Danielle Allen, PhD

James Bryant Conant University Professor, Harvard University


Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought.

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Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown vs. the Board of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2014), Education and Equality (2016), and Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. (2017). She is the co-editor of the award-winning Education, Justice, and Democracy (2013, with Rob Reich) and From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in the Digital Age (2015, with Jennifer Light). She is a former Chair of the Mellon Foundation Board, past Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

She has chaired numerous commission processes and is a lead author on influential policy roadmaps, including Pursuing Excellence on a Foundation of Inclusion; Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience; Pandemic Resilience: Getting it Done; Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century; and Educating for American Democracy: Excellence in History and Civics for All Learners K-12.  She was for many years a contributing columnist for the Washington Post, and writes for the Atlantic.

Allen is the founding director for the Democratic Knowledge Project Design Studio, which emerged from the Democratic Knowledge Project, a distributed research and action lab at Harvard University.  Allen’s lab, the Democratic Knowledge Project, worked to identify, strengthen, and disseminate the bodies of knowledge, skills, and capacities that democratic citizens need in order to succeed at operating their democracy.  The Design Studio now supports the Democratic Knowledge Project K-12 civic education work, for which Allen is a faculty advisor.

Nien-he Hsieh, MPhil, PhD

Acting Director (2021-2022 Academic Year), Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University
Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University

Hsieh’s research concerns ethical issues in business and the responsibilities of global business leaders. Professor Hsieh teaches Leadership and Corporate Accountability to first-year MBA students and to Executive Education participants in the Program for Leadership Development. He joined the faculty from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was an associate professor of legal studies and business ethics and served as co-director of the Wharton Ethics Program.

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Professor Hsieh’s research centers on the question of whether and how managers ought to be guided not only by considerations of economic efficiency, but also by values such as freedom and fairness and respect for basic rights. He has pursued this question in a variety of contexts, including the employment relationship and the operation of multinational enterprises in developing economies. Professor Hsieh also studies foundational aspects of this question, examining principles for rational decision making when choices involve multiple values that appear incomparable. In his current work, he focuses on institutional dimensions of this question. In this research, he investigates standards managers should follow even if not required by legal and public institutions, and how managers should respond when existing institutions make it difficult to meet these standards.

Professor Hsieh’s work has been published in Business Ethics QuarterlyEconomics and Philosophy, The Journal of Political PhilosophyPhilosophy and Public AffairsSocial Theory and PracticeUtilitas, and various other journals. He serves on the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly and the executive board of the Society for Business Ethics.

Professor Hsieh holds a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College, an M.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Wharton in 2001, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Business School, and he has held visiting fellowships at Harvard University, Oxford University, and the Research School for Social Sciences at the Australian National University. 

Anne-Marie Slaughter

CEO, New America


Slaughter is the CEO of New America, a think and action tank dedicated to renewing the promise of America, bringing us closer to our nation’s highest ideals. She is also the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

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From 2009–2011, she served as director of policy planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Upon leaving the State Department she received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for her work leading the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, as well as meritorious service awards from USAID and the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe. Prior to her government service, Dr. Slaughter was the Dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs (formerly the Woodrow Wilson School) from 2002–2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994-2002.

Dr. Slaughter has written or edited eight books, including The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World (2017), Unfinished Business: Women, Men, Work, Family (2015), The Idea That Is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World (2007), and A New World Order (2004), as well as over 100 scholarly articles. She was the convener and academic co-chair, with Professor John Ikenberry, of the Princeton Project on National Security, a multi-year research project aimed at developing a new, bipartisan national security strategy for the United States. In 2012 she published the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” in the Atlantic, which quickly became the most read article in the history of the magazine and helped spawn a renewed national debate on the continued obstacles to genuine full male-female equality.

