FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 22, 2024
Media Contact: J.A. Lyon, Director of Marketing & Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the private nonprofit organization that owns and operates Monticello, welcomed two new trustees to its Board: Dr. Danielle Allen of Harvard University and the Honorable J. Michael Luttig, former United States Court of Appeals Judge for the Fourth Circuit.
“At Monticello, we challenge a diverse public to better understand our country through rich, rigorous, site-based history and the experience of civic engagement,” said Dr. Jane Kamensky, who left Harvard to become president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation earlier this month. “Our new trustees are students of the nation’s founding and champions of democracy. They have spent their careers dedicated to scholarship and public service. Their track records of working across political divides make their engagement with Monticello’s work especially welcome as we embrace the generational opportunity of 2026: the 250th anniversary of the founding of this great nation.”
A leading political theorist, Dr. Danielle Allen is James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University. She is a professor of political philosophy, ethics, and public policy and director of the Democratic Knowledge Project and of the Allen Lab for Democracy Renovation. She is also a seasoned nonprofit leader, democracy advocate, national voice on AI and tech ethics, prize-winning author, and mom.
A past chair of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Pulitzer Prize Board, and former Dean of Humanities at the University of Chicago, Dr. Allen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. She writes a column on constitutional democracy for the Washington Post and is the author of many books, including the widely acclaimed Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship Since Brown v Board of Education; Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.; Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus; and, most recently, the magisterial Justice by Means of Democracy. Most directly linked to the work of Monticello is the Parkman Prize-winning Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, hailed as a “tour de force” by Gordon S. Wood, among others.
Beyond the University, Dr. Allen is a co-chair for the Our Common Purpose Commission and Founder and President for Partners In Democracy, where she advocates for democracy reform to create greater voice and access in our democracy, and to drive progress towards a new social contract that serves and includes us all. She and Jane Kamensky have worked together closely as co-principal investigators and implementation leaders of Educating for American Democracy (or EAD), working with a diverse and cross-ideological group of educators to transform the teaching of history and civics in schools and communities across the United States. Under Kamensky’s leadership, Monticello has joined EAD’s Community Learning Partners Task Force, which seeks to elevate the unique contributions site-based experiences make to our civic learning and health.
The Honorable J. Michael Luttig, who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington and Lee University and his law degree from the University of Virginia, was appointed to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. Prior to his investiture, he had served the administration as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel and Counselor to the Attorney General of the United States, 1990-1991; and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1989-1990. Judge Luttig had also served as Assistant Counsel to the President at The White House from 1981 to 1982 under President Ronald Reagan. From 1982 to 1983, he was a law clerk to then-Judge Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. From 1983 to 1985, he served as a law clerk and then Special Assistant to the Chief Justice of the United States, Warren E. Burger.
Judge Luttig is currently Counselor and Special Advisor to The Coca-Cola Company and the Board of Directors of the Coca-Cola Company, following service as Counselor and Senior Advisor to The Boeing Company CEO and The Boeing Company Board of Directors. He was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of The Boeing Company from 2006 to 2020. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Franklin-Templeton Mutual Funds, a Trustee of the National Constitution Center, a Member of the Board of the Society for the Rule of Law, Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Task Force on American Democracy, and a Senior Fellow of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation. With Kamensky and Allen, Judge Luttig serves as a member of the National Advisory Council of More Perfect, of which Monticello is honored to be a founding member.
Tobias Dengel, Chair of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Board of Trustees, noted, “We are confident that as we work towards our nation’s 250th anniversary, the leadership of our new President, Dr. Jane Kamensky, drawing on the unique expertise of our two distinguished new trustees, and the ongoing commitment of our long serving board members, will further Monticello’s shared vision to deepen and broaden our collective understanding of the history of the United States of America and democracy at Monticello. It is a great honor to welcome them to the board.”
About The Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello
The Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, the foundation seeks to bring history forward into national and global dialogues by engaging audiences with Jefferson’s world and ideas and inviting them to experience the power of place at Monticello and on its website. Monticello is recognized as a National Historic Landmark, a United Nations World Heritage Site and a Site of Conscience. As a private, nonprofit organization, the foundation’s regular operating budget does not receive ongoing government support to fund its twofold mission of preservation and education. For information, visit monticello.org.