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Robert Fuller earned his Ph.D. in physics at Princeton University and taught at Columbia, where he co-authored the text Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics. He then served as president of Oberlin College, his alma mater.
On a trip to India, where he was a consultant to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Fuller witnessed firsthand the horrors of genocidal famine. Subsequently, he persuaded Jimmy Carter to create the Presidential Commission on World
During the 1980s, Fuller traveled frequently to the USSR, working to improve the Cold War relationship with the U.S. For many years, he served as chairman of the nonprofit global corporation Internews, which promotes democracy via free and independent media.
Fuller is now an international authority on dignity and rankism (abusive, discriminatory, or exploitive behavior towards those with less power as signified by lower rank). In January 2011, he was the keynote speaker at “The National Conference on Dignity for All” hosted by the president of Bangladesh. Fuller has also served as visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Science and the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore. He has made hundreds of public appearances and his work has been featured in scores of books and publications including the New York Times, O Magazine, and The Contemporary Goffman. He blogs for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.
In his books Somebodies and Nobodies and All Rise, Fuller makes the case that rankism is a major obstacle to organizational effectiveness and develops a “politics of dignity” that addresses issues of social justice. These books, which have been published in China, Korea, Bangladesh, and India, show how we can combat rankism and narrow the dignity gap between “somebodies” and “nobodies.” Having unmasked the damage rankism does to individuals, organizations, and nations, Fuller lays out a vision for a dignity movement that will transform society in a way that identity politics cannot. This is not a call for an egalitarian society where all are equal in rank, but rather a roadmap to a dignitarian society where all are equal in dignity.