetown University Law Center with a J.D. in 1981.

Michael Gellert

General Partner and Cofounder, Windcrest Capital
Board of Directors, SSRC

Michael Gellert is a general partner of Windcrest Partners, which he cofounded in 1968, a director of Dalet Technologies, and a director emeritus of Seacor Holdings. Michael is active in a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Carnegie Institution of Washington, the New School, Human Rights Watch, the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, and the New York City Opera. He received an AB degree from Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School.

Cheng Li

Director and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center Cheng Li is Director and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center. Dr. Li is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at University of Toronto, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale University, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author/editor of numerous books, including Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform (1997), China’s Leaders: The New Generation (2001), Bridging Minds Across the Pacific: The Sino-US Educational Exchange (2005), China’s Emerging Middle Class: Beyond Economic Transformation (2010), Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership (2016) and The Power of Ideas: The Rising Influence of Thinkers and Think Tanks in China (2017). He received an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Princeton University.

Mark Kingdon

President, Kingdon Capital Management
Mark Kingdon is president of Kingdon Capital Management, an investment management company that he founded in 1983. Mark is vice chair of the Columbia University Board of Trustees and serves on the boards of the Harlem Children’s Zone, Carnegie Hall, and the New York City Police Foundation. In 1998 he endowed the C. Lowell Harriss Professorship of Economics at Columbia University in honor of his undergraduate teacher and mentor. Mark holds a BA from Columbia College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Peter Nager

Principal, Skyview Ventures
Board of Directors, SSRC

Peter Nager is a principal at the greentech venture capital investment firm Skyview Ventures. He is a former partner of the corporate advisory and investment banking firm James D. Wolfensohn Inc. Following the sale of Wolfensohn to Bankers Trust (BT), he became a partner and senior managing director at BT and assumed the same positions with Deutsche Bank upon its merger with BT. Earlier in his career, he was a lawyer at the firm Debevoise & Plimpton, specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Nager is president of the Beaver Dam Sanctuary in Westchester, NY. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Black Box Institute in Toronto, Canada. Previously, Nager served as president of Symphony Space on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, as chairman of Central Park SummerStage, and on the Executive Committee of the Caramoor Center for Music and Arts in Westchester County, NY.

David K. Park

Member, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University
Honorary Distinguished Professor, SolBridge International School of Business

David K. Park is Member, Committee for Global Thought, Columbia University and Honorary Distinguished Professor, SolBridge International School of Business. He is also an affiliated member of the Data Sciences Institute, fellow at the Center for the Management of Systemic Risk, and founding member of the Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia University. His current research focuses on comparing the mechanisms driving the industrial and digital revolutions, ecosystems of innovation and future(s) of capitalism. He has co-founded several New York-based technology companies. Dr. Park received his B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland and his PhD in political science from Columbia.

Joseph Schull

Founder, Corten Capital
Based in London, Joseph is the founder of Corten Capital. Until 2018 he was a Special Limited Partner for Warburg Pincus, where he had previously lead Warburg’s technology, media and telecommunications investments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as a member of the Executive Management Group, which coordinates the firm’s activities on a global basis. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus in 1998, Joseph was Deputy Director of the International Affairs program at the Ford Foundation where he developed a new foundation initiative focused on Russia and Eastern Europe. Joseph holds a B.A. and M.A. from McGill University and a D. Phil. from Oxford University, where he was University Lecturer from 1990 to 1991.

Marina v.N. Whitman

Professor Emerita of Business Administration and Public Policy, University of Michigan
Former Vice President, General Motors Corporation

Marina v.N. Whitman is professor of business administration and public policy at the University of Michigan. From 1979 to 1992 she was an executive at the General Motors Corporation, first as vice president and chief economist and later as group vice president for the Public Affairs Staffs Group. Prior to her appointment at GM, Marina was a member of the economics faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. She served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1972 to 1973. Her books include New World, New Rules: The Changing Role of the American Corporation (1999) and her memoir, The Martian’s Daughter (2012). Marina received an AB in government from Radcliffe College and her MA and PhD in economics from Columbia University.

Harriet Zuckerman

Former Senior Vice President, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Former SSRC Board Member

Harriet Zuckerman retired from the Mellon Foundation in 2010, where she was vice president. She has been a trustee of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a member of the board of Annual Reviews Inc. She has also served on the Committee of Selection of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation as well as on its Educational Advisory Board, and on the boards of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Social Studies of Science. Harriet received her AB from Vassar College and PhD from Columbia University, where she was professor of sociology for twenty-seven years and chair of the department from 1978 to 1982.