Richard D. Kahlenberg is a professorial lecturer at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, where he teaches a class on Civil Rights and Economic Inequality. The author or editor of 18 books, he has been called “the intellectual father of the economic integration movement” in K–12 schooling and “arguably the nation’s chief proponent of class-based affirmative action in higher education admissions.” He is also an authority on housing segregation, teachers’ unions, charter schools, community colleges, and labor organizing.
An education and housing policy consultant, Kahlenberg is a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute and a nonresident scholar at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy. Previously, Kahlenberg was a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation, a Fellow at the Center for National Policy, a visiting associate professor of constitutional law at George Washington University, and a legislative assistant to Senator Charles S. Robb (D-VA).
Kahlenberg’s articles have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and elsewhere. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, PBS and NPR.
His books include: Excluded: How Snob Zoning, NIMBYism, and Class Bias Build the Walls We Don't See (PublicAffairs Press, 2023); A Smarter Charter: Finding What Works for Charter Schools and Public Education (with Halley Potter) (Teachers College Press, 2014), Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right: Rebuilding a Middle-Class Democracy by Enhancing Worker Voice (with Moshe Marvit) (Century Foundation Press, 2012); Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2007); All Together Now: Creating Middle Class Schools through Public School Choice (Brookings Institution Press, 2001); The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action (Basic Books, 1996); and Broken Contract: A Memoir of Harvard Law School (Hill & Wang/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992).
The Remedy was named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post; and Tough Liberal was named one of the best books written on labor unions by the Wall Street Journal. He serves on the advisory board of the Pell Institute, and the Albert Shanker Institute. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.