Theodore Lechterman

Theodore Lechterman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at IE University. His research addresses questions in applied ethics through the lens of political philosophy. Much of his work investigates how democratic values apply when public power is exercised by private and artificial agents (such as corporations, philanthropists, and autonomous systems). His first book, The Tyranny of Generosity: Why Philanthropy Corrupts Our Politics and How We Can Fix It, was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. Lechterman was educated at Harvard and Princeton and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford, the Hertie School, Goethe University, and Oxford. He frequently contributes to public debates and advises business leaders on responsible innovation and social impact.


• Director and Expert Lead, Technology and Social Impact, Compass Ethics, USA, 2022 – Present

• Senior Associate, Principia Advisory, Switzerland, 2019 – Present

• Program Assistant, Social Science Research Council, USA, 2009 – 2010

• Communications Associate, Corporate Accountability International, USA, 2008 – 2009


• Assistant Professor of Philosophy, IE University, Spain, 2022 – Present

• Research Fellow in Ethics in AI, University of Oxford, UK, 2020 – 2022

• Thyssen Postdoctoral Fellow, Hertie School, Germany, 2019 – 2020

• Justitia Amplificata Postdoctoral Fellow, Goethe University, Germany, 2018 – 2019

• Interdisciplinary Ethics Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, USA, 2016 – 2018


• Ph.D. in Politics, Princeton University, USA, 2016

• M.A. in Politics, Princeton University, USA, 2013

• A.B. in Government, Harvard University, USA, 2008


• Lechterman, T.M. (2022). “The Concept of Accountability in AI Ethics and Governance”. In Bullock, J., Chen, Y.C., Himmelreich, J., Hudson, V., Korinek, A., Young, M., Zhang, B. (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of AI Governance. Oxford University Press

• Lechterman, T.M. (2021). “The Tyranny of Generosity: Why Philanthropy Corrupts Our Politics and How We Can Fix It”. Oxford University Press

• Lechterman, T.M. (2021). “The Potestas of Practice”. History of Political Thought, Vol. 42(2): 240 – 51

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