Lee C. Bollinger became Columbia University’s 19th president in 2002. He is Columbia’s first Seth Low Professor of the University, a member of the Columbia Law School faculty, and one of the nation’s foremost First Amendment scholars.
As president, Bollinger has led the creation of several initiatives focused on the Fourth Purpose of the University: to extend the knowledge and capacity of the academy to address the world’s most pressing problems. He co-founded the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, established the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression Project, founded Columbia World Projects, and, in 2021, launched the Columbia Climate School, the first new school at the university in 25 years.
From 1996 to 2002, Bollinger was president of the University of Michigan. He led the school’s landmark civil rights litigation in Grutter v. Bollinger, a Supreme Court decision that for the first time upheld the constitutional right of colleges and universities to engage in affirmative action to advance diversity in higher education.
Bollinger is widely published, and his latest book, Social Media, Freedom of Speech, and the Future of our Democracy, co-edited with Geoffrey R. Stone, was published in August 2022 by Oxford University Press.
Bollinger serves on the Pulitzer Prize Board, and was a director of Graham Holdings Company (formerly The Washington Post Company) from 2007 to 2021. From 2007 to 2012, he was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he also served as chair from 2010 to 2012.
He is a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the recipient of ten honorary degrees and numerous awards.