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American Academy of Arts and Sciences picks new president

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prominent honorary societies, named a new president Thursday, eight months after its former leader was ousted amid concerns about her pay and doctored resume.

The Cambridge nonprofit said Jonathan F. Fanton, a former president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and of The New School in New York City, will take over as the organization’s 46th president on July 1. He is currently interim director at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York.

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“He has demonstrated leadership in higher education, philanthropy, and public policy and is perfectly suited to lead the Academy both intellectually and administratively,” said Don Randel, who chairs the academy’s board of directors.

The former president, Leslie Berlowitz, resigned last summer after the Globe reported that she listed a nonexistent doctorate on her resume in federal grant applications and was paid more than $598,000 in total compensation in 2011, far more than her peers at similar institutions. The Academy released a report last month confirming the misinformation on her resume and accusing her of manipulating the compensation process to boost her pay. She denied the accusations.

Academy spokesman Ray Howell said Fanton will receive an annual salary of $490,000, well above the median pay of just over $303,000 in 2011 at similar organizations, according to the academy’s report last month.

But Howell said Fanton will not receive any other benefits beyond what other Academy employees receive. He also said the board’s compensation committee relied on an independent compensation consultant for guidance.

Todd Wallack can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @twallack.
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