Kathleen D. McCarthy is Professor of History at The Graduate Center and the Center’s founding Director. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.
She is the author of American Creed: Philanthropy and the Rise of Civil Society, 1700-1865 (University of Chicago Press, 2003, 2005); Women’s Culture: American Philanthropy and Art, 1830-1930 (winner, ARNOVA Distinguished Book Award) as well as many other books, edited volumes and articles on local, national, and international philanthropy, and has lectured on these topics worldwide.
Dr. McCarthy has served as Visiting Research Fellow with the Rockefeller Foundation; a consultant to The Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities; Assistant Secretary of the Metropolitan Life Foundation; President of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action; a member of the board of Independent Sector, and the advisory boards of the National Center on Nonprofit Law at New York University and the Rockefeller Archive Center; Treasurer and board member of the International Society for Third-Sector Research and the Editorial Board of VOLUNTAS. She was also a member of the informal planning group of, and delegate to, the first White House Conference on Philanthropy in 1999.
American Creed: Philanthropy and the Rise of Civil Society, 1700-1865 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003; paperback edition, 2005).
Women's Culture: American Philanthropy and Art, 1830-1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991). Winner of the Distinguished Book Award of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, 1994.
Noblesse Oblige: Charity and Cultural Philanthropy in Chicago, 1849-1929 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982).
Women, Philanthropy and Civil Society (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001).
"Women and Philanthropy," Special issue of Voluntas [Journal of the International Society for Third Sector Research] 7:4 (December, 1996).
The Nonprofit Sector in the Global Community: Voices from Many Nations (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1992).
Lady Bountiful Revisited: Women, Power and Philanthropy (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990).
"Philanthropy in the Reagan Years," Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 18:3 (Fall, 1989).
“Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” Reviews in American History 41:2 (June 2013): 306-311.
“Weibliche Philantropie und Offenlichkeit als tranatlantisches Phänomen 1790-1860,” in Thomas Adam, Simone Lässig and Gabriele Lingelbach, eds. Stifter, Spender und Mäzene: USA un Deutschland im historischen Vergleich (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2009): 17-40
“Foundations, Philanthropy and Civil Society,” Stanford Conversations in Philanthropy (Stanford: Stanford University, 2007): 89-96.
“Anonymous Donor,” Democracy, 4 (Spring 2007): 100-107.
“The Development of Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies in the United States,” edited volume on nonprofits and nonprofit studies, Wang Lin, ed. (Beijing: Tshinghua University, 2002).
“Women and Philanthropy,” in Patrice Flynn and Virginia A. Hodgkinson, eds., Measuring the Impact of the Nonprofit Sector (New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2002).
"Women and Political Culture," in Lawrence J. Friedman and Mark D. McGarvie, Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002): 179-198.
"Religion, Philanthropy and Political Culture," in Robert K. Fullinwider, Civil Society, Democracy and Civic Renewal (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999): 297-316.
"The History of Philanthropy and Nonprofits" Third Sector Review (Australia) 4:2 (1998):7-22.
"Philanthropy," in Wilma Mankiller, Gloria Steinem, et al., eds. The Readers Companion to Women’s History (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998): 443-5.
"Patronage of the Arts," Stanley I. Kutler, Robert Dalleck, David A. Hollinger and Thomas McCraw, eds.,Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996): VI-1725-1742. Reprinted as "Twentieth Century Cultural Patronage," in Andrew Patner, ed., Alternative Futures: Challenging Designs for Arts
Philanthropy (Washington: Grantmakers in the Arts, 1994): 1-22.
"From Government to Grassroots Reform: The Ford Foundation's Population Programs in South Asia, 1959-1981," Voluntas 6:3 (December, 1995): 292-316. Reprinted in Soma Hewa, ed., Philanthropy and Cultural Context: Western Philanthropy in Southern, Eastern and Southeast Asia in the Twentieth Century (University Press of America, 1997).
"The History of Women in the Nonprofit Sector: Changing Interpretations," in Teresa Odendahl and Michael O'Neill, eds., Women and Power in the Nonprofit Sector (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1994), 17-38.
"International Research on Philanthropy and the Voluntary Sector," in Ky-Hyun Jung, ed., Evolving Patterns of Asia-Pacific Philanthropy (Seoul: Institute of East and West Studies, Yonsei University, 1994): 17-40.
"International Issues in the Voluntary Sphere," (Belfast: University of Ulster, 1994).
"The Power of Women's Networks," Reviews in American History 21:4 (December, 1993): 666-670.
"Parallel Power Structures: Women and the Voluntary Sphere," in McCarthy, ed., Lady Bountiful Revisited: Women, Philanthropy and Power (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1990). Reprinted in David Hammack, ed., Making The Nonprofit Sector in the United States (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998): 248-64.
"From Cold War to Cultural Development: The International Cultural Activities of the Ford Foundation, 1950-1980," Daedalus 116 (Winter, 1987), 93-117. Reprinted in Communita (Milan, 1989).
"The Short and Simple Annals of the Poor: Foundation Funding for the Humanities, 1900-1980,"Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 129 (1985) 3-8.
"American Cultural Philanthropy, Past, Present and Future" Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 471 (January, 1984): 13-26.
"Nickel Vice and Virtue: Movie Censorship in Chicago, 1907-1915," Journal of Popular Film 5 (1976), 37-55. Winner of the Gish Award for Film Criticism, 1977.
Shorter book reviews and articles in Encyclopedia Americana ("Philanthropy"), American Historical Review, Journal of American History, Journal of Social History, Alliance, Voluntas, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, and Journal of Southern History.