Michele Moody-Adams is Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal Theory at Columbia University, where she served as Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education from 2009-2011. Before Columbia, she taught at Cornell University, where she was Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Director of the Program on Ethics and Public Life. She has also taught at Wellesley College, the University of Rochester, and Indiana University, where she served as an Associate Dean.
She has published on equality and social justice, moral psychology and virtues, and the philosophical implications of gender and race. She is the author of Making Space for Justice: Social Movements, Collective Imagination and Political Hope (2022). She is also the author of a widely cited book on moral relativism, Fieldwork in Familiar Places: Morality, Culture and Philosophy (1997) and a co-author on the multi-author work Against Happiness ( 2023). Her current work includes articles on academic freedom, equal educational opportunity, and democratic disagreement, and the epistemic and moral requirements that frame a proper understanding of history. She is currently working on two book projects: one on Renewing Democracy and a second to be titled Reclaiming the Idea of the Human.
Moody-Adams has a B.A. from Wellesley College, a second B.A. from Oxford University, and earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University. She has been a British Marshall Scholar, an NEH Fellow, and is a lifetime Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.