Theodore M. Lechterman

Postdoctoral Researcher in Political Theory

Professional website of Theodore M. Lechterman, postdoctoral researcher in political theory.

Curriculum Vitae

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EMPLOYMENT

Interdisciplinary Ethics Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, 2016–present

Primary appointment: McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society

Secondary appointment: Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS)

EDUCATION

Ph.D. Princeton University, Department of Politics, June 2016

Dissertation: “Donors’ Democracy: Private Philanthropy and Political Morality”

Committee: Charles Beitz, Melissa Lane, Philip Pettit

M.A. Princeton University, Department of Politics, May 2013

Exam fields: Political Theory, Comparative Politics, Ethics (Department of Philosophy)

A.B. Harvard University, Department of Government, June 2008

ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS

 “A Review of Laura Valentini, Justice in a Globalized World: A Normative Framework.” Raisons Politiques 51 (August 2013): 167-176.

WORKS IN PROGRESS

Donors’ Democracy: Private Philanthropy and Political Morality (book manuscript)

Abstract: Under what conditions is private philanthropy legitimate in a democratic society? A practice of philanthropy confers social decision-making power on the basis of individual initiative and level of wealth. But the value of democracy requires that social outcomes issue from collective decision-making processes, independent from differences in wealth. The practice of philanthropy and the value of democracy would thus appear to be odd bed fellows. The book argues that in certain respects philanthropy can in fact be a more serious threat to the democratic ideal than we generally realize. However, it contends that philanthropy does have a legitimate role to play within a democratic society and can be designed to support the democratic ideal. These conclusions yield unique implications for both public policy and individual behavior that the book details.

“The Political Theory of Nonprofits” (with Rob Reich). In The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook. 3rd edn. Edited by Walter Powell and Patricia Bromley. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2019. In preparation.

“‘That the Earth Belongs in Usufruct to the Living’: Intergenerational Philanthropy and the Problem of Dead-Hand Control.” In Giving in Time. Edited by Ray Madoff and Ben Soskis. In preparation.

“Justice and Humanity in Access to Medicine: MSF’s Rejection of Free Vaccines.” Working paper.

“Donations and Democracy.” Working paper.

“The Effective Altruist’s Dilemma." Working paper.

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

“Is the Private Provision of Public Goods Legitimate?” Cornell-Stanford Conference on Public Goods and Rising Inequality, Stanford University, Nov. 2–3, 2017

“Justice and Humanity in Access to Medicine: MSF’s Rejection of Free Vaccines,” Research Workshop on Humanitarian NGOs and Pharmaceutical Donations, Stanford PACS / Center for Ethics in Society, May 10, 2017

“Is the Social Responsibility of Business to Increase Profits?” Pimms and Papers discussion group, San Francisco, California, February 26, 2017                       

 “‘That the Earth Belongs in Usufruct to the Living’: Perpetual Philanthropy and the Problem of Perpetual Power,” presented at:

Stanford Political Theory Workshop, Stanford University, Stanford, California, October 21, 2016

Seminar in Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 11, 2016                        

Giving in Time: Scholars’ Conference, Boston College Law School, Newton, Massachusetts, September 23, 2016                                                                                                                                                            

International Society for Third-Sector Research annual conference, Ersta Skondal University College, Stockholm, Sweden, June 30, 2016                                                                                                                                                                       

“The Effective Altruist’s Dilemma,” presented at:

Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) annual conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan, November 16–18, 2017

American Political Science Association annual meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2, 2016   

Conference on “The New Philanthropy: Effective Altruism and Beyond,” Yale Global Justice Program / Academics Stand Against Poverty, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, May 7, 2016                                                                                               

 “Donations and Democracy,” presented at:

Princeton-LSE Workshop on Democratic Theory and Practice, Princeton University, May 4, 2016 

Northeastern Political Science Association annual meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 13, 2015

Harvard Graduate Conference in Political Theory, Government Department, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 23, 2015

Western Political Science Association annual meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 4, 2015

 “Charity’s Injustice,” Why Charity conference, Center for Applied Philosophy, Ethics, and Politics, University of Brighton, July 7, 2014

HONORS AND AWARDS

Postgraduate Travel Fund Grant, Society for Applied Philosophy, June 2016

McWilliams Best Graduate Student Paper in Political Theory Award, Northeastern Political Science Association, April 2016

Teaching Transcript Certificate, McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Princeton University, Spring 2016

Laurance S. Rockefeller Graduate Prize Fellowship, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, 2014–2015

Political Philosophy Summer Travel and Research Fund grants, University Center of Human Values, Princeton University, Summer 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015

Merit Prize, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, Fall 2010

Eric Firth Prize, Department of Government, Harvard University, Spring 2008

Citation in French Language, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, Harvard University, Spring 2008

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Principal Instructor, The Ethics and Politics of Effective Altruism, Stanford University, Spring 2018

Assistant-in-Instruction, Practical Ethics, Prof. Peter Singer, Princeton University, Fall 2015

Assistant-in-Instruction, Global Justice, Prof. Charles Beitz, Princeton University, Spring 2014

Assistant-in-Instruction, Ethics and Public Policy, Prof. Stephen Macedo, Princeton University, Fall 2013

SERVICE & PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Referee:

Journal of Political Philosophy (2017–present)

Journal of Politics (2017–present)

Rockefeller Foundation Junior Scholars Forum (2017–present)

Princeton Graduate Conference in Political Theory (2011–2016)

Discussant, “The Ethics and Politics of Philanthropy” panel, Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting, Chicago, Illinois, April 8, 2016

Undergraduate mentor, Values in Public Life certificate program, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, 2014–2016

Undergraduate tutoring coordinator, McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Princeton University, 2014–2015  

Research assistant, Professor Charles Beitz, Princeton University, Spring 2013

Lead organizer, Princeton Graduate Conference in Political Theory, 2013

Discussant, Princeton Graduate Conference in Political Theory, 2012 and 2015

Referee, Princeton Graduate Conference in Political Theory, 2011–2016

Director of Publications, Council for American Students in International Negotiations, 2005–2010

LANGUAGES

Native: English

Read: Latin, French, Spanish

RELATED WORK EXPERIENCE

Program Assistant, Social Science Research Council, Brooklyn, New York, 2009–2010

Communications Associate, Corporate Accountability International, Boston, Mass., 2008–2009

Teaching Assistant / Residential Advisor, Summer Institute for the Gifted, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, Summer 2008

RELATED PUBLICATIONS

“Access to Knowledge” (uncredited). In The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience, edited by Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, 110–51. New York: Social Science Research Council & New York University Press, 2010.

Burd-Sharps, Sarah, Patrick Guyer, Ted Lechterman, and Kristen Lewis. “Proposal for the Development of a ‘Tots Index’ Using the Human Development Conceptual Framework.” In Global Child Poverty and Well-Being, edited by Alberto Minujin and Shailen Nandy, 155–78. Bristol: Policy Press, 2012.

Burd-Sharps, Sarah, Patrick Guyer, Ted Lechterman, and Kristen Lewis. “The American Human Development Project: Results from Mississippi and Louisiana.” In Community Quality-of-Life Indicators: Best Cases V, edited by M. Joseph Sirgy, Rhonda Phillips, and Don R. Rahtz, vol. 3: 113–36. New York: Springer, 2011.

Burd-Sharps, Sarah, Kristen Lewis, Patrick Guyer, and Ted Lechterman. “Twenty Years of Human Development in Six Affluent Countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.” United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports, Human Development Research Paper 2010/27. October 2010.

References available upon request.

Last revised: Oct. 1, 2017