Two University of Maryland professors will join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

Michele J. Gelfand, a Distinguished University Professor of psychology, and Frances E. Lee, a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and professor of government and politics, are part of the Academy's 239th class, along with more than 200 leaders in academia, business, government and public affairs. Their election brings the total number of UMD faculty who are members of national academies to 58.

"Professor Lee is a leading scholar of the U.S. Congress. Professor Gelfand is a world thought leader in cross-cultural psychology who has pioneered our thinking about the effects of 'loose' and 'tight' cultures on human behavior," said Gregory F. Ball, dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS). "We are honored at BSOS to have them both as members of our faculty."

Michele J. GelfandGelfand uses field, experimental, computational and neuroscience methods to understand the evolution of culture and its multilevel consequences. Her research on negotiation, justice, workplace diversity, cultural influences on conflict, and cross-cultural psychology has been published in journals including Science, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Academy Management Review and Annual Review of Psychology. She has written and edited several books, including “Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World,” “Values, Political Action and Change in the Middle East and the Arab Spring,” “The Handbook of Negotiation and Culture” and multiple volumes of “Advances in Culture Psychology.”

A member of the Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Gelfand has received numerous honors, including the Outstanding Contributions to Cultural Psychology Award from the Society for Personal and Social Psychology, the Annaliese Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and UMD’s Distinguished-Teacher Scholar designation.

Frances E. LeeLee, one of the nation's top experts on the workings of Congress, teaches classes on government, public policy, legislative politics and political institutions. She is the author of "Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign" and “Beyond Ideology: Politics, Principles and Partisanship in the U.S. Senate.” She coauthored “Sizing Up The Senate: The Unequal Consequences of Equal Representation” as well as the comprehensive textbook “Congress and Its Members.”

Lee's books have received national recognition, including the American Political Science Association’s Richard F. Fenno Award for the best book on legislative politics. She won the D. B. Hardeman Award—presented by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation for the best book on a congressional topic—in both 1999 and 2009. In addition, she is co-editor of Legislative Studies Quarterly, a scholarly journal specializing in legislatures and her research has appeared in numerous journals, including American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics and Journal of Politics.

Gelfand and Lee join other distinguished individuals elected this year, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, visual artist Mark Bradford, journalist James M. Fallows of The Atlantic, business leader Charles H. Robbins of Cisco Systems and actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony in October 2019 in Cambridge, Mass.

Click here to see the full list of the newly elected members.