Philomena Essed is 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 Umeå University (2015). Her research and teaching transcends national, cultural and disciplinary boundaries. Well-known for introducing the concepts of everyday racism and gendered racism in the Netherlands and internationally, she also pioneered in developing theory on what she has called social and cultural cloning.
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 been advisor to governmental and non-governmental organizations, nationally and internationally. In the Netherlands she has been a member of the state Selection Commission for the Judiciary (2003-2010, appointed by the State Department of Justice). 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).