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About Us


Kai Bird

Kai Bird
Executive Director

Kai Bird co-authored with Martin J. Sherwin the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Knopf, 2005). He has also written biographies of John J. McCloy and McGeorge Bundy—and a memoir, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis (Scribner, 2010). His most recent book is The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames (Crown, 2014), and he is currently working on a biography of President Jimmy Carter.
Website: Kai Bird

Thad ZiolkowskiThad Ziolkowski
Associate Director

Thad Ziolkowski is the author of Our Son the Arson, a collection of poems, the memoir On a Wave, which was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award in 2003, and Wichita, a novel. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, BookforumArtforumTravel & Leisure, Interview Magazine and Index. He has taught writing and literature at Yale University, Vassar College, the Bard Curatorial Center and Pratt Institute, where he directed the writing program for fifteen years. He is the recipient, among other honors, of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Advisory Board

Blake Bailey
Robert A. Caro
Benita Eisler
Hermione Lee
David Levering Lewis
Nancy Milford
David Nasaw
Jay Parini
Stacy Schiff
Elisabeth Sifton
Ileene Smith
Annalyn Swan
Amanda Vaill
Simon Winchester
Brenda Wineapple

The Leon Levy Foundation

Leon Levy had a passion for expanding knowledge and believed in the power of ideas and a just and equitable society. This broad humanism also defined his philanthropy.

The Leon Levy Foundation, founded in 2004, is a private, not-for-profit foundation created from his Estate. The Foundation endeavors to continue Leon Levy's philanthropic legacy and to build on his vision, encouraging and supporting excellence in six broad areas: Understanding the Ancient World; Arts and Humanities; Preservation of Nature and Gardens; Brain Research and Science; Human Rights; and Jewish Culture.