Kwame Anthony Akroma-Ampim Kusi Appiah was born in London but moved as an infant to Ghana, where he grew up. Kwame Appiah was educated at the University Primary School at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi and at Clare College, Cambridge University, in England, where he took both B.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Professor Appiah has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard Universities. He joined the Princeton faculty in 2002 as Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values.
Professor Appiah has also published widely in African and African-American literary and cultural studies. In 1992, Oxford University Press published his In My Father's House, which deals, in part, with the role of African and African-American intellectuals in shaping contemporary African cultural life. Along with Professor Henry Louis Gates he has also edited the Encarta Africana CD-ROM encyclopedia, published by Microsoft in 1999, which became Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience in book form the same year. In 2003, he coauthored Bu Me Bé: Proverbs of the Akan (of which his mother, the writer Peggy Appiah, was the major author), an annotated edition of 7,500 proverbs in Twi, the language of Asante. In January 2005, Princeton University Press published The Ethics of Identity and in February 2006 Norton published Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, which won the 2007 Arthur Ross Award of the Council on Foreign Relations. In January 2008, Harvard University Press will publish his Experiments in Ethics, based on his 2005 Flexner lectures at Bryn Mawr.