Shawn Landres is an entrepreneur, writer, and network curator looking for the common good at the intersection of innovation, learning, and global bridge-building.
A widely published essayist and editor whose work has been featured by the White House and covered by TIME, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, he has more than two decades of international experience in organizational development, network building, social scientific research & analysis, and interreligious leadership, from the Clinton Administration’s Reinventing Government initiative to projects funded by the U.S. State Department and the British government.
Shawn serves as a Los Angeles County Commissioner on the Quality and Productivity Commission, whose mission is to provide advice, innovative ideas, assistance and support to the County’s elected officials, managers, and employees to promote the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of County public services. He is Chair of the Board of Managers of Hub LA, a community of changemakers whose mission is to advance social innovation in Los Angeles and beyond; and a non-executive Manager of SPARK Experience, a full-service digital agency that applies a data-driven approach to create websites, apps, campaigns, and communication strategies, leveraging psychology and direct user research to ensure success. Shawn also serves on the Investors Advisory Board for The Mother Company, which creates social & emotional learning products for 3- to 6-year olds; and he advises InVenture and TherOzone.
In 2013 Shawn was elected by his peers to the Board of Directors of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry. He is an Advisor on Faith-Based and Interreligious Innovation to The Nexus: Global Youth Summit on Innovative Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship. Shawn also serves on the Sh’ma Advisory Committee and the Liberty Hill Foundation Advisory Council.
A respected researcher, editor, and essayist, and a popular lecturer both in the United States and abroad, Shawn has focused much of his work, within and beyond the academy, on convening conversations, where none exist, on matters of intellectual, political, and moral urgency. He has co-edited four books on topics as diverse as the practice of ethnography; the interreligious impact of the film The Passion of the Christ; the intersection of religion, violence, memory, and place; and a campaign biography of Bill Clinton. Shawn holds degrees from Columbia University (BA cum laude, religion), the University of Oxford (MSt with distinction, social anthropology), and the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he earned a PhD in religious studies. Shawn is a Research Scholar at the Institute for Jewish & Community Research and Be’chol Lashon. He holds advanced certification from 21/64 as a consultant/trainer in multigenerational family philanthropy and is certified as a facilitator by the Center for Leadership Initiatives. Previously Shawn served as Director of Research for Synagogue 3000, where he managed the launch of the S3K Synagogue Studies Institute, launched the widely read S3K Reports series and Synablog, and conceived S3K’s Jewish Emergent Initiative. He also was a charter co-chair of the Clinton Foundation Millennium Network Leadership Council.
The Forward named Shawn to its list of the 50 most influential American Jewish leaders, calling him “an essential thinker in explaining the new Jewish spirituality and culture.” In 2011 Jewcy named him to the “Big Jewcy 100.” Shawn received a 2012 Ted Comet Exemplar Award, given once every four years by the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America and the World Council of Jewish Communal Service for “outstanding leadership & furthering international cooperation benefiting the Jewish people.” The same year, the White House featured Shawn as a “spotlight innovator” and speaker at its Faith-based Social Innovators Conference. In 2013, the Liberty Hill Foundation awarded him its NextGen Leadership Award, given each year to an inspirational leader who invests time and raises funds to advance social justice in Los Angeles. He was an inaugural (2009) Ariane de Rothschild Fellow (Social Entrepreneurship & Cross-Cultural Network) and an International Nahum Goldmann Fellow (2010, 2012); and he is a member of the ROI Community of Young Jewish Innovators, the Selah Leadership Network, and the New Leaders Project (where he serves on the Steering Committee).
He & his wife, Zuzana Riemer Landres, live in Santa Monica with their two daughters.