Masters

Successful people understand the importance of passion in a teacher. They know, often from personal experience, that a great teacher can change a life. Our growing list of “masters” who want to help us support our strongest teachers includes Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners, academic superstars, MacArthur “geniuses,” artists, policy makers, politicians, and business leaders.

  • Azar Nafisi

    ​Professor of literature, ​Johns Hopkins University, and author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • Robin Nagle

    Anthropologist-in-residence for the New York City Department of Sanitation

  • Mae Ngai

    Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and professor of history, Columbia University

  • Mark Norell

    Macaulay Curator and Director of the Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History

  • Mary Norris

    Longtime New Yorker copyeditor, author

  • Francisco Núñez

    Conductor, composer, and founder of the award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City

  • Jeff Nunokawa

    Professor of English, Princeton University

  • Jennifer Oxley

    Emmy Award-winning co-creator of Peg + Cat

  • Dan-el Padilla Peralta

    Assistant professor of classics, Princeton University

  • Richard Panek

    Award-winning author of The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

  • Laurie L. Patton

    President of Middlebury College

  • Stephanie Pfirman

    Professor of environmental science and environmental and applied sciences, Barnard College.

  • Richard Prum

    Professor of ornithology at Yale University, MacArthur “genius”

  • Amy Richards

    Activist, writer, feminist

  • Christian M. Rojas

    Professor of chemistry, Barnard College

  • Jonathan F.P. Rose

    President, Jonathan Rose Companies

  • Jacqueline Jones Royster

    Dean of Liberal Arts and professor of English, Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Karen Russell

    Pulitzer Prize finalist for her novel Swamplandia! and MacArthur “genius”

  • Carl Safina

    Safina Center founding president, MacArthur “genius,” and professor at Stony Brook University

  • Portrait of George Saunders by Chloe Aftel

    George Saunders

    Award-winning author

  • Geoffrey Sayre-McCord

    Professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

  • Paula Scher

    Acclaimed graphic designer, principal at Pentagram

  • John Sexton

    President emeritus of New York University

  • Shobana Shankar

    Socio-cultural historian of West Africa and the global south, Stony Brook University

  • James Shapiro

    Professor of English, Columbia University

  • Russell Shorto

    Prize-winning author of The Island at The Center of the World

  • Daniel J. Siegel

    Clinical professor of psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine and founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center

  • Charles Simic

    Fifteenth US poet laureate

  • Sydney Skybetter

    Public humanities fellow and lecturer at Brown University

  • Tracy K. Smith

    US poet laureate, professor of the humanities, and director & professor of creative writing at Princeton University

  • Wil Smith

    Director, Seeds of Peace Camp

  • Stephen Sondheim

    Broadway composer, winner of multiple Tonys, Grammys, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

  • Allen Spiegel

    Dean emeritus, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

  • Art Spiegelman

    Graphic novelist, Pulitzer Prize winner

  • Eliot Spitzer

    Former governor and attorney general of New York

  • Sree Sreenivasan

    Social media strategist and former chief digital officer for New York City

  • Gloria Steinem

    Feminist, activist, and co-founder of Ms. magazine

  • Hanni Stoklosa

    Executive Director of HEAL Trafficking and ER physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

  • Cheryl Strayed

    New York Times advice columnist and best-selling author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things

  • James Tanton

    Author, consultant, ambassador for the Mathematical Association of America, chair of the Advisory Council for the National Museum of Mathematics, and a founder of the Global Math Project

  • Ramie Targoff

    Professor of English, co-chair of Italian Studies, and Director of the Mandel Center for the Humanities at Brandeis University

  • Nancy Tarshis

    Speech-language pathologist, special educator, and author

  • Maria Tatar

    Chair, Program in Folklore and Mythology, Harvard University

  • John J. Thatamanil

    Professor of theology and world religions, Union Theological Seminary

  • Shirley Tilghman

    President emerita, Princeton University

  • Isabel and Ruben Toldeo

    Fashion designer and artist

  • Deborah Treisman

    The New Yorker fiction editor and host of the New Yorker Fiction Podcast

  • John Tresch

    Mellon Professor in History of Art, Science, and Folk Practice, The Warburg Institute, London

  • Paul Turner

    Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University

  • Basil Twist

    MacArthur “genius” and puppeteer

  • Maurice Wallace

    Associate professor of English at Rutgers and contributing editor to James Baldwin Review

  • Thomas Wartenberg

    Professor of philosophy, Mt. Holyoke College

  • Yohuru Williams

    Distinguished university chair, professor of history, and founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative, University of St. Thomas

  • Deborah Willis

    Professor and chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

  • Peter Winkler

    Mathematician, author, and professor at Dartmouth and the National Museum of Mathematics

  • Ranald Woodaman

    Director of exhibitions and public programs, the Smithsonian Latino Center

  • Betty Yu

    Multimedia artist, photographer, filmmaker, and co-founder of the Chinatown Art Brigade

  • Jerry Zaks

    Broadway director and winner of multiple Tony Awards