Harvard Law School Professor Annette Gordon-Reed ’84 was recently appointed to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ newly-established Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, a national commission charged with bolstering teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences. Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust will also take part in the initiative.

The 42-member Commission was formed in response to a bipartisan request from United States Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Representatives Tom Petri (R-Wisconsin) and David Price (D-North Carolina), and will be chaired by Richard H. Brodhead, President of Duke University, and John W. Rowe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Exelon Corporation.

Other prominent Americans from the humanities, the social sciences, the physical and life sciences, business, law, philanthropy, the arts, and the media will also be involved in the initiative. The aim of the Commission will be to present actions that the represented institutions can take to maintain national excellence in each member’s respective field. Their findings will serve as a companion to a forthcoming report of the National Academies on the future of the research university and ways to strengthen the American scientific enterprise.

In addition to her appointment at Harvard Law School , Gordon-Reed holds a professorship in history on the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and she is also the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In September 2010, she was awarded the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award. Her most recent book is “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” (W.W. Norton, 2008).

Further information about the initiative, including a full list of Commission Members, can be found at http://www.humanitiescommission.org.