Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Aarhus University in Denmark for 2013-2014. Raised in a small town in the Midwest and educated at Swarthmore, Oxford, and Yale, he has served as Dean of the Kennedy School of Government. The London Sunday Times has called him “the most influential academic in the world today.” He has written fourteen books, translated into twenty languages, including the best-selling Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, and more recently Better Together: Restoring the American Community, a study of promising new forms of social connectedness. 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 are among the most cited publications in the social sciences worldwide in the last half century. He is currently working on three major empirical projects: (1) Inequality and opportunity: a growing class gap among American young people and the implications for social mobility; (2) The changing role of religion in the United Kingdom and the US; and (3) The social consequences of hard times in the United Kingdom and the US.