Our staff manages NAS’s day-to-day work and the journal Academic Questions. The Board of Directors oversees NAS’s budget and long-term strategies. The Board of Advisors brings together distinguished scholars from every field of higher education.


Peter Wyatt Wood

Peter Wood is an anthropologist and former provost. He was appointed president of the NAS in January 2009. Before that he served as NAS’s executive director (2007-2008), and as provost of The King’s College in New York City (2005-2007).

Dr. Wood was a tenured member of the Anthropology Department at Boston University, where he also held a variety of administrative positions, including associate provost and president’s chief of staff. He also oversaw the university’s scholarly publications and served as acting university librarian.

He received his Ph.D. in anthropology in 1987 from the University of Rochester. His dissertation, Quoting Heaven, examined the emergence of an American folk religion and pilgrimage center in rural Wisconsin. His undergraduate degree is from Haverford College (1975) and he has a master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University (1977).

Dr. Wood is the author of A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now (Encounter Books, 2007) and of Diversity: The Invention of a Concept (Encounter Books, 2003) which won the Caldwell Award for Leadership in Higher Education from the John Locke Foundation. These books extend his anthropological interest in examining emergent themes in modern American culture.

In addition to his scholarly work, Dr. Wood has published several hundred articles in print and online journals, such as Partisan Review and National Review Online, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.


Ashley Thorne
Executive Director

Ashley joined the NAS staff as director of communications in 2008, became director of the Center for the Study of the Curriculum in 2012, and became executive director in 2014. She received her master's degree in linguistics from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2014, and her undergraduate degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from The King’s College in 2007. In 2010 she published a chapter, “Ducking the Coffins: How I Became an Edu-Con,” in an anthology edited by Jonah Goldberg, Proud to Be Right.


Glenn M. Ricketts
Public Affairs Director

Public Affairs Director Glenn Ricketts joined the NAS staff in 1989. He was the founding president of the NAS New Jersey state affiliate, and served for 20 years on the NAS board of directors. A graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. He is also professor of political science and U.S. history at Raritan Valley Community College in Somerville New Jersey, where he has taught since 1982.


Rachelle Peterson
Policy Director

Rachelle Peterson joined NAS in 2013 as a research associate analyzing the campus sustainability movement. She graduated from The King’s College in May 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.


David Randall
Director of Research

David Randall joined NAS in 2015. He earned a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University, an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University, a master’s degree in library science from the Palmer School at Long Island University, and a B.A. from Swarthmore College. Prior to working at NAS he was the sole librarian at the John McEnroe Library at New York Studio School.


Ivan Vajdle

Ivan joined NAS in 2015 after graduating from Passaic County Community College with a degree in accounting. He also serves as an associate pastor at Christian Fellowship Church of God in Rockaway, NJ. A graduate of Baptist Theological Seminary (Novi Sad, Serbia), he received his M. A. in Theology from Tyndale Theological Seminary (Badhoevedorp, The Netherlands). Prior to moving to the United States, he taught in theological institutions and church ministry in his home country, Serbia. He is the father of two girls, Rebeka and Tara.


Christopher Kendall
Chief Development Officer

Christopher Kendall joined NAS in 2017 as a Development Associate. He graduated from The King's College with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Prior to working at NAS, he spent time studying at New College in Oxford University, and served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Texas House of Representatives.


Dion J. Pierre
Research Associate

Dion J. Pierre came to NAS after working for the Public Interest Fellowship in Washington, D.C. He is a 2016 graduate of Hofstra University where he majored in political science and minored in philosophy.

Carol Iannone
Editor-at-Large, Academic Questions




Felicia Sanzari Chernesky
Managing Editor, Academic Questions

Felicia Sanzari Chernesky returned to the position of managing editor of Academic Questions in October 2007. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English, majoring in American poetry, with a minor in French literature and a concentration in Latin. She began working for the National Association of Scholars in 1987, and served as an assistant director, editor of the NAS newsletter, NAS Update, and managing editor of Academic Questions. In 1993 she left full-time employment to begin raising a family. While remaining an independent consultant to the NAS, she also freelanced as an editor and writer. A published poet, she is pursuing an MFA in Poetry with an Emphasis in Formal Verse at Western State College of Colorado. She is also active in the New Jersey chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is represented by The Bent Agency.



Board of Directors


Herbert I. London is president of the London Center for Policy Research and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is the former president of the Hudson Institute. He is professor emeritus and the former John M. Olin Professor of Humanities at New York University. He was responsible for creating the Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 1972 and was its dean until 1992. This school was organized to promote the study of “great books” and classic texts. Herbert London is a graduate of Columbia University, 1960, and the recipient of a Ph.D. from New York University, 1966.


Stephen H. Balch is director of The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization at Texas Tech University. He previously served for twenty-five years as the founding president and then the chairman of the National Association of Scholars. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and was for fourteen years a member of the faculty of the Department of Government and Public Administration of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, part of the City University of New York. In 2007 he received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush. In 2009 he was the recipient of the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award from the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.


Professor of Music, University of Arizona, whose compositions include five symphonies, an opera, and numerous other works.



Professor of History, Central Connecticut State University, whose research focuses on modern Russian history.



Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he chairs the National Security and Law Task Force.



Founder and President of the American Civil Rights Institute, former President and CEO of Connerly & Associates, Inc., a land developing consulting firm, and a former Regent of the University of California.


Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University, where he is the Associate Director of the Law School's Center for Business Law and Regulation.


Professor of History, City University of New York, where he focuses on the economic history of France and French investments in East Asia.



Professor of Law, University of San Diego and member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.



Founder and Principal of Cohen Klingenstein LLC, a New York City investment firm; Chairman of Claremont Institute; and playwright.



Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin, where he specializes in the application of logic to metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, political philosophy, and philosophy of religion.


Former journalist and Wall Street businessman who worked at Lehman Brothers for 17 years as a Senior Vice President in the bond department and later as a managing director with Guggenheim Capital Markets. He has taught at Lehigh University, Temple University, and Villanova University.


Associate Professor of Political Science, College of New Rochelle, focusing his research in the foundations of American constitutionalism.



Founder and former CEO of Rabbit Semiconductor, a California manufacturer of embedded microprocessors and software for embedded programming; volunteer senior policy advisor, The Heartland Institute, Chicago. He writes about global warming from a skeptical point of view.


Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus, Ohio University; founder, Center for College Affordability and Productivity.



Department Chair, Philip M. McKenna Professor of Politics, and Co-Director of the Center for Political and Economic Thought at St. Vincent College, Latrobe, PA.


Robert Mundheim Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania, and an expert in civil procedure, appellate litigation, social welfare law and policy, and the law and economics of work and family.


Founding Associate, Wise Counsel Research Associates; formerly a philosophy professor, Boston College, and writing instructor, Boston University.



Current Board of Advisors

John Agresto
Edwin J. Delattre
Robert P. George
Gertrude Himmelfarb
Paul Hollander
Donald Kagan
Richard D. Lamm
Leslie Lenkowsky
Harvey C. Mansfield
Christina Hoff Sommers
Shelby Steele
Stephan Thernstrom
Virginia Thomas


Former Members of the Board of Advisors


Jacques Barzun
James David Barber
Walter Berns
Eugene D. Genovese
Irving Louis Horowitz
Harry V. Jaffa
Robert Jastrow
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick
Irving Kristol
Seymour Martin Lipset
Sir Hugh Lloyd-Jones
Nelson W. Polsby
Willard V. Quine
Leo Raditsa

Milton J. Rosenberg
Stanley Rothman
John R. Silber
Ernest van den Haag
James Q. Wilson