Dr. Slaughter is a contributing editor to the Financial Times and writes a bi-monthly column for Project Syndicate. She provides frequent commentary for both mainstream and new media and curates foreign policy news for over 140,000 followers on Twitter. Foreign Policy magazine named her to their annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. She received a B.A. from Princeton, an M.Phil and D.Phil in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Daniel M. Sachs Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard. She is married to Professor Andrew Moravcsik; they have two sons.

Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH

Dean, Brown University School of Public Health


A practicing physician, Jha is recognized globally as an expert on pandemic preparedness and response as well as on health policy research and practice. He has led groundbreaking research around Ebola and is now on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, leading national and international analysis of key issues and advising state and federal policy makers.

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He comes to the Brown School of Public Health after leading the Harvard Global Health Institute and teaching at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Jha has published more than two hundred original research publications in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the BMJ, and is a frequent contributor to a range of public media. He has extensively researched how to improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care, focusing on the impact of public health policy nationally and around the globe.

Before joining the Brown School of Public Health, Dr. Jha was a faculty member at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) since 2004 and Harvard Medical School since 2005. He was the Faculty Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute from 2014 until September 2020. From 2018 to 2020, he served as the Dean for Global Strategy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

A general internist previously with the West Roxbury VA in Massachusetts, Dr. Jha will continue his practice at the Providence VA Medical Center.

Dr. Jha was born in Pursaulia, Bihar, India in 1970. He moved to Toronto, Canada in 1979 and then to the United States in 1983. In 1992, Dr. Jha graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in economics. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1997 and then trained as a resident in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He returned to Boston to complete his fellowship in General Medicine from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 2004, he completed his Master of Public Health degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2013.

Stefanie Friedhoff

Professor of the Practice | Director of Content & Strategy, Brown School of Public Health


Friedhoff has worked as a foreign correspondent, feature writer, editor and photographer on three continents. A German-American journalist, content strategist and educator with 25+ years of experience in international media and higher education, she is an expert at creating innovative approaches to research and audience engagement on health, science, technology, education, and the information needs of democracies.

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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020 Stefanie has been primarily focused on pandemic response research, policy and crisis communications, initially as director of content and strategy at the Harvard Global Health Institute (until September 2020) and now as a professor of the practice and senior director of content, strategy and public affairs at the Brown University School of Public Health.

Working closely with Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown School of Public Health, and Danielle Allen, director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, and a network of researchers, political scientists, economists and other experts, her efforts have included a framework for COVID-19 Suppression, including our COVID-19 Risk Levels Map, key metrics and policy documents; policy briefs to provide guidance for K-12 schools during the pandemic; policy work to secure federal funding for testing, tracing and supported isolation; and working with media partners at NPR, ProPublica, the New York Times and other outlets, for example to put in context the nation’s failure to adequately test for the virus and bring the pandemic under control.

Throughout her career, Stefanie has worked as a foreign correspondent, feature writer, editor, photographer, newsroom leader and occasional hiking tour guide on three continents. Her stories have been published in TIME, The Boston Globe, Geo, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and many other publications. A 2001 Nieman Foundation for Journalism Fellow, she is also a senior advisor to the Trust for Trauma Journalism and a board member at RiffReporter. 

Jonathan Hack, PhD

Director of Content & Strategy, JHD Impact Initiative, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

 Prior to joining the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Hack held various positions in the higher education think-space. Most recently, serving as a faculty member at Lehigh University, teaching courses on American politics and constitutional law.

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Jonathan holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from The George Washington University with a focus on judicial decision-making and statistical methodology. His research explores how institutional design and co-branch interactions constrain judicial behavior, with a particular interest in why differences emerge among elected and appointed judiciaries. Jon received semikha (rabbinical ordination) in 2013.

Meredith Sumpter

Director, Justice, Health & Democracy Impact Initiative, New America


Sumpter oversees New America’s partnership with the Harvard Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics on the Justice, Health & Democracy Rapid Response Impact Initiative, where she convenes local leaders with national research experts on innovative policy reforms to renew America’s social contract.

