• Phone: 212-396-6535
  • Email: jfanton@hunter.cuny.edu
  • Website

  • Bio:

    Jonathan Fanton, the inaugural Franklin Delano Roosevelt Visiting Fellow at Roosevelt House, served previously as president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation from 1999 to 2009. Previously, he had been president of the New School for Social Research in New York City for 17 years.

    MacArthur is one of the nation’s largest foundations. Domestically, its programs encompass community development, housing, juvenile justice, and education, with a focus on digital media and learning. Internationally, it works in the fields of human rights and international justice, biodiversity conservation, population and reproductive health, international peace and security, and migration and human mobility. The Foundation is well known for its support of exceptionally creative individuals through the MacArthur Fellows Program.

    As president of the New School for Social Research from 1982 to 1999, he led the integration and enhancement of the seven divisions of the university, expansion of the Greenwich Village campus, and development campaigns that increased the university’s endowment ten-fold. During his tenure, the New School merged with the Mannes College of Music, established a drama school in partnership with the Actor’s Studio, merged with the World Policy Institute, added a jazz and contemporary music program, a teacher education program, a creative writing program, and an architecture department at Parsons School of Design.

    At Yale University, Dr. Fanton earned a baccalaureate degree in 1965, a master’s in philosophy in 1977, and a doctorate in American History in 1978. He taught American history, was special assistant to president Kingman Brewster from 1970 to 1973 and associate provost from 1976 to 1978. From 1978 to 1982, he was vice president for planning at the University of Chicago, where he also taught American history.

    Dr. Fanton is an emeritus board member of Human Rights Watch (HRW), the largest U.S.-based human rights organization, which operates in 70 countries. He served as Chair of HRW’s board for six years, stepping down at the end of 2003. He is also an advisory trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the founding Board Chair of Security Council Report. He is co-chair of Chicago’s Partnership for New Communities. He served as chair of the New York Committee on Independent Colleges and Universities and as co-chair of the 14th Street/Union Square Local Development Corporation.

    Dr. Fanton is the author of The University and Civil Society, Volumes I and II. He is also co-editor of John Brown: Great Lives Observed and The Manhattan Project: A Documentary Introduction to the Atomic Age.

    As Franklin Delano Roosevelt Visiting Fellow at Roosevelt House, Dr. Fanton works closely with faculty, students and other members of the Hunter community to develop robust programs in human rights, and will advise President Raab and others on strategic planning for Roosevelt House and other important college initiatives. He also serves as moderator of the Roosevelt House public program “Conversations on Human Rights and International Justice,” which brings leading figures in the field to Roosevelt House for informal conversations with Hunter students, faculty and guests.