Leon Botstein has been president of Bard College since 1975, where he is also the Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities.
Under Botstein’s leadership, Bard has pursued an innovative international strategy, exemplified by its participation in Smolny College, a joint initiative with St. Petersburg University (Russia), the American University of Central Asia, (Kyrgyz Republic), and the Al Quds-Bard Honors College (Jerusalem).
A respected commentator on American education, he is the author of Jefferson’s Children: Education and the Promise of American Culture.
He received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in European history from Harvard. He was awarded the National Arts Club Gold Medal in 1995, the Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences in 1996, and the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003.
Dr. Botstein formerly served as president of Franconia College, lecturer in history at Boston University, special assistant to the president of the New York City Board of Education, and past chairman of the New York Council for the Humanities. He is a 2009 recipient of the Carnegie Foundation’s Academic Leadership Award.
He is music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Yale–New Haven Teachers Institute, board chair of the Central European University and a board member of the Open Society Institute.