Interdisciplinary Ethics Postdoctoral Fellow, Bowen H. McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society / Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford University, 2016–present
Ph.D. Princeton University, Department of Politics, June 2016
Dissertation: “Donors’ Democracy: Private Philanthropy and Political Morality”
Committee: Charles Beitz, Melissa Lane, Philip Pettit
Abstract: We commonly believe that citizens of a liberal democracy should be free to donate private property, particularly when those donations serve public purposes. The fact that philanthropy releases resources to the public benefit may support the thought that the state should afford it wide discretion, if not affirmative subsidy. Support for donor discretion faces numerous challenges, however. Since the claims of need demand special moral urgency, some argue that the state must steer donations toward a society’s least well-off members. From this perspective, the fact that contemporary policies subsidize donations on an indiscriminate basis appears counterintuitive, if not unjustified. Another problem lies in the way philanthropy can convert wealth into public influence. Donations are a valuable way of expressing one’s identity and advocating for conceptions of the common good. However, when donations serve to amplify the voices of those with greater resources, they appear to clash with a sacred democratic norm: that citizens are entitled to equal influence over their common affairs. Finally, making donations beyond one’s lifetime can be a valuable way of caring for the interests of future generations. But it is also a way of imposing the wills of the past upon future persons, and restricting their own choices. Under what conditions, if any, must future persons honor the philanthropic intentions of the past? As a contribution to the political theory of philanthropy, this dissertation shows how the political morality of liberal democracy provides resources for resolving these conflicts, both in principle and in practice.
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
“‘That the Earth Belongs in Usufruct to the Living’: Perpetual Philanthropy and the Problem of Perpetual Power,” Stanford Political Theory Workshop, Stanford University, Stanford, California, October 21, 2016 (scheduled)
“‘That the Earth Belongs in Usufruct to the Living’: Perpetual Philanthropy and the Problem of Perpetual Power,” Seminar in Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 11, 2016 (scheduled)
“The (Effective) Altruist’s Dilemma,” American Political Science Association annual meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2, 2016 (scheduled)
“Giving and Time,” International Society for Third-Sector Research annual conference, Ersta Skondal University College, Stockholm, Sweden, June 30, 2016
“The Altruist’s Dilemma,” The New Philanthropy: Effective Altruism and Beyond, Yale Global Justice Program and Academics Stand Against Poverty, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, May 7, 2016
“Donations and Democracy,” Princeton-LSE Workshop on Democratic Theory and Practice, Princeton University, May 4, 2016
Discussant, Panel: "The Ethics and Politics of Philanthropy, " Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting, Chicago, Illinois, April 8, 2016
“Donations and Democracy,” paper presented at the Northeastern Political Science Association annual meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 13, 2015.
“Donations and Democracy,” paper presented at the Harvard Graduate Political Theory Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 23, 2015.
“Donations and Democracy,” paper presented at the Western Political Science Association annual meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 4, 2015.
“Charity’s Injustice,” paper presented at “Why Charity? The Politics and Ethics of Charity,” University of Brighton, Brighton, U.K., 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
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
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
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
“Access to Knowledge.” Chapter in The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience, edited by Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, 110-151. New York: Social Science Research Council/New York University Press, 2010.
“Proposal for the Development of a ‘Tots Index’ Using the Human Development Conceptual Framework” (with Sarah Burd-Sharps, Patrick Guyer, and Kristen Lewis). In Global Child Poverty and Well-Being, edited by Alberto Minujin and Shailen Nandy, 155-178. Bristol: Policy Press, 2012.
“The American Human Development Project: Results from Mississippi and Louisiana” (with Sarah Burd-Sharps, Patrick Guyer, and Kristen Lewis). In Community Quality-of-Life Indicators: Best Cases V, edited by M. Joseph Sirgy, Rhonda Phillips, and Don R. Rahtz, vol. 3: 113-136. New York: Springer, 2011.
“Twenty Years of Human Development in Six Affluent Countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States” (with Sarah Burd-Sharps, Patrick Guyer, and Kristen Lewis). United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports, Human Development Research Paper 2010/27. October 2010.
References available upon request.
Last revised: August 22, 2016