The mission of the Marie Fielder Center for Democracy, Leadership, and Education is to encourage research that addresses today’s educational and social problems. The Center provides a multidisciplinary and inter-school space for Fielding’s faculty, students, and alumni across all disciplines to engage in research, public discourse, and advocacy on the advancement of social democracy, leadership, and education. This research and policy center promotes Marie Fielder’s principles of transformational change for social justice as exemplified through her life’s work, her philosophy, and her contributions to equity, education, and justice.

The activities of the Center are guided by the strategic advice of an advisory council. The Council is to ensure that the Fielder Center is responsive to the social needs and challenges of our society by advising on the ongoing scope of work.

The advisory council members are:


  • Lenneal Henderson, Professor, School of Leadership Studies, Fielding Graduate University
  • Claudia Mitchell Kernan, Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Graduate Studies Emerita, UCLA

Internal Council Members

  • Rich Appelbaum, Professor, School of Leadership Studies
  • Anna DiStefano, Professor, School of Leadership Studies & Director, Worldwide Network for Gender Empowerment (WNGE)
  • Placida Gallegos, Professor, School of Leadership Studies
  • Anthony Greene, Professor, School of Psychology
  • Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor, School of Leadership Studies
  • Mark Scanlon-Greene, School of Leadership Studies

External Council Members

  • Patricia Arredondo, President, Arredondo Advisory Group
  • Stacy Blake-Beard, Professor, Simmons College (Boston)
  • Robert Corrigan, President Emeritus, San Francisco State University
  • Carlos Grijalva, Associate Dean, UCLA Graduate School
  • Kelly Mack, VP for University STEM Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
  • Camille McKayle, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, University of the Virgin Islands
  • Carlos Santiago, Sr. Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs, Massachusetts Department of Education

Ex-Officio Members

  • Nicola Smith, Professor, School of Leadership Studies
  • Orlando Taylor, Director, Marie Fielder Center and Distinguished Senior Advisor to the President

About Dr. Marie Fielder

Dr. Marie Fielder was one of the most influential women in the history of California education. Through her vision and commitment to justice throughout her lifetime and 60-year career, Dr. Fielder inspired many and left an indelible mark on the entire nation.
She was the first African American woman with a doctorate to teach in the San Francisco Bay Area and one of the first researchers who documented cultural bias in IQ tests. She helped the Berkeley public schools become the first in the nation to desegregate through two-way busing—one of her proudest accomplishments. She was also a member of the Founding Board of Trustees at Fielding.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Dr. Fielder contributed to the work of such civil rights leaders as Martin Luther King Jr. and Whitney Young. She also advised numerous government and civil-rights organizations.