Professor Philomena Essed

Professor of Critical Race, Gender, and Leadership Studies

Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change, Ohio, USA

Philomena Essed is a professor of Critical Race, Gender, and Leadership Studies at Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change and an affiliated researcher for Utrecht University’s Graduate Gender program. She holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam and Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Pretoria (2011) and Ume University (2015).

As an expert witness on race, gender and racism in Europe she presented among others at The European Parliament (Brussels, 1984); The United Nations Economic and Social Council (New York, 2001); The House of Representatives of the States-General (The Hague, the Netherlands, 2004); the United States Helsinki Commission (Capitol Hill, Washington, 2008) and the EU Parliament hearing on Afrophobia (Brussels, 2014).Well known for introducing the concepts of everyday racism and gendered racism in the Netherlands and internationally, she also pioneered in developing theory on social and cultural cloning in the early 2000s.

Her work has been adopted and applied in a range of countries, including the US, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Russia, the UK, Switzerland, and Australia. Prof Essed has a lifelong commitment to social justice with a current focus on dignity and ethics of care as experience and practice in leading change. She has also been Deputy Member of The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, where she served as a panel member in hearings on structural discrimination, including race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, and disability (2004-2016).

In 2011 The Queen of the Netherlands honoured her with a Knighthood.