Dr. Fanton is the President Emeritus of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers in the United States. Previously, he served as the Franklin D. Roosevelt Visiting Fellow and Interim Director at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. He previously was President of The MacArthur Foundation from 1999-2009.
Dr. Fanton holds a Ph.D in American History from Yale University where he taught and was Special Assistant to President Kingman Brewster. He was Vice President of Planning at The University of Chicago and for 17 years was President of The New School for Social Research. The New School includes Parsons School of Design, The Mannes College of Music, and the School of Dramatic Arts. He is past Chair of Human Rights Watch, Security Council Report, The Union Square Development Corporation, The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New York, and served as a Trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation. He is a Board member of the Scholars At Risk program and the Asian Cultural Council.
Dr. Fanton has authored several books, including Foundations and Civil Society, Volumes I and II (2008) and The University and Civil Society, Volumes I and II (1995, 2002). He is also co-editor of John Brown: Great Lives Observed (1973) and The Manhattan Project: A Documentary Introduction to the Atomic Age (1991).
He is now a Fellow at Hunter College and The New School for Social Research.