Director, Nationhood Lab, Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy
Colin Woodard is a New York Times best-selling author, historian and award-winning journalist. He is the author of six books, including "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America," "American Character: The Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good" and "Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood." At the Pell Center, he is launching Nationhood Lab, a project that will devise and disseminate a new civic national story of U.S. purpose and conduct and disseminate interdisciplinary research on how to counteract the authoritarian threat to American democracy and the centrifugal forces threatening the federation’s stability.
Woodard is a contributing editor at Politico and state and national affairs writer at the Portland Press Herald, where he won a 2012 George Polk Award and was a finalist for a 2016 Pulitzer Prize. A native of Maine, he has reported from more than 50 countries and seven continents for the Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and lived for more than four years in Eastern Europe during and after the collapse of the Soviet empire. His books have been released in 14 foreign editions and 11 languages and inspired an NBC primetime series and an Ubisoft video game. He is a past Pew Fellow in International Journalism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a recipient of the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for Excellence in Public Advocacy. He has appeared on CNN, the PBS News Hour, The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, NPR’s All Things Considered, the BBC World Service and in Discovery Channel, History Channel, Netflix, Smithsonian Channel and TLC television documentaries. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, Smithsonian, The Guardian and other publications.