John Tessitore is the principal at First Idea Communications, LLC, specializing in strategic communications for and about higher education, arts & civic institutions, and public policy organizations. For twelve years, he served in a variety of capacities at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, including Program Director, and was the project leader and chief writer on several national commissions, including the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Lincoln Project, the Commission on Language Learning, and all of the Academy’s work on Access to Justice. He has been a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer, and a biographer, and now serves as Chair of the America’s Languages Working Group. From 2004 to 2008 he was a lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. He has a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and a PhD in American Studies from Boston University.