Danielle Allen is a prominent American author, educator and political theorist. She is currently the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.


She was born in the suburbs of Washington DC in 1971. Allen has had a sterling academic career; her alma mater was Princeton where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa (Classics, 1993). The following years she studied at Cambridge as a member of King's College for her MPhil (1994) and PhD (1996), both in Classics. Shortly after she pursued another MA (1998) and PhD (2001) at Harvard. She was awarded the MacArthur "genius" Fellowship the same year she graduated for her contributions to the field of classics and political science.

During her last few years at Harvard, she also worked at the University of Chicago becoming a professor of both classics and political science. From 2004 and 2007 she served as the Dean of the Division of Humanities. The following eight years were spent at Princeton where Allen was the UPS Foundation Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. In 2015, she returned to Harvard as a member of the faculty.

Among her many accolades she was a trustee of Armhurst College, as well as Princeton, she was the chair of the Pulitzter Prize Board, and the Mellon Foundation board of trustees. She has published extensively. Some of her books include;

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. (forthcoming 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).

Danielle Allen has excelled in Academia, and has been recognised by her students for her outstanding teaching. In 2001, received the University of Chicago’s Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

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