Danielle Allen, 2022 Class Day Speaker

Danielle Allen Portrait
Photo Credit: Laura Rose

Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design has named Danielle Allen as its 2022 Class Day speaker. Allen will address the GSD’s class and their families during the School’s 2022 Class Day exercises on Wednesday, May 25 at 3:30 PM ET in the Gund Back Yard.

Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. In 2022 Allen launched a historic bid as the first African-American woman to run for governor in Massachusetts state history.

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); and Our Declaration (2014); and co-editor (with Rob Reich) of Education, Justice, and Democracy (2013).

In 2002 Allen was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her “ability to combine the classicist’s careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist’s sophisticated and informed engagement.” Allen is a frequent public lecturer and regular guest on public radio affiliates to discuss issues of citizenship and education policy, as well as a contributor on similar subjects to the Washington Post, Boston Review, Democracy, Cabinet, and The Nation. Allen 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 is currently working on books on citizenship in the digital age and political equality and directs The Democratic Knowledge Project, a group of research projects on knowledge and democracy.

To see a full schedule of 2022 Class Day and Commencement exercises, and for other Commencement information, please visit the GSD’s Commencement webpage.