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Leslie Berlowitz claims of doctoral degree sparks federal investigation

Leslie Berlowitz also misstated her work history.
Leslie Berlowitz also misstated her work history.Kurt Hegre for The Boston Globe

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Federal investigators plan to examine whether the chief executive of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences violated any laws by inflating her academic credentials as part of efforts to win more than $1 million in government grants over the past decade.

The Boston Globe reported Monday that Leslie Berlowitz, the longtime chief of the Cambridge honorary society, falsely claimed to have a doctorate from New York University on at least two grant applications with the National Endowment for the Humanities. Berlowitz also misstated her work history at the school, according to university records and copies of the grant applications.

On Tuesday, the endowment released a third grant application, from 2012, that also contains the nonexistent doctorate and other misinformation. The endowment, a federal agency that is one of the country's largest funders of cultural programs, gave the academy $1.2 million to fund fellowships for scholars and other programs based on the requests.

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