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Sumpter is CEO of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism where she leads the work of the coalition along with private, public, and civic stakeholders to drive reform initiatives to make capitalism inclusive and its benefits more widely and equitably shared. In 2021, the coalition launched its bipartisan and cross-sector Framework for Inclusive Capitalism: A New Compact Among Business, Government & American Workers. The framework brings business, labor, and policy experts together around 21 policy concepts to place workers at the core of America’s economic recovery. She is also CEO of the separate Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican, launched in December 2020, which is a global movement of business, public sector, and civic leaders who are working to build a more inclusive, sustainable, and trusted economic system that addresses the needs of our people and the planet. 

Formerly, Sumpter was head of research & strategy at Eurasia Group, a global political risk advisory firm. In that role, she oversaw the firm’s research platform and provided analysis on global politics and 21st century drivers of trade, disruption, and growth. Her nearly 20-year experience in public policy, analysis, and business spans multiple regions and sectors, including ICT, media, consumer goods, healthcare, banking and finance, and commodities. She previously led strategic advisory for Fortune 500 firms across the East, Southeast and South Asia, worked in the U.S. Senate, and served as a U.S. diplomat in Beijing, where she advised two U.S. ambassadors and analyzed politics, economics, and security issues for the policy community.

She is at heart a public servant dedicated to expanding opportunity. Sumpter was raised in rural Alaska and enjoys a rich life parenting four school-aged children with her husband Ryan Hass.

Jess Miner

Executive Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

Miner is the Executive Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and the Edmond J. Safra Research Director, ex officio. As Executive Director, Jess is responsible for the center’s research agenda as well as oversight of the team managing the Center’s fellowships and programs. She oversees the development and expansion of our initiatives, including the Innovation in Ethics Education Initiative and the Emergent Trends in Teaching and Learning Ethics at Harvard (ETTLE, part of the National Ethics Project). As our chief administrator, Jess also has oversight of the team responsible for the organization and day-to-day management of all Center activities, including budget planning and financial administration, staff and human resources management, and creation and execution of our staffing plan.

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Jess is a Classicist with primary interests in ancient Greek oratory and comedy, higher education administration, and practical ethics pedagogy. Prior to joining the Center in 2015, she spent five years implementing an ethics across the curriculum program at The University of Texas at Austin. She is on the Advisory Board of the EthicsLab, Yaoundé and Ethics Unwrapped.

Anna Lewis

Research Associate, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

 Anna works on the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genomic technologies. She comes to this work from a background as a scientist and a practitioner in the genetics industry. The project she leads as part of the Justice, Health and Democracy initiative at the E J Safra Center is on the use of population and ancestry categories across disciplines. The project is motivated by the increasing relevance of the categories of the geneticist to medicine, public health, and beyond. It is also motivated by the sensitivity of polygenic risk scores — which combine the many small effects of genetic variants to a trait of interest — to details of the groups used to train and validate them.

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In addition to her role at the Safra Center, Anna is embedded in the Genomes2People group, a genomic implementation science group led by Dr Robert Green. Through this she is part of the team on two large-scale efforts to return polygenic scores to individuals, giving her direct experience of the types of issues faced by practitioners around the use of ancestry and population. She is a member of the International Common Disease Alliance’s task force on the responsible use of polygenic scores. Other projects include co-chairing a task force leading to the first international policy on the return of genomic research results, work on genetic discrimination protections (and lack thereof) in the US, particularly for life insurance, and ELSI issues on somatic gene editing.

Meira Levinson

Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Levinson’s areas of research include civic education, racial justice, and educational ethics. She is currently working to start a global field of educational ethics, modeled after bioethics, that is philosophically rigorous, disciplinarily and experientially inclusive, and both relevant to and informed by educational policy and practice. Like many people, Meira has focused much of her work on COVID over the past year. 

