Human capacities scholar and researcher Jean Houston has, for the past 37 years, co-directed, with her husband Robert Masters, the Foundation for Mind Research, formerly in New York and now in Ashland, Oregon. Their work has focused on the understanding of latent human abilities. She is the founder of the Mystery School--a program now in its 19th year of cross-cultural mythic and spiritual studies--dedicated to teaching history, philosophy, the new physics, psychology, anthropology, myth and the many dimensions of our human potential. This year she will initiate and teach in an international program to develop social artists.
Houston was the protégé of the late anthropologist Margaret Mead, who instructed her in the workings of organizations and power structures in many different cultures. With the late mythologist Joseph Campbell, Jean Houston frequently co-led seminars and workshops aimed at understanding interrelationships between ancient myths and modern societies.
As advisor to UNICEF in human and cultural development, she has worked to implement extensive educational and health programs, primarily in Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh. In 1988, Houston worked with leaders throughout New Zealand to help bring forth that nation’s promise. With other international agencies, she has implemented the social development of indigenous people through the integration of their unique cultural gifts into their health and educational systems. In September of 1999, she traveled to Dharamsala, India as one of the distinguished group chosen to work with the Dalai Lama in an informative and advisory capacity. Her work with the Dalai Lama continues; there were meetings in Italy in 2001 and more will be scheduled in 2003.
Houston has also served in an advisory capacity to President and Mrs. Clinton. She helped Hillary Clinton write, It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. As a high-school student she worked closely with Eleanor Roosevelt on developing strategies to introduce international awareness and United Nations work to young people.