Andrew Delbanco

Andrew Delbanco became President of The Teagle Foundation on July 1, 2018, and has served on its Board of Directors since 2009. Since 1985, he has taught at Columbia University, where he is the Alexander Hamilton Professor of American Studies. Mr. Delbanco earned his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University.

Mr. Delbanco’s most recent book, The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War (Penguin Press, 2018), was named a New York Times notable book. It was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf prize for “books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity” and the Mark Lynton History Prize, sponsored by the Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, for a work “of history, on any subject, that best combines intellectual or scholarly distinction with felicity of expression.”

His other books include College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be (Princeton University Press, 2012), which has been translated into several languages; and Melville: His World and Work (Knopf, 2005), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times’ Book Prize in Biography. Mr. Delbanco’s essays appear regularly in The New York Review of Books and other periodicals on topics ranging from American literary and religious history to issues in higher education. He has won Columbia’s Lionel Trilling Award three times, for The War Before the War (2018), Melville (2005), and The Puritan Ordeal (1990).

Mr. Delbanco was elected president of the Society of American Historians for 2021-2022. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was a member of the inaugural class of fellows at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He is a trustee of the Library of America and previously served on the boards of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the National Humanities Center, and the PEN American Center. Mr. Delbanco is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. In 2001, Time named him “America’s Best Social Critic.” In 2006, he was honored with the Great Teacher Award by the Society of Columbia Graduates. In 2012, President Barack Obama presented him with the National Humanities Medal “for his writings on higher education and the place classic authors hold in history and contemporary life.”