Jonathan W. Kanter, Ph.D.

CSSC Director, Research Associate Professor


Jonathan, Kanter, PhD, trained as a clinical psychological scientist, currently is Director of the Center for the Science of Social Connection at the University of Washington (UW) and is a Behavioral Scientist and core leadership team member of the Office of Health Care Equity of UW Medicine.

Over the course of his 20+ year career, he has collaborated closely with members of Black, Latino, Muslim, LGBTQ, and other marginalized communities across both scientific and social activism efforts, including police brutality, voter engagement, racism and discrimination, and culturally appropriate psychological treatments. Currently, Dr. Kanter provides training and consultation on issues of bias and racism throughout the healthcare system through his position with the Office of Healthcare Equity, and he also provides training and consultation for legal, higher education, K-18 education, and other organizational settings. He also organizes non-profit anti-racism courses for the general public to fund BIPOC-owned and managed anti-racist organizations and provides leadership coaching for individuals who wish to solve their personal and organizational diversity, equity and inclusion challenges. 

For the last decade, Dr. Kanter’s team at the University of Washington has been developing an approach to antiracism work that couples an activist mentality with the psychological science on bias and the technology of sustainable behavior change. They have published important and innovative findings that change how we conduct diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings, such as how to understand and intervene on microaggressions, how to connect across the group differences that typically divide us such as racial and political differences, and how to overcome the obstacles that typically stall change efforts.

Dr. Kanter has published over 100 books and scientific articles on these and other topics and he is regularly invited to give talks and workshops nationally and internationally. His Center’s work on racial microaggressions, on how to connect across political differences, and on how to maximize social connectedness as a tool for coping with the Covid-10 pandemic, has recently been featured on NPR, in National Geographic, on the BBC, and in other national and local news media outlets.


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