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 Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.
She has published on equality and social justice, moral psychology and the virtues, moral objectivity and moral relativism, and the philosophical implications of gender and race. Her most recent book, Making Space for Justice: Social Movements, Collective Imagination and Political Hope, was published in 2022. She is also the author of a widely cited book on moral relativism, Fieldwork in Familiar Places: Morality, Culture and Philosophy, and a co-author on the multi-author work Against Happiness (forthcoming in May 2023). Her current work also includes articles on academic freedom, equal educational opportunity, democratic disagreement, and the epistemic and moral requirements that frame a proper understanding of history. She is currently working on a book entitled Renewing Democracy and–in the longer term–hopes to complete a book on the thought of Martin Luther King, Jr.
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, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and is a lifetime Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.