Alexander Elizabeth Aif2021

Elizabeth Alexander

President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, writer, and president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder in arts and culture, humanities, and higher education. She previously held professorships at Smith College, Columbia University, and Yale University, where she taught for 15 years. Alexander composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, and is author or co-author of 14 books. Her book of poems, American Sublime, and her memoir, The Light of the World, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Alexander is chancellor emeritus of the Academy of American Poets, an American Academy of Arts and Sciences member, and serves on the Pulitzer Prize board.

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