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She serves on the Lancet COVID-19 Commission’s Committee on Safe Work, Safe School, and Safe Travel, has authored white papers, policy guidance, and articles on the ethics of school reopenings, and is currently conducting a research and professional development initiative with educators in ten countries on the ethical issues they face under COVID. Meira has written or co-edited six books, including Democratic Discord in Schools, Dilemmas of Educational Ethics, and No Citizen Left Behind. She shares educational ethics resources on JusticeinSchools.org, rich video materials to support higher education pedagogy at Instructional Moves, and resources for youth activists and teacher allies at YouthinFront.org. Each of these projects reflects Meira’s commitment to achieving productive cross-fertilization—without loss of rigor—among scholarship, policy, and practice. Meira earned a B.A. in Philosophy at Yale and a D.Phil. in political theory at Nuffield College, Oxford University. She also taught middle school for eight years in the Atlanta and Boston Public Schools.

Daniel Markovits

Guido Calabresi Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Founding Director, Center for the Study of Private Law, Yale Law School

 Markovits publishes widely and in a range of disciplines, including contract law, legal theory, moral and political philosophy, and behavioral economics.  His writings have appeared in Science, The American Economic Review, and The Yale Law Journal

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His current book, The Meritocracy Trap (Penguin Press, 2019), develops a sustained attack on American meritocracy.  

The meritocratic ideal—that people should get ahead based on their own accomplishments rather than their parents’ social class—has become our age’s literal common sense.  Markovits argues, however, that both up and down the social ladder, meritocracy is a sham.  Today, meritocracy has become exactly what it was invented to defeat—a new aristocracy, only now based on schooling rather than breeding.  Upward mobility has become a fantasy, and the embattled middle class is more likely to sink into the working poor than to rise into the professional elite.  At the same time, meritocracy ensnares even those who manage to claw their way to the top, trapping rich adults in a pitiless competition, which requires them to work with crushing intensity, exploiting their expensive educations in order to extract a return.

Griffin Jones

Doctoral Research Assistant, Justice, Health, and Democracy Impact Initiative

Jones (he/his) is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has committed his career to scaling innovations aimed at improving the health of marginalized populations. Before Harvard Chan, Griffin served as the Interim Director of Strategic Investment at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC), leading programs targeting the Commonwealth’s most intractable health care cost challenges.

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Griffin’s work focuses on the intersection of human rights and health care delivery and financing innovation, including supporting initiatives focused on health equity and racial justice during doctoral research fellowships at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study as a member of the Multidisciplinary Student Research Collaborative. 

Originally from Portland, Maine, Griffin also holds a BA in International Relations from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a Masters in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie School of Public Service.  He lives with his wife and three young children in Arlington, MA, and enjoys and cross-country skiing and cooking with his kids.

Natalie Kofler, MS, PhD

Founder, Editing Nature
Senior Advisor, Scientific Citizenship Initiative

Kofler is a trained molecular biologist who now works at the intersection of science and society. Her work is fueled by a desire to transform scientific culture and make science more representative of the communities it’s meant to serve. Towards this goal, she focuses on improving scientific training and curriculum, cultivating public dialogue and engagement, and creating more just and rigorous decision-making processes to steer responsible development of emerging technologies.

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Natalie leads curriculum development and is a strategic advisor for the Scientific Citizenship Initiative at Harvard Medical School. She is also the founding director of Editing Nature – a global initiative to steer responsible development and deployment of genetic technologies. Her work has been highlighted by The New York Times, Science, Nature, NPR, CBC radio, and National Geographic. She teaches Environmental Ethics and Justice at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Harvard Medical School and is a visiting fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. She received her PhD in cellular, molecular, and medical biosciences and MS in human nutrition and metabolic studies from Columbia University and her BS in human anatomy and cell biology from McGill University.

