Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; President, The William E. Simon Foundation (212) 599-7000

James Piereson

James Piereson is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and president and trustee of the William E. Simon Foundation. During 1985–2005, he was executive director and trustee of the John M. Olin Foundation. Previously, Piereson served on the political science faculties of Iowa State University, Indiana University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught government and political thought. He serves on the boards of the Pinkerton Foundation, Thomas W. Smith Foundation, Center for Individual Rights, Philanthropy Roundtable (where he was chairman, 1995–99), Foundation for Cultural Review (as chairman), American Spectator Foundation, Hoover Institution, and DonorsTrust.


Piereson is chairman of the selection committee for the VERITAS Fund for Higher Education; selection committee member for MI’s annual Hayek Book Prize and for MI’s Simon and Cornuelle Prizes in Social Entrepreneurship; selection committee member for the Clare Boothe Luce Program for Women in the Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering; member of the grant advisory committee of the Searle Freedom Trust; publications committee member of City Journal and National Affairs; member of the executive advisory committee of the University of Rochester’s Graduate School of Business; board of visitors member of Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy; and advisory council member of Claremont McKenna College’s Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom.


Piereson is the author of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (2007), The Inequality Hoax (2014), and Shattered Consensus: The Rise and Decline of America’s Postwar Political Order (2015); coauthor of Political Tolerance and American Democracy (1982); and editor of The Pursuit of Liberty: Can the Ideals That Made America Great Provide a Model for the World? (2008). His articles and reviews on higher education and political ideas have appeared in The New Criterion, Commentary, National Interest, American Political Science Review, Public Interest, Journal of Politics, Philanthropy, The American Spectator, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, and National Review. Piereson holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University.