Author, speaker, founder and Senior Partner, Center for Courage & Renewal
Parker J. Palmer is a writer, speaker and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change. He is founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal, which offers long-term retreat programs for people in the serving professions, including teachers, administrators, physicians, philanthropists, non-profit leaders and clergy.
He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as thirteen honorary doctorates, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the National Educational Press Association, and an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press.
Palmer is the author of nine books—including several award-winning titles—that have sold over 1.4 million copies and been translated into ten languages: "Healing the Heart of Democracy," "The Heart of Higher Education" (with Arthur Zajonc), "The Courage to Teach," "A Hidden Wholeness," "Let Your Life Speak," "The Active Life," "To Know As We Are Known," "The Company of Strangers," and "The Promise of Paradox."
His latest book, "Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit," has been called “one of the most important books of the early 21st Century” for those who care about democracy by the Journal of Democracy & Education, and was chosen by Spirituality & Practice as one of the best books of 2011 on contemplation and social activism.
In 1998, the Leadership Project, a national survey of 10,000 educators, named Dr. Palmer one of the thirty “most influential senior leaders” in higher education and one of the ten key “agenda-setters” of the past decade.
Since 2002, the Accrediting Commission for Graduate Medical Education has given annual Parker J. Palmer “Courage to Teach” and “Courage to Lead” Awards to directors of exemplary medical residency programs.
In 2005, "Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer," was published.
In 2010, Palmer was given the William Rainey Harper Award whose previous recipients include Margaret Mead, Elie Wiesel, Marshall McLuhan, and Paolo Freire.
In 2011, the Utne Reader named him one of 25 Visionaries on its annual list of “People Who are Changing the World.”