Philomena Essed has a PhD from the University of Amsterdam (1990) and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pretoria (2011). She is professor of Critical Race, Gender and Leadership studies, Antioch University (USA), PhD in Leadership and Change Program.
Well known for introducing the concepts of everyday racism and gendered racism her work has been adopted and applied in a range of countries, including the US, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the UK, Switzerland, and Australia. Books and edited volumes include Understanding Everyday Racism; Diversity: Gender, Color and Culture; Race Critical Theories; Refugees and the Transformation of Societies; A Companion to Gender Studies (‘outstanding’ 2005 CHOICE award), and Clones, Fakes and Posthumans: Cultures of Replication, (2012). A volume on Dutch Racism is in progress.
Essed has a life long commitment to social justice. In addition to her academic work in this area she has been advisor to governmental and non-governmental organizations, nationally and internationally. She is a deputy member of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights. In 2011 The Queen of the Netherlands honored her with a Knighthood.