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Danielle Allen To Head Harvard Ethics Center

By Arjun S. Byju and Daniel R. Levine, Crimson Staff Writers

Political theorist Danielle S. Allen has been appointed the next director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics beginning in July, succeeding Lawrence Lessig.

According to its website, the Edmond J. Safra Center “seeks to advance teaching and research on ethical issues in public life.” Allen will also become a professor in the Government department when she comes to Harvard.

Allen, who currently serves as the UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, has published on democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Lessig will remain a professor at Harvard Law School.

Allen, who said she looks forward to joining the center, said she plans to focus on the themes of diversity, justice, and democracy during her first year there. She said she expects faculty to propose other themes as the center moves forward after her first year.

“The faculty, affiliates, and associates are fantastic. That’s one of the true attractions of the center,” she said.

Already, Allen has started to shape the center’s direction. She played a role in designing next year’s fellowship program at the center, which she said received more than 200 applications by the deadline last Friday.

Although Allen said it was too early to know which courses she will teach in the Government department, she said it will be a mix of undergraduate and graduate courses. She also said she may teach a lighter course load during her first year working as the center’s director.

—Staff writer Arjun S. Byju can be reached at

—Staff writer Daniel R. Levine can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @danielrlevine.

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