CAMBRIDGE — Every fall, Leslie Cohen Berlowitz, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, oversees the induction of hundreds of the brightest scholars, artists, and leaders into the prestigious organization, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected honorary societies, whose membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.
But records show that Berlowitz, who has led the academy for 17 years, has exaggerated her own academic achievement as part of efforts to win hundreds of thousands of dollars in government funding.
In at least two applications for federal grants over the past decade, Berlowitz said she received a doctorate in English from New York University in 1969, a degree NYU said she never earned.
Berlowitz said in the applications for funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities that she had a “D. Phil” — the British abbreviation for a doctorate of philosophy or PhD — from NYU. The academy also described her repeatedly as a doctor in an employment ad.
But NYU spokesman James Devitt said the university has no record of her receiving a doctorate or completing her dissertation.
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