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Kai Bird

Kai Bird
Executive Director

Kai Bird co-authored with Martin J. Sherwin the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Knopf, 2005). He has also written biographies of John J. McCloy and McGeorge Bundy—and a memoir, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis (Scribner, 2010). His most recent book is The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames (Crown, 2014), and he is currently working on a biography of President Jimmy Carter.
Website: Kai Bird

Joseph Murphy Joseph Murphy
Interim Associate Director

Joseph Murphy is a historian of nineteenth-century America specializing in antislavery politics and the coming of the Civil War. He successfully defended his dissertation, "Neither a Slave nor a King: The Antislavery Project and the Origins of the American Sectional Crisis,"  in April, 2016, and has been selected as the 2017-2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the New-York Historical Society.

Advisory Board

Blake Bailey
Robert A. Caro
Benita Eisler
Hermione Lee
David Levering Lewis
Nancy Milford
David Nasaw
Jay Parini
Stacy Schiff
Elisabeth Sifton
Ileene Smith
Annalyn Swan
Amanda Vaill
Simon Winchester
Brenda Wineapple

The Leon Levy Foundation

Leon Levy had a passion for expanding knowledge and believed in the power of ideas and a just and equitable society. This broad humanism also defined his philanthropy.

The Leon Levy Foundation, founded in 2004, is a private, not-for-profit foundation created from his Estate. The Foundation endeavors to continue Leon Levy's philanthropic legacy and to build on his vision, encouraging and supporting excellence in six broad areas: Understanding the Ancient World; Arts and Humanities; Preservation of Nature and Gardens; Brain Research and Science; Human Rights; and Jewish Culture.