William Galston

William Galston is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Formerly the Saul Stern Professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Galston specializes in issues of American public philosophy and political institutions. He is working on several high-profile projects pertaining to core questions of American public philosophy. Among these are how to ensure equity between generations in an aging society, and how to advance policies that are in the nation’s long-term interest in a political environment biased toward short-term gains. He also will be a leading contributor to a wide-ranging exploration of the causes, consequences, and possible correction of polarized politics, a new initiative at Brookings.

After serving as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and then receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1973, Galston taught for nearly a decade in the Department of Government at the University of Texas. In the 1990s, he served as deputy assistant for domestic policy to President Clinton, and later as executive director for the National Commission on Civic Renewal. Galston was also the director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, an organization he founded with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts. He has long been a senior advisor to the Democratic Leadership Council, and since 1995, has directed the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland.

He is the author of six books and nearly one hundred articles on questions of political and moral philosophy, American politics and public policy. His most recent book is Public Matters: Politics, Policy, and Religion in the 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005). Galston is also a co-author of Democracy at Risk: How Political Choices Undermine Citizen Participation and What We Can Do About It, recently published by the Brookings Press.