David became executive dean of The New School for General Studies and Milano in 2010. He is a national leader in developing innovative methods to engage higher education institutions with communities outside the academy. He was director of Bates College's Harward Center, an academic center that brought together community-based learning and research, co-curricular work, and environmental stewardship. He was founding director of the University of Michigan's Arts of Citizenship program, an initiative to integrate civic engagement with the liberal arts. He serves on the boards of Project Pericles and Bringing Theory to Practice, a project linking learning, civic engagement, and student wellbeing. David's scholarship explores politics, culture, and space in 19th-century America, particularly New York City. He taught for 16 years at the University of Michigan, where he earned tenure. He holds a PhD in American studies as well as an MA and BA from Yale.