PRESS RELEASE: Civic Health Project announces formation of Academic Research Council and Advisory Council

Cambria Findley-Grubb • July 29, 2020 • 3 min read

Civic Health Project, a Silicon Valley-based grantmaking organization dedicated to reducing toxic partisanship in the U.S., today announced the launch of its Academic Research Council and Advisory Council.

“This is a significant moment in the rapid growth of our organization,” said Civic Health Project’s Founder Rob Romero. “Hyper-partisanship is one of the most corrosive forces in American society today and represents an existential threat to our democracy. Solving this problem will require mobilization across the political spectrum and from every sector. These advisors represent an expert coalition from the fields of academia, politics, philanthropy, and technology that will help accelerate our efforts to depolarize the country.”

Members of the Academic Research Council include:

  • Katherine Cramer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and author of The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.
  • Jonathan Haidt, Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, and co-author with Greg Lukianoff of The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. 
  • Shanto Iyengar, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
  • Robb Willer, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Polarization and Social Change Lab at Stanford University.

Members of the Advisory Council include:

  • Parisa Parsa, CEO of and former Executive Director of Essential Partners.
  • Duf Sundheim, Director of Strategic Planning and Legal Counsel for Technifex and former Chairman of the California Republican Party
  • Laura Maristany, Associate Director for Constructive Politics at Democracy Fund.

These advisory bodies will provide invaluable guidance as Civic Health Project identifies scalable solutions that are informed by leading academic research. “Our advisors will play a vital role in another of our goals: to galvanize philanthropic investment in depolarization work and establish this issue as a key priority among institutional and individual funders nationally,” Romero said.

Civic Health Project (CHP) is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting healthier public discourse and decision-making across our citizenry, politics, and media. Through grantmaking and advocacy, CHP supports initiatives that empower Americans to reject tribal partisanship and come together to solve our nation’s greatest challenges.

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