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Earl Lewis is President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, after serving for over eight years as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and as the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. He was the university's first African-American provost and the highest-ranking African-American administrator in the university's history.
Before joining the Emory faculty in July 2004, Lewis served as dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and vice provost for academic affairs/graduate studies at the University of Michigan. He was director of the Center for Afro-American and African Studies and also the Elsa Barkley Brown and Robin D.G. Kelley Collegiate Professor of History and African American and African Studies. From 1984 to 1989 he was on the faculty in the department of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Lewis, trained in history and psychology, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in 1984. He is author and coeditor of seven books, among them In Their Own Interests: Race, Class and Power in 20th Century Norfolk (University of California Press, 1993) and the award-winning To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans (Oxford University Press, 2000). Between 1997 and 2000 he coedited the eleven-volume Young Oxford History of African Americans. Lewis coauthored Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White, published in 2001 by WW Norton. His most recent books are The African American Urban Experience: Perspectives from the Colonial Period to the Present, coedited and published with Palgrave (2004), and the cowritten Defending Diversity: Affirmative Action at the University of Michigan, published by the University of Michigan Press (2004).
Other published material
Lewis has also written essays, articles, and reviews on different aspects of American and African American history that have appeared in many academic journals.
Positions currently and formerly held
He is a current or past member of a number of editorial boards and boards of directors, including the Graduate Record Exam, Southern Spaces, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is the past chair of the board of directors of The Council of Graduate Schools and is National Chair of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's Responsive Ph.D. Project. Lewis’s research and projects have been funded by the Rockefeller, Ford, Mellon, and National Science foundations.
In 1999, Lewis was a recipient of Michigan's Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award.