Lots of laurels, but no resting

Thinkers, doers, creators, leaders. In every profession, industry and endeavor, our alumni are engaged at the top of their game. Take a closer look at the selection below, and discover how Brandeisians are changing the world.
Activism and Public Service
  • Deborah Bial ’87, education strategist; founder and president, Posse Foundation (MacArthur Fellow)

  • Josh Block ’95, CEO and president, The Israel Project

  • Alisa Gravitz ’77, president and CEO, Green America

  • Devika Mahadevan ’00, head, strategy and communication, Mann Deshi Foundation; director, Mumbai Mobile Creches

  • Rakesh Rajani ’89, director of democratic participation and governance, Ford Foundation

  • Julieanna Richardson ’76, founder, The HistoryMakers

  • Jay Ruderman ’88, president, Ruderman Family Foundation

  • Bobby Sager ’76, philanthropist

  • Sam Vaghar ’08, executive director and co-founder, Millennium Campus Network

Arts and Entertainment
  • Janice Burgess ’74, creator and executive producer, “The Backyardigans”

  • David Crane ’79 and Marta Kauffman ’78, co-creators, “Friends”

  • Tony Goldwyn ’82, film and TV actor and director (“Scandal,” “Ghost”)

  • Josh Gondelman ’07, comedian and writer, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”

  • Debra Granik ’85, film director and screenwriter (“Winter’s Bone,” “Down to the Bone”)

  • Bonita Hamilton, MFA’04, actress (“Lion King”)

  • Michael Kaiser ’75, founder and co-chair, IMG Artists; president emeritus, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

  • Myq Kaplan ’00, comedian

  • Jonathan Landau ’68, music producer and manager for Bruce Springsteen

  • Gary Lassin ’77, founder, Stoogeum (Three Stooges museum)

  • Debra Messing ’90, Emmy Award-winning actor (“Will & Grace,” “Mysteries of Laura,” “Smash”)

  • Anand Patwardhan ’72, documentary filmmaker

  • Theresa Rebeck, MA’83, MFA’86, PhD’89, Broadway playwright

  • Rosemary Rodriguez ’83, TV director (“Law & Order,” “The Good Wife”)

  • Kimerly Rorschach ’78, director and CEO, Seattle Art Museum

  • Michael Sugar ’95, movie producer (“Spotlight,” “Collateral Beauty,” “The Fifth Estate”)

  • Gary Tinterow ’76, director, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

  • Adam Weinberg ’77, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

  • Mitch Albom ’79, “Tuesdays With Morrie,” “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”

  • Stacey Ballis ’92, “Inappropriate Men,” “Sleeping Over,” “Room for Improvement”

  • Edward Dolnick ’74, “The Clockwork Universe,” “The Forger's Spell,” “The Rescue Artist”

  • Ha Jin, MA’89, PhD’93, “Waiting,” “War Trash,” “Nanjing Requiem”

  • Jesse Kellerman, MFA’03, “Sunstroke,” “The Genius,” “Trouble,” “The Executor”

Business and Industry
  • Steve Cloobeck ’83, founder and former chairman and CEO, Diamond Resorts International

  • Jonathan Davis ’75, CEO and founder, The Davis Companies

  • Amy Kessler ’89, MA’90, senior vice president and head of longevity risk transfer, Prudential

  • Brian Lash ’78, founder, Target Logistics

  • Olaf Olafsson ’85, executive vice president of international and corporate strategy, Time Warner

  • Robert F.X. Sillerman ’69, businessman and media entrepreneur

  • Simon Sinek ’95, business consultant and author (“Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”)

  • Sam Sisakhti, MA’07, founder and CEO, UsTrendy

  • Perry Traquina ’78, former CEO, Wellington Management investment firm

  • Tom Watanabe ’73, former president/CEO, Nikken Global

  • Lan Xue ’90, MA’91, founder, Hong Kong-based hedge fund

  • Arthur Caplan ’71, Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics, NYU School of Medicine

  • Angela Davis ’65, distinguished professor emerita in the history of consciousness and feminist studies departments, University of California, Santa Cruz; political and social activist

  • Deborah Lipstadt, MA’72, PhD’76, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, Emory University (profiled in movie “Denial”)

  • Michael Sandel ’75, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government Theory, Harvard University

  • Jonathan Sarna ’75, MA’75, University Professor and Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University

  • Judith Shapiro ’63, former president, Barnard College

  • Fernando Torres-Gil, Heller MSW’72, Heller PhD’76, professor and director of Center for Policy Research on Aging, University of California, Los Angeles

  • Julian Zelizer ’91, professor of history and public affairs, Princeton University; political commentator

  • Robert Zimmer ’68, president, University of Chicago

Government and Politics
  • Geir Haarde ’73, Iceland’s U.S. ambassador; former prime minister

  • Michael Horowitz ’84, inspector general, U.S. Department of Justice

  • Lisa Kubiske ’75, deputy assistant secretary for international finance and development, U.S. Department of State

  • Haile Menkerios ’70, head of United Nations Office to the African Union and special representative to the African Union

  • Dimitrij Rupel, PhD’76, former minister of foreign affairs, Slovenia

  • Daniel Shapiro ’91, former U.S. ambassador to Israel

Journalism and Media
  • Joe Conason ’75, founder and editor-in-chief, The National Memo, and author ("The Hunting of the President")
  • Thomas Friedman ’75, foreign affairs columnist, The New York Times (three-time Pulitzer Prize winner), and author (“The World Is Flat,” “Flat, Hot and Crowded”)

  • Walt Mossberg ’69, co-founder and editor-at-large, Recode (Loeb award winner)

  • Guy Raz ’96, host and editorial director of “TED Radio Hour,” “How I Built This” and “Wow in the World,” National Public Radio

  • Greg Zuckerman ’88, special writer, Wall Street Journal, and author (“The Frackers,” “The Greatest Trade Ever”)

Science and Mathematics
  • Paul Anastas, MA’87, PhD’89, Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment; professor of epidemiology; and director, Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, Yale University

  • Debbie Berebichez ’96, physicist, STEM advocate

  • Bonnie Berger ’83, Simons Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; first woman in MIT math department to earn tenure

  • Adam Cheyer ’88, co-founder, Siri voice-activated personal assistant

  • Susan Band Horowitz, PhD’63, co-inventor of cancer-fighting drug Taxol

  • Leslie Lamport, MA'71, PhD'72, principal researcher, Microsoft, and developer of LaTeX (Turing Award winner)

  • Roderick MacKinnon ’78, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Professor, The Rockefeller University (Nobel laureate)

  • Eve Marder ’69, Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience, Brandeis; member of advisory board for President Barack Obama’s BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative

  • Edward Witten ’71, Charles Simonyi Professor of Mathematical Physics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University (Fields Medalist)

  • Nelson Figueroa ’98, former pitcher, Major League Baseball; TV analyst, SNY

  • Jeffrey Lurie, PhD’87, owner, Philadelphia Eagles

  • Tim Morehouse ’00, Olympic medal-winning fencer