Allida Black

Fast Facts

  • Historian and adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Managing director, Allenswood Group, LLC
  • Adviser to former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  • Expertise on Eleanor Roosevelt, human rights, women's rights, conflict resolution

Areas Of Expertise

  • Domestic Affairs
  • Education
  • Human Rights and Civil Rights
  • Social Issues
  • Governance
  • Founding and Shaping of the Nation
  • Leadership

Allida Black is a distinguished visiting scholar at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, a Distinguished Fellow of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University, and an affiliated scholar with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. She also serves as managing director of the Allenswood Group, LLC, a collaborative she founded to preserve and document women’s political history and strengthen democracy through education and civic engagement.

Black is recognized as a leading expert on Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She has written and edited 10 books as well as a variety of articles on women, politics, and human rights policy; led workshops around the world on human rights, conflict resolution, and women's and girls' empowerment; curated exhibits on human rights for presidential libraries and other renowned repositories; and received awards from three universities for her commitment to students and her teaching. In 2022, Heartland Alliance International recognized her leadership with the Robert H. Kirschner Award for Global Activism.

Black has advised former Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on archival, oral history, and other matters since 2006. In 2017, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton asked Black to serve as her historian and advise her on her archive, oral history project, and other special initiatives.

Black’s other projects include “In the Shadow of 9/11: The Bipartisan Legislative Effort to Rebuild and Restore Lower Manhattan,” a Hewlett Foundation-funded legislative case study for American University’s Center for Political Negotiation; an upcoming initiative on China and the global women’s movement for the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security; and an Oxford University-led reconstruction of the Good Friday Agreement negotiations.

She is a trustee of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, an advisor to the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and Democracy and the National Women’s History Museum, and a director of the Campaign School at Yale, the Marjorie Kovler Center for the Survivors of Torture, the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Foundation, the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, and the University of Mary Washington.

Black received her PhD from the George Washington University, where she serves as editor emeritus of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project and research professor of history and international affairs.

Allida Black News Feed

Historians Allida Black and Sean Wilentz talked about President Biden’s “Soul of the Nation” speech and threats to American democracy. Allida Black is a distinguished visiting scholar at the University of Virginia's Miller Center.
Allida Black C-Span
When Biden met with historians last week at the White House—including Allida Black, the University of Virginia's Miller Center distinguished visiting scholar—they compared the threat facing America to the pre-Civil War era and to pro-fascist movements before World War II.
Allida Black Washington post
A Vanderbilt University initiative aimed at bridging the gap of political polarization in the U.S. has named 26 members to its advisory board, ranging from politicians to musicians. The Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy on Tuesday announced a panel that includes prominent political and government voices.
Allida Black NewsChannel 5 Nashville
Once the Order was in effect, Eleanor faced a quandary as the nation’s wartime first lady. “Unlike [her husband], she does not believe that wartime emergencies override civil liberties protections,” says Allida Black, editor emeritus of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project and a distinguished visitor scholar at the University of Virginia Miller Center for Public Affairs. So what she could not contradict, she mitigated. She offered her support in myriad ways, corresponding with Japanese Americans, donating from her own funds, meeting with civic groups, helping to establish scholarships—and later, meeting with wounded Japanese American soldiers.
Allida Black TIME
“Every interview has given us stories that nobody has heard before,” said historian Allida Black, who along with Barbara Perry and Stefanie Georgakis Abbott, co-directs the Hillary Clinton Oral History Project for the Miller Center. “I’m not interested in rehashing stories that are in the public domain.”
As fascism swept 1930s Europe, some universities paid little attention. Others rejected domestic panic, set aside prejudices, ignored balance sheets and rose in defense of knowledge and freedom. Now as the Taliban sweeps Afghanistan, higher education must once again answer that call.
Allida Black Newsweek