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Robert Putnam

Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Robert D. Putnam is a professor of public policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has written a dozen books including the best-selling "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community" and more recently "American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us." His previous book, "Making Democracy Work," was praised by the Economist as "a great work of social science, worthy to rank alongside de Tocqueville, Pareto and Weber." Both "Making Democracy Work" and "Bowling Alone" rank high among the most cited publications in the social sciences worldwide in the last several decades.

He consults widely with national leaders, including US Presidents Bush and Clinton, British Prime Ministers Blair and Brown, Ireland's Bertie Ahern, and Libya's Muammar el-Qaddafi. He also founded the Saguaro Seminar, bringing together leading thinkers and practitioners to develop actionable ideas for civic renewal.

In metallurgy, an alloy is a mixture of two different metals that has different properties than either of those metals taken separately.