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Stanford Report, August 9, 2000

Sociologist McAdam to direct Center for Advanced Study

Sociology Professor Douglas McAdam has been named the sixth director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the center announced July 26.

"Douglas McAdam is an outstanding and visionary social scientist," said Harvard Professor William Julius Wilson, chair of the center's board of trustees. "He will be in a position to provide creative leadership at the center for many years."

McAdam will succeed Neil J. Smelser, the center's director since 1994, on Sept. 1. He was selected from more than 100 candidates nominated during a national search.

"[McAdam] is a distinguished, broad-gauged scholar who will provide unique and effective intellectual leadership as director," Smelser said. "Moreover, I know of no one who brings to the position an equal combination of administrative, interpersonal and diplomatic skills."

McAdam, 48, joined the university faculty two years ago. He was a fellow at the center in 1992 and 1998, and co-directed two summer institutes sponsored by the center in 1994 and this year.

"Having been lucky enough to spend two separate years [here] as a fellow, I fully appreciate the extraordinary impact the center can have on the pace and direction of one's work," McAdam said. "I will do all I can to maintain the unique character of the institution while looking for creative ways to enhance its academic mission."

The center, created by the Ford Foundation in 1954 and located in the foothills above the university campus, seeks "to increase knowledge of the principles of human behavior." It offers one-year fellowships that enable behavioral scientists to pursue their scholarly research free from their usual university teaching and administrative duties.

McAdam earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Occidental College in 1973 and his doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1979. He subsequently joined the faculty at the University of Arizona, where he remained until 1998.

McAdam is the author or co-author of eight books and more than 50 articles in the field of political sociology, with special emphasis on the study of social movements and revolutions. Among his best known works are Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970 and Freedom Summer, which was awarded the 1990 C. Wright Mills Award. SR