David Mathews

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David Mathews served as president of the Kettering Foundation from 1981 to 2022. He is now president emeritus. He served as Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in the administration of President Gerald Ford. Between 1969 and 1980, he was president of The University of Alabama. At Kettering, he has steered the foundation’s research toward studying the role of the public in our political system. Nonpartisan and nonpolitical, Kettering’s research focuses on how to make democracy work as it should. Mathews has written widely on such subjects as southern history, public policy, and international problem solving. His most recent books are Reclaiming Public Education by Reclaiming Our Democracy, Why Public Schools? Whose Public Schools?, and Politics for People. He serves on the board of a variety of organizations, including the Gerald R. Ford Foundation and Public Agenda.