Ralph Lewin recently became the Executive Director at the Mechanic’s Institute and was formerly president and CEO of Cal Humanities. Active in several institutions, Lewin serves on the Board of Governors of the University of California Humanities Research Institute and is an Advisory Board Member of Boom: A Journal of California published by UC Press. His public speaking engagements include the White House, the American Academy for the Social Sciences and the Humanities, and the Cal State University Bakersfield commencement speaker. He has served as co-chair of the Northern California Grantmakers Briefings Committee, committee member of the National Humanities Conference and as a board member of the California Studies Association. He was also a consultant to the California Civil Liberties Education Fund and the California Trust for Cultural and Historic Preservation. Lewin is a three-time recipient of the international “Idea Prize” from the Koerber Foundation of Germany for his work in fostering understanding among people through cultural programming.
Lewin holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and another in Germanic literature and languages from the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as a master’s degree in international relations from San Francisco State University. He studied for a year at Georg August University in Goettingen, Germany, and spent a semester at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He served as a guest scholar at the Institute for International Relations in Potsdam, Germany, and following his studies, lectured for a semester at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. His recent writings have appeared in the Huffington Post, Western Humanities Review and as a contributor to Calexico: True Lives of the Borderlands published by the University of Arizona Press.