Scott Appleby (Ph.D. University of Chicago,1985) served as the Regan Director of the Kroc Institute from 2000-2014. He remains on the Kroc Institute faculty while serving as the Marilyn Keough Dean of the School of Global Affairs (scheduled for 2017). He also directs Contending Modernities, a major multi-year project to examine the interaction among Catholic, Muslim, and secular forces in the modern world.

Appleby's research examines the roots of religious violence and the potential of religious peacebuilding. He co-chaired the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Task Force on Religion and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy, which released the influential report "Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy." Appleby is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of three honorary doctorates, from Fordham University, Scranton University and St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota.

From 1988 to 1993 Appleby was co-director of the Fundamentalism Project, an international public policy study conducted by the American Academy of arts and Sciences. From 1985 to 1987 he chaired the religious studies department of St. Xavier College, Chicago.

Appleby is the author of The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence and Reconciliation (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), and editor of Spokesmen for the Despised: Fundamentalist Leaders of the Middle East (University of Chicago Press, 1997). With Martin E. Marty, he co-edited the five-volume Fundamentalism Project (University of Chicago Press).

Appleby is also the author of Church and Age Unite! The Modernist Impulse in American Catholicism (Notre Dame 1992), co-editor of Being Right: Conservative Catholics in America (Indiana 1995) and co-author of Transforming Parish Ministry: The Changing Roles of Clergy, Laity, and Women Religious (Crossroad, 1989). He has been a fellow of the Institute since 1996, and director since 2000.