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F. Duane Ackerman. Chairman Emeritus of BellSouth Corporation. A Rollins alumnus with two degrees (physics and business), he is also immediate past chairman of the national Council on Competitiveness, as well as the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. He serves on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and is a former member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
Maya Angelou. Poet, educator, historian, actor, playwright, civil-rights activist. In 1981, she was appointed to a lifetime position as the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. Her most recent work is hallelujah! the welcome table.
Carol Christ. President of Smith College, former provost of the University of California at Berkeley. She hopes to leverage the Smith experience to advocate for expanded hiring of women on science faculties nationwide. She is interested in trying to communicate "a more urban sense" of the world to students.
Francis Fukuyama. Johns Hopkins University professor of international political economy and director of its International Development Program. He has written extensively on democratization and international political economy, culture and social capital in modern economic life, and social consequences of an information economy. He is widely credited with influencing the direction of modern social and political philosophy and public policy; his latest book is America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy.
Jaron Lanier. Computer scientist, composer of chamber and orchestra music, visual artist, author. Frequently associated with "Virtual Reality," he is currently Interdisciplinary Scholar-in-Residence at the University of California at Berkeley's Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology; he has also served as a visiting faculty member at Columbia, Dartmouth, and NYU. Topics of his writing include high-technology business, the social impact of technological practices, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism.
Steven Pinker. Experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, and writer. Known for his spirited and wide-ranging defense of evolutionary psychology, his publications How the Mind Works (1997) and The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002) are seminal works of modern evolutionary psychology.
Sally K. Ride. A former NASA astronaut and the first American woman in space, president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, and a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego (currently on leave). Sally Ride Science is a company dedicated to supporting girls' interests in mathematics, science, and technology. The company creates programs and publications for girls that engage them and encourage their interests.
Salman Rushdie. Booker Prize-winning author, intellectual, political activist. Rushdie is considered a martyr for free speech and a purveyor of story as political statement. He is noted both for his literary achievements and for the controversy surrounding them. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), led orthodox Iranian leadership to issue a fatwa (death sentence) against him. His most recent non-fiction collection, Step Across This Line (2002), considers a range of topics, including film, music, sport, culture, and literature.
Anna Deavere Smith. Playwright, actor, activist. Smith explores issues of race, community and character in America. She was awarded the MacArthur Foundation "genius" Fellowship for creating "a new form of theater—a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism and intimate reverie." In 1998 she founded, along with the Ford Foundation, The Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue.
E. O. Wilson. Harvard University Professor Emeritus and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes (The Ants and On Human Nature), considered by many to be the father of the modern environmental movement.