Founding Director: Moe Coleman

Dr. Morton "Moe" Coleman was the founding director of the Institute of Politics and retired as Professor Emeritus from the School of Social Work.

Prior to serving as the Director of the Institute, Moe served as Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Connecticut, acting Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, personal advisor to Henry Ford II on urban issues, secretary to the mayor of the city of Pittsburgh, and senior social planner for the Community Renewal Program in the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning. Moe received his Master’s in Social Work and PhD in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

Moe’s contributions to our community cannot be overstated. From his earliest days as a youth worker in the Hill District in the 1950s, he witnessed the impact of urban renewal on families, and, for the next 50 years, as a social worker, professor, and advisor to elected officials and community, civic, and business leaders, he fostered communication across race and class lines on critical topics of the day, which included hiring among underrepresented groups; union membership; fair housing; and access to quality and equal education, health care, and human services. The story from his days as a civil rights worker to his days with the Institute of Politics provides a unique window into Pittsburgh’s culture with an intimate understanding of what it was like to live, work, and play in Pittsburgh set in the context of the social, economic, and political events that shaped our region.

To learn more about Moe and the impact one community organizer can have on an entire city, please read Finding Common Ground.

For a full hard copy, please contact the IOP at 412-624-1837 or