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CASBS Announces New Board Members

From left to right: Xavier de Souza Briggs, Marcy Carsey, Abby Smith Rumsey, Katherine Stovel, Maryanne Wolf

Sep 30 2020

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The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University is pleased to announce that five new members have joined its board of directors. The new members possess a wide array of expertise and have established records of outstanding achievement. They also share a deep understanding of the Center’s mission of cross-disciplinary collaboration in service of generating and advancing human-centered knowledge.

All members serve three-year, renewable terms. Katherine Stovel began her service on September 1, 2019; Abby Smith Rumsey on October 1, 2019; and Xavier de Souza Briggs, Marcy Carsey, and Maryanne Wolf on September 1, 2020.

Xavier de Souza Briggs is distinguished visiting professor of business, public service and sociology at New York University and a non-resident senior fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. A scholar and educator whose work addresses economic opportunity and inequality, housing and urban development, democracy, and government effectiveness, Briggs also was a senior policy official in the Obama White House, a faculty member at Harvard and later the MIT, and most recently vice president of the Ford Foundation. He serves on the boards of the Global Impact Investing Network, Just Capital, and is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

From left to right: Xavier de Souza Briggs, Marcy Carsey, Abby Smith Rumsey, Katherine Stovel, Maryanne Wolf

Marcy Carsey was a partner with Tom Werner in founding the Carsey Werner Company, responsible for shows like "The Cosby Show," "Roseanne," "Third Rock from the Sun," and "That 70's Show." Born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, Carsey graduated from the University of New Hampshire and headed to New York to get a foothold in TV as an NBC tour guide at 30 Rock. She rose through many jobs on both coasts, culminating in being named head of series television at ABC in Los Angeles.  Her mom cheered. In 1980 she left ABC to form her own production company, and later Tom Werner joined her. They had a great run, and now she puts her energies into things like public education, social justice causes, and chairing the board of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Abby Smith Rumsey writes and lectures widely on analog and digital preservation, online scholarship, the nature of evidence, the changing roles of libraries and archives, and the impact of new information technologies on perceptions of history, time, and identity. She is the author of When We Are No More: How Digital Memory is Shaping our Future (2016). Rumsey served as co-director and director of the Scholarly Communication Institute at the University of Virginia (2002-2014); Director of Programs at the Council on Library and Information Resources (1997-2005); and managed programs relating to preservation of and access to cultural heritage collections at the Library of Congress (1988-1997). She serves on the Harvard Board of Overseers Committee to Visit the Harvard University Library, the Stanford University Library Advisory Committee, and the board of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

Katherine Stovel is professor and chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Washington. From 2014-2017 she was the director of the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences. Stovel studies basic questions concerning the dynamic interplay of social organization and social relations. Her research, which follows in the tradition of social networks analysis, examines how core social processes are expressed in particular settings, and why these processes occasionally result in new institutional arrangements or new identities for individuals. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and several private foundations. She was a CASBS fellow in 2008-09, and from 2013-17 served as the editor of the British Journal of Sociology.

Maryanne Wolf is director of the Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice at UCLA in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and the former John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. She is Chapman University’s Presidential Fellow (2018-2020) and past fellow (2014-2015) and research affiliate (2016-2017) at CASBS. Wolf's awards include highest honors from International Dyslexia Association (Geschwind and Orton awards) and The Dyslexia Foundation (Einstein Prize); Distinguished Researcher of the Year for Learning Disabilities in Australia; the Christopher Columbus Award for Intellectual Innovation; the national award from the Reading League for her contributions on reading research; and the Walter Ong Award for her work on the effects of different mediums on the intellectual development of the species. Wolf’s books include Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (2007); Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century (2016); and Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital Culture (2018).

“I am just thrilled Xav, Marcy, Abby, Kate, and Maryanne are now a part of this dynamic board,” said CASBS director Margaret Levi. “They bring a diversity of experiences and perspectives that are critical and necessary as we collectively steer the Center forward. Each shares our passion for using social science to better understand the full range of human beliefs, behaviors, interactions, and institutions. We all look forward to learning a great deal from them.”

The new additions to the CASBS board were enabled, in part, by vacancies created by other members rotating off the board. The Center acknowledges the service and contributions of outgoing members Gary King, (nine years of service), Ira Katznelson (six years), and John Dabiri (two years).

In addition, nine-year member Sara Miller McCune rotated off the board as an active member but retains the title of board member, emerita. She endowed the Center’s directorship in 2015; Margaret Levi serves as the Sara Miller McCune Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

“As we welcome our remarkable new board members, we are grateful to John, Ira, Gary, and Sara for their unwavering enthusiasm, support, and inspiring dedication to CASBS,” said CASBS board chair Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar. “The Center is better positioned to explore the crucial questions defining society’s challenges and possibilities in the twenty-first century because of their wisdom and insights.”

“Of course Tino and I will continue to benefit from Sara’s insights, emerita or not,” added Levi. “Before her board service, Sara had been visiting the hill for decades, meeting and collaborating with generations of CASBS-based social science scholars. She’s the biggest champion of the Center we’ve had and likely ever will have. We’re keeping her on speed dial.”

Read extended biographies and view the full list of CASBS board members here.