The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics seeks to strengthen teaching and research about pressing ethical issues; to foster sound norms of ethical reasoning and civic discussion; and to share the work of our community in the public interest.
Our new “Community Profiles” interview series highlights the longstanding members of our community at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.
Nien-hê Hsieh is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration and Joseph L. Rice, III Faculty Fellow at Harvard Business School. He serves as Co-Director of Rapid Response Impact Initiatives at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and is a Faculty Associate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and is a Faculty Advisory Committee member for the EJSCE. Prof. Nien-hê will serve as Acting Director of the EJSCE for the coming academic year, beginning on July 1, 2021. Nien-hê is a representative of the EJSCE community members who join our community forever.
We could think of no better person to interview to launch our new "Community Profiles" interview series. On June 17th, Communications Assistant Alexis Jimenez Maldonado sat down with Nien-hê to learn more about his history with the Center.
The transcript of the interview has been edited for clarity.
Alexis Jimenez Maldonado: You have been a part of the center’s ecosystem since 1997 when you were a Grad fellow, followed by a faculty fellowship in 2007 and then as a faculty committee member in 2017. There seems to be something drawing you back every decade. What keeps bringing you back to the center?
Nien-hê Hsieh: You’ve probably heard this by now, but there’s sort of a longstanding joke among those of us who are long-time affiliates that basically the center keeps bringing us back because we still haven’t gotten it right—we are not yet sufficiently ethical.
I’ve been very fortunate to be able to come back to the center and to be here now as acting director. I guess ten years marks national inflection points and one’s academic career, so I think in some ways it reflects that rhythm. But more importantly, I’d say it shows how special of a place the center is. There really aren’t other places like it to do interdisciplinary work focused on ethics, from theory to practice.