crown CU Home > Libraries Home
Columbia Center for Oral History Portal >

Oral history interview with Hillary S. Wiesner [electronic resource], 2012.

Creator: Wiesner, Hillary Suzanne
Project: Carnegie Corporation project. Pt. 3.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :transcript: 78 pages. + index. sound recording : 1 digital audio file (77 min.). sound recording : 1 digital video file (85 min.).
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Biographical Note

Director, Islam Initiative, Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Scope and Contents

Undergraduate studies: 1985 B.A. in religion from Harvard University, participation in Sardis Expedition in western Turkey; Ph.D in religion and discussion of historical conversation and commonalities between religions; discussion of work for UNESCO in France beginning 1993: departure from academic roots, dissatisfaction with work environment; meeting with Vartan Gregorian in 2006; critique of "clash of civilizations" concept; influence of family's mixed religious background on studies; study of classical languages; hiring and transition to UNESCO; experience living in Jerusalem in early 1990s; transition to Carnegie Corporation as director of Islam Initiative: intellectual stimulus, busy social atmosphere, development of program to support young Muslim Americans in the arts; first year of grantmaking: need for expanded knowledge of Islam in America, memorable funded and unfunded projects; discussion of "Islamophobia": complications for Carnegie Corporation; influence of Iraq and Afghan wars: experience at UNESCO, current Carnegie grants, scholarship of Vartan Gregorian; expansion of Islam Initiative focus from domestic issues to international affairs; impressions of Vartan Gregorian; relationship between Carnegie Corporation and Library of Alexandria: grants and projects, effects of 2011 Egyptian revolution; discussion of funding decisions and projects funded; involvement with Carnegie Scholars program; reminiscences of high points in philanthropy career; public presence of Carnegie grantees; discussion of 2011 Arab Awakening: personal impressions, resulting developments in Carnegie programming; predictions for future Carnegie initiatives; sense of accomplishment through Islam Initiative.


Access Conditions

Copyright by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 2013.

Using this collection

Columbia Center for Oral History

Columbia University
535 West 114th Street
801 Butler Library, Box 20
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-7083


Columbia Center for Oral History