Northwood to Host Dr. John DiIulio Lecture on Soft Despotism by Proxy

Dr. John J. DiIulio, Jr.

On Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m., Northwood University’s Forum for Citizenship & Enterprise will host Dr. John J. DiIulio, Jr. who will discuss the topic “Soft Despotism by Proxy? Tocqueville, Civil Society and Today’s Federal Government.” The lecture will take place in room 114 of the Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies on Northwood University’s Midland campus located at 4000 Whiting Drive. Students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited to attend this free event.

Dr. DiIulio is the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion and Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the National Academy of Public Administration. He serves as faculty director of the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program and the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society, is a member of the Institute for Urban Research Executive Committee and chairperson of the Fels Institute of Government Faculty Committee.

He has served on bipartisan government reform commissions including first Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and has assisted the Obama administration in the reconstitution of that office.  In 2013, he began co-leading an in-depth study of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 with research teams in each of 36 states.  His next book, to be published in May 2014, is “The REAL Big Government: Federal Leviathan by Proxy.”

He received both his bachelor of arts in economics-political science and master of arts in political science-public policy degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. DiIulio also received his master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees in political science from Harvard University. Among other academic awards, he is a winner of the David N. Kershaw Award of the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, the Leonard D. White Award in Public Administration of the American Political Science Association and several awards for excellence in teaching including University of Pennsylvania’s Lindback Award, its Abrams Award and awards from each of its two main student honor societies. Dr. DiIulio has served on numerous national and local nonprofit boards, including colleges and universities, has co-developed large-scale programs to expand community-based educational opportunities for low-income children, has mentored the children of prisoners and supports urban religious nonprofit organizations that deliver social services.

Questions about the event may be directed to Mariana Grigoras, associate professor and chair of social sciences/humanities, at 989.837.4253 or   


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at two full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida and mid-Michigan. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.