Josh Simons

Postdoctoral Fellow in Technology and Democracy, Carr Center for Human Rights and Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Simons is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Technology and Democracy at the Carr Center for Human Rights and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University. Josh’s first book, Citizen Rule: How to Make Machine Learning Work For Us, is due in Summer 2022, based on his PhD dissertation in political theory which received the American Political Science Association (APSA) prize in Information Technology and Politics. His research explores the political character of predictive tools like AI and machine learning and how those tools should be governed to support the flourishing of democracy. 

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Josh has worked as a Visiting Research Scientist in AI at Facebook; a Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, Cambridge University; a US-India Technology Policy Fellow at New America; and as a candidate for the Labour Party and policy advisor in the UK Parliament.

Maggie Gates

Manager of Communications and Development, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

Gates is the Manager of Communications and Development, which means she manages and executes the overall communications strategy and manages the Center’s fundraising infrastructure for the Director. She was the project manager for the Justice, Health, and Democracy Project on public health paradigms for drug control and criminal justice reform from 2016-2020. 

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She was an AFP Fellow in 2015-16, and during that was a research manager on the Tensions of Force project for two former faculty affiliates of the Center, while also acting as the Managing Editor of Transforming Anthropology, the flagship journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists, which they co-edited. In her spare time, Maggie enjoys cooking, traveling, and making art with her daughter. 

Maggie is co-chair of the Executive Committee for the Committee on the Concerns of Women, a Harvard Employee Resource Group. She has been a member of CCW since 2018.

David J. Knight

Co-Convener and Doctoral Research Assistant, Justice, Health & Democracy Justice Network

Knight is co-lead of the justice work stream in the Justice, Health, and Democracy (JHD) Impact Initiative. He also co-convenes JHD’s Justice Network composed of leading scholars, advocates and practitioners who work on matters of justice in the United States. David is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Chicago (PhD expected June 2022).

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His research lies at the intersection between mass incarceration, race and ethnicity, and social movements, with a focus on how imprisonment shapes Black political thought and action.

Benjamin Barsky

Benjamin Barsky

Doctoral Research Assistant, Justice, Health, and Democracy Impact Initiative

Barsky is a lawyer and Ph.D. student in health policy at Harvard University. He is also Legal Research Fellow at the Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care at the University of Pennsylvania. Ben researches in the areas of health law and justice, mental health policy, and disability rights. Before pursuing his doctoral studies, Ben clerked for a federal judge in Memphis, Tennessee, and occupied various positions in law and mental health policy.

Tony Guidotti

Tony Guidotti

Research Assistant, Justice, Health, and Democracy Impact Initiative

Tony Guidotti is a JHD Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. His research explores how economic dignity and security impacts the health of democratic institutions and how community wealth building as a policy paradigm provides opportunities for local institutions. Tony received his Master of Global Affairs from the University of Notre Dame in 2020.

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He has served as a Research Partner for Catholic Relief Services in Bangladesh and Uganda, studying how humanitarian cash transfers could be used to improve refugee financial inclusion, and as a Livelihood Consultant with Food for the Poor in Honduras. Most recently, Tony was an Innovation Fellow with enFocus, partnering with civic institutions to design community-centric policy solutions. Tony enjoys board games, reading, and loudly supporting the Minnesota Vikings and Notre Dame Fighting Irish football teams.

Smiling woman with blond hair and glasses in a black turtleneck

Meg Foley Yoder

Communications Associate, Justice, Health and Democracy Impact Initiative

Meg joined JHD in March of 2022. As Communications Associate, she is responsible for making JHD’s academic expertise in the social sciences and humanities accessible to scholars and practitioners in real time via a variety of digital and print media. 

Prior to joining the team of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Meg was the Student Communications Coordinator for the George Mason University College of Education and Human Development in Fairfax, Virginia.

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In this role, her work focused on current student and curricular affairs communications with the goal of increasing student retention, policy awareness, and sense of belonging. Meg has also served military families as the U.S. Navy Region Korea Ombudsman. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Education from the University of Notre Dame.