Exciting News about Mathias Risse

September 28, 2018

Mathias Risse has been named the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration at Harvard Kennedy School, and is the new faculty director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Congratulations, Mathias!


The Lucius N. Littauer chair is named in recognition of the generosity of Lucius N. Littauer in establishing a “School of Public Administration to promote the science and art of government administration” in 1936. A graduate of Harvard University, Littauer was a businessman from New York who served in the House of Representatives from 1897-1907. He was also the first head football coach at Harvard. 


Mathias has also been named the new faculty director of Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, where he has been serving as interim director of the Carr Center since last year. Mathias works at the intersection of philosophy and public policy. His research addresses many questions of global justice, including human rights, inequality, taxation, trade, immigration, climate change, obligations to future generations, and the future of technology. He has also studied questions in ethics, decision theory, and 19th-century German philosophy. Mathias’s papers have been published in numerous journals, and he is the author of On Global Justice and Global Political Philosophy. Mathias has two new books forthcoming—one on the justice of international trade and one on the philosophy and history of justice. Mathias teaches ethics classes in our MPP core as well as classes in the College, and is the co-director of the Graduate Fellowship Program at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy is one of the preeminent hubs of research and engagement in its field, and it is an essential part of the Kennedy School. The Center has a distinguished group of faculty affiliates and a terrific staff led by Executive Director Sushma Raman. In addition, the Center regularly hosts important scholars and practitioners of human rights policy as fellows.

The mission of the Carr Center is to realize global justice through theory, policy, and practice, and the Center focuses its efforts on four pillars: human security, global governance, economic justice, and equality and discrimination. The Center already has an exciting slate of activities planned for the year—including events and white papers to recognize the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and a series of talks titled The Fierce Urgency of Now that will cover human rights from many angles and feature faculty from across Harvard.

With his extensive teaching and research on a wide range of issues related to global justice, and the dedication and leadership he has shown while serving as interim director, Mathias will be an outstanding faculty director of the Carr Center.