Chapter 16

Philleo Nash: Policy and Equality in the Halls of Government
Thomas Weaver

Science, Politics, and Human Values: A Memoir
Philleo Nash

Philleo Nash (1909–1987) served as a policy anthropologist in government for many years, including seven years on the administrative staffs of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, two years as Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, and five years as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1937, and he also taught at several universities, including American University from 1971 until his retirement. In his 1986 Malinowski Award address, Nash traced his career in public service in the context of the history of applied anthropology. Much of his work on the White House staffs involved monitoring and reducing racial tensions in U.S. urban areas and eliminating discrimination and segregation in government agencies and the armed forces, and he as active in the establishment of the Commission on Civil Rights. As Commissioner of Indian Affairs he was especially effective in advancing economic development and educational programs.