Meet the Ghanaian professor who was elected president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Professor Anthony Kwame Appiah

Professor Anthony Kwame Appiah, a Ghanaian academic at New York University, has been elected president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Professor Kwame Appiah announced in a post on Twitter that he had received the Academy members’ vote to become President.

He will hold the position for the next three years and direct the affairs of the prestigious academy.

“Honored and delighted to be elected the new President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It will be both a pleasure and a challenge to serve the Academy’s purpose of fostering and maintaining an interest in the literature, music and the fine arts.”

Kwame Appiah is a professor of philosophy at New York University and a columnist for the New York Times.

A post from features Professor Appiah as someone whose scholarly work focuses on political philosophy, race, identity and culture.

He has served on a number of prestigious institutions and organizations, including Chairman of the Board of the Man Booker Prize Committee; member of the jury for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture; Chairman of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies; Member of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund and Member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Public Library.

In terms of awards, Professor Kwame won the Quinn Prize in 2020 among others.

Professor Appiah is believed to be the son of famous Ghanaian lawyer Joe Appiah. Lawyer Joe Appiah was an active member of Ghana’s independent struggle and is known as the first Ghanaian to marry a white woman in a church wedding.

About the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Their website background reads, “The American Academy of Arts and Letters is an honor society of the nation’s 300 leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Each year it elects new members as positions become available, administers more than 70 awards and prizes, exhibits works of art and manuscripts, funds performances of new musical theater works, and purchases works of art to donate to museums across the United States.

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