James Q. Wilson is the Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. From 1961 to 1987, he was the Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University and from 1985 to 1997 the James Collins Professor of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. One of the nation’s most influential social scientists and public intellectuals, Professor Wilson is the author or co-author of fifteen books, the most recent of which is The Marriage Problem: How Our Culture has Weakened Families. Others include The Moral Sense, Moral Judgement, Bureaucracy, and Thinking about Crime. His textbook American Government is more widely used on university campuses than any other book on the subject. Professor Wilson has also edited or contributed to books on urban problems, government regulation of business, and the prevention of delinquency among children. Many of his writings on morality and human character have been collected in On Character: Essays by James Q. Wilson.
In 1990, Professor Wilson received the James Madison Award from the American Political Science Association for a career of distinguished scholarship. In 1994, he received the John Gaus Award for “exemplary scholarship in the fields of political science and public administration.” In 2003, President George W. Bush presented Professor Wilson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
Professor Wilson has served on a number of national and presidential commissions on crime, drug abuse prevention, foreign intelligence, and bioethics. For more than twenty years, he has chaired the Council of Academic Advisors of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Professor Wilson received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He holds honorary degrees from seven universities, including Harvard.