Kenneth S. SternExecutive Director
Mr. Stern is an award-winning author and attorney, and was most recently director of the division on antisemitism and extremism at the American Jewish Committee, where he worked for 25 years.
Mr. Stern’s op-eds and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Forward, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and elsewhere. Mr. Stern has appeared on the CBS Evening News, Dateline, Nightline, the History Channel, PBS, and many other television and radio programs.
He has argued before the United States Supreme Court, testified before Congress (as well as before committees of parliamentarians in Canada and the U.K.), was an invited presenter at the White House Conference on Hate Crimes, and served as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Stockholm Forum on Combating Intolerance.
Mr. Stern’s report on the militia movement, released 10 days before the Oklahoma City bombing, predicted attacks on the government, and the covering memo to the report said such attacks might occur on April 19, 1995, the anniversary of the deaths of members of the Branch Davidian sect. Mr. Stern’s report was called “prescient,” and his resulting book – A Force Upon the Plain: The American Militia Movement and the Politics of Hate – was nominated for the National Book award.
Mr. Stern was the lead drafter of the “working definition” of antisemitism now adopted by the U.S. Department of State. He was also an integral part of the defense team in the historic London Holocaust denial case of David Irving vs. Deborah Lipstadt.
Mr. Stern was also defense counsel for Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement (chronicled in his award-winning book Loud Hawk: The United States vs. The American Indian Movement), and was co-counsel in a successful libel suit by Jack and Micki Scott against heiress Patricia Hearst. He also represented various organizations advocating for the homeless, enforced environmental laws in New York City, and was director of an organization advocating for victims of terrorism.
Mr. Stern has written extensively on just about every aspect of antisemitism, especially on how institutions should understand and approach the topic. He has trained over 200 college and university presidents on how to respond to instances of bigotry on campus, and helped establish courses and programs on the study of hate at Gonzaga University and at Bard College. He is also the author of a model college syllabus about antisemitism, and has been a Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Human Rights at Bard College.
But perhaps most importantly, Mr. Stern had the good fortune to be in a class offered by Dr. Rosenberg at Bard College in the early 1970s. He relishes the opportunity to help the world hear and learn from the inspirational story of Dr. Rosenberg’s life, and to work with Dr. Rosenberg and his wife Karin to combat antisemitism and hatred.