William Schulz

Affiliated Faculty
B.A., Oberlin College, Phi Beta Kappa
M.A., University of Chicago
D.Min., Meadville Lombard Theological School
D.D, Meadville Lombard Theological School, 1987
L.H.D., Nova Southeastern University, 1995
L.H.D., Grinnell College, 2004
L.H.D., Willamette University, 2005
D.Hum., Oberlin College, 2005
L.H.D., University of Cincinnati, 2005
L.H.D., Lewis & Clark College, 2006
D.P.S., The Sage Colleges, 2010

“Meadville Lombard combines the best in both practical and academic learning.”

From the refugee camps of Darfur, Sudan, to the poorest villages in India; from the prison cells of Monrovia, Liberia, to the business suites of Hong Kong to Louisiana’s death row, Dr. William F. Schulz has traveled the globe in pursuit of a world free from human rights violations. As Executive Director of Amnesty International USA from 1994-2006, Dr. Schulz headed the American section of the world’s oldest and largest international human rights organization. He is currently  a Senior Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and President Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, which he served from 2010-16.

During his twelve years at Amnesty, Dr. Schulz led missions to Liberia, Tunisia, Northern Ireland, and Sudan and visited other places as diverse as Cuba and Mongolia.  He was tailed by Tunisian secret police, threatened with assassination by Liberian warlord Charles Taylor and his appeal for reconciliation of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland brought tears to the eyes of then Prime Minister David Trimble.

He also traveled tens of thousands of miles in the United States, spreading the human rights message from campuses to boardrooms to civic organizations.  A frequent guest on television programs such as Good Morning, America, The Today Show, Hardball and Nightline, Dr. Schulz is the author of two books on human rights, In Our Own Best Interest:  How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All (2001, Beacon Press) and Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights (2003, Nation Books); and the contributing editor of two books published by the  University of Pennsylvania Press, The Phenomenon of Torture: Reading and Commentary (2007) and The Future of Human Rights: US Policy for a New Era (2008).  In 2013 Skinner House Press published his book of essays, What Torture Taught Me and Other Reflections on Justice and Theology.  “William Schulz, “ The New York Review of Books has said, “has done more than anyone in the American human rights movement to make human rights issues known in the United States."

An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, Dr. Schulz came to Amnesty after serving for fifteen years with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA), the last eight (1985-93) as President of the Association. As President, he led the first visit by a U. S. Member of Congress to post-revolutionary Romania in January, 1991, two weeks after the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu.  That delegation was instrumental in the subsequent improvement in the rights of religious and ethnic minorities in Romania.

Dr. Schulz has served on the boards of People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the International Association for Religious Freedom, the world’s oldest international interfaith organization. Dr. Schulz has received a wide variety of honors, including the Public Service Citation from the University of Chicago Alumni Association and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Oberlin College Alumni Association.  He has been included in Vanity Fair’s 2002 “Hall of Fame of World Nongovernmental Organization Leaders” and was named “Humanist of the Year” by the American Humanist Association in 2002.

He is married to the Rev. Beth Graham, also a Unitarian Universalist minister.

What is your message to a prospective student?

“Meadville Lombard combines the best in both practical and academic learning. With a special emphasis on the diversity of human experience, it prepares students for the day-to-day realities of leadership while challenging them to be open to the full range of intellectual and emotional life.”