Brandeis counts among its graduates Pulitzer Prize winners, Emmy Award winners, best-selling authors — even a Nobel laureate. But it doesn't stop there. Brandeis graduates occupy leadership roles in virtually every walk of life. Here are just a few:

Activism and Public Service

  • Deborah Bial ’87, education strategist; founder and president, Posse Foundation (MacArthur Fellow)

  • Alisa Gravitz ’77, CEO and president, Green America
  • Devika Mahadevan ’00, CEO, Mumbai Mobile Creches

  • Bobby Sager ’76, philanthropist; former president, Gordon Brothers Group

  • Rakesh Rajani ’89, civil society leader in Tanzania

  • Robert Romasco ’69, president, AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons)
  • Andrew Slack ’02, executive director and co-founder, Harry Potter Alliance
  • Sam Vaghar ’08, executive director and co-founder, Millennium Campus Network

Arts and Entertainment

  • David Crane ’79 and Marta Kauffman ’78, co-creators, “Friends”
  • Loretta Devine, MFA’76, Emmy Award-winning actor (“Dreamgirls,” “Grey's Anatomy”)
  • Tony Goldwyn ’82, film and TV actor and director (“Scandal,” “Ghost”)
  • Debra Granik ’85, film director and screenwriter (“Winter’s Bone,” “Down to the Bone”)
  • Marshall Herskovitz ’73, director, producer and screenwriter (“The Last Samurai,” “Traffic," “30something”)
  • Michael Kaiser ’75, co-chair, IMG Artists; president, DeVos Institute of Arts Management, University of Maryland; president emeritus, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Jonathan Landau ’68, music producer and manager (Bruce Springsteen)
  • Debra Messing ’90, Emmy Award-winning actor (“Will & Grace,” “Smash,” “Outside Mullingar”)
  • Anand Patwardhan ’72, documentary filmmaker
  • Theresa Rebeck, MA’83, MFA’86, PhD’89, Broadway playwright
  • Gary Tinterow ’76, director, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • George Wachter ’73, chair, executive vice president, Sotheby’s
  • Adam Weinberg ’77, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York


  • Mitch Albom ’79, “Tuesdays With Morrie,” “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”
  • Karen Drogin ’87 (aka Carly Phillips), “Serendipity,” “Destiny”
  • Ha Jin, MA’89, PhD’93, “Waiting,” “War Trash,” “Nanjing Requiem”
  • Jesse Kellerman, MFA’03, “Sunstroke,” “Genius,” “Trouble,” “The Executor”

Business and Industry

  • Len Asper ’86, co-founder and managing partner, Syngus Ventures; president and CEO, Anthem Media Group
  • Tony Chang, PhD ’83, founder and director, Tech-Link Silicones
  • Steve Cloobeck ’83, CEO, Diamond Resorts International
  • Jonathan Davis ’75, CEO and founder, The Davis Companies
  • Jeri Finard ’81, president, Godiva North America
  • Brian Lash ’78, founder and CEO, Target Logistics
  • Olaf Olafsson ’85, executive vice president of international and corporate strategy, Time Warner
  • Lou Perlmutter ’56, retired senior partner, Lazard; senior advisor, Corporate Partners private equity fund
  • Robert F.X. Sillerman ’69, businessman and media entrepreneur
  • Sam Sisakhti, MA’07, CEO, UsTrendy
  • Perry Traquina ’78, CEO, Wellington Management investment firm


  • Arthur Caplan ’71, Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and head of the Division of Bioethics, New York University Langone Medical Center
  • Martha Kanter ’70, former undersecretary, U.S. Department of Education
  • Angela Davis ’65, former director, feminist studies department, University of California, Santa Cruz; political and social activist
  • Deborah Lipstadt, MA’72, PhD’76, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies, Emory University
  • David Oshinsky, PhD’71, director, Division of Medical Humanities, NYU Langone Medical Center (Pulitzer Prize Winner)
  • Jehuda Reinharz, PhD ’72, president emeritus, Brandeis University; Jewish historian; president, Mandel Foundation
  • Manuel Rivera ’74, prominent educator and inner-city superintendent
  • Michael Sandel ’75, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government, Harvard University
  • Jonathan Sarna ’75, MA’75, Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University
  • Fernando Torres-Gil, PhD’76, professor and director of Center for Policy Research on Aging, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Michael Walzer ’56, political theorist; professor emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study
  • David Yoffie ’76, Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration; senior associate dean; chair, executive education at Harvard Business School
  • Robert Zimmer ’68, president, University of Chicago

Government and Politics

  • Geir Haarde ’73, former prime minister, Iceland
  • Olubanke King-Akerele ’67, former foreign minister, Liberia
  • Lisa Kubiske ’75, U.S. ambassador to Honduras
  • 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, U.S. ambassador to Israel

Journalism and Media

  • Paula Apsell ’69, senior executive producer, “Nova,” and director of WGBH-TV science unit (Emmy Award winner)
  • Thomas Friedman ’75, foreign affairs columnist, The New York Times (Pulitzer Prize winner)
  • Walt Mossberg ’69, information technology columnist and founder, Re/Code (Loeb award winner)
  • Peter Osnos ’64, founder and editor-at-large, Public Affairs Books
  • Martin Peretz ’59, former editor-in-chief, The New Republic
  • Guy Raz ’96, host of “TED Radio Hour,” National Public Radio
  • Ellis Verdi ’77, co-founder and CEO, DeVito/Verdi advertising agency

Science and Mathematics

  • Paul Anastas, MA’87, PhD’89, director, Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering and Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment, Yale University
  • Bonnie Berger ’83, professor of applied math and computer science, MIT; first woman in MIT math department to earn tenure
  • Adam Cheyer ’88, co-founder, Siri voice-activated personal assistant
  • Susan Band Horwitz, PhD’63, Rose C. Falkenstein Professor of Cancer Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; 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, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator)
  • 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
  • Karen Uhlenbeck, MA’67, PhD’68, Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in Mathematics, University of Texas-Austin (MacArthur Fellow)
  • Edward Witten ’71, Charles Simonyi Professor of Mathematical Physics, Institute for Advanced Study (Fields Medal winner)


  • Nelson Figueroa ’98,  pitcher, Major League Baseball
  • Jeffrey Lurie, PhD’87, owner, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Tim Morehouse ’00, Olympic fencer