Frederick M. Lawrence, Secretary
Frederick M. Lawrence is Secretary of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's most prestigious academic honor society. Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa has chapters on 286 college and university campuses and well over a half-million living members. Its mission is to advocate and recognize excellence in the study of the liberal arts and sciences. Lawrence takes the post of Secretary on August 1, 2016, at which time he will become the Society's chief executive officer and the head of its national office.
Lawrence is a Phi Beta Kappa member inducted at Williams College and a Yale Law school graduate. He has spent much of his career at institutions committed to providing students with a solid foundation in the arts and sciences. His body of work also reflects a lifetime of advocating for the arts and sciences, civil liberties and human rights, both nationally and internationally.
Prior to his current position as Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School, he served as President and Professor of Politics at Brandeis University. While there he ensured the future of the Rose Art Museum, a premier university-based museum of contemporary art; raised over $250 million in support of a wide range of programs, including financial aid; and oversaw a dramatic increase in the number of applications which reached an all-time high during his administration.
Lawrence previously served as Dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor at the George Washington University Law School and on the faculty of the Boston University School of Law, where he received Boston University’s Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has written extensively, lectured internationally, and testified before Congress on bias crimes and freedom of expression. He is the author of “Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law,” published by Harvard University Press.
Lawrence frequently contributes op-eds to various news sources, such as the Boston Globe, MSNBC Online, and Huffington Post. Prior to his academic career, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and as Chief of that office's Civil Rights Unit.
Ronaleen Roha, Associate Secretary
Ronaleen "Ronnie" Roha is the associate secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and has acted in this capacity since 2012. As associate secretary, Roha provides direct oversight to the central dimensions of the Society's operations and supports the work of the secretary to advance the mission of the society.
Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Roha earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where she graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She continued her education by earning a J.D. degree with honors from the George Washington University Law School. Following law school, she took “an indirect path to something unexpected,” and started writing a legal column for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. She spent the majority of her career working as an associate editor for the magazine.
Roha looks forward to continuing her work at Phi Beta Kappa. She is particularly excited by the work of the National Arts & Sciences Initiative, and by the continued success of the awards programs, Visiting Scholar program, and Phi Beta Kappa publications.
A long-time resident of Washington, DC, Roha is an avid Nationals baseball fan. She is married to Tom Roha, and they have two children, Kristin and Matthew.