Frank Kessel

Dr. Frank Kessel is a senior fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy and professor of early childhood multicultural education at the University of New Mexico (UNM).

Prior to joining UNM in the fall of 2005, Kessel completed a 12-year spell as Program Director for the Culture, Health and Human Development Program at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in New York.

Also responsible for SSRC initiatives at the intersection of the social, psychological and bio-medical sciences, he has consulted with Canadian groups engaged in inter-disciplinary research on health, advised the National Cancer Institute on its “Science of Team Science” initiative, and contributed to several national and international conferences and publications in the area of Inter/Trans-Disciplinarity.

Also, building on his work with the SSRC’s Program on the Arts, Kessel guided the School of American Ballet through a process that laid the ground for significant institutional innovation.

With a primary interest in human development and ancillary issues in the philosophy and history of psychology and the social sciences, as well as matters at the intersection of psychology with education and the humanities, Kessel has held academic positions at the University of Houston, the University of Alberta, and the University of Cape Town. He has also been involved in international early education efforts, first as Research Director of the Early Learning Centre in Cape Town and then as Scientific Associate at the Bernard van Leer Foundation in The Hague. His further connection to the philanthropy sector came as Senior Program Associate at the William T. Grant Foundation in New York.