Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill

Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill

Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill is a program officer at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. She has been an adviser to Washington think tanks and educational nonprofit organizations. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Jacqueline served on the faculties of St. John's College and the College of William & Mary. She has published articles about political philosophy, social issues, and bioethics in journals such as The New Atlantis, Society, and Philanthropy.

Jacqueline earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Duke University and her B.A., also in political science, from The University of Calgary.

Jacqueline is a board member for the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women College Program Foundation, and she has taught in the college program at Maryland's only prison for women. She lives with her husband and their children in Silver Spring, Maryland.


  • The barbarism of the “Reading Progress Bar”

    Robertson Davies, that most delightful Canadian novelist, playwright, and essayist, quipped that most people don’t want to read books, they want to have read books—to enjoy the distinction of being well-read without the bother and work of reading.… MORE >>

  • Taxes and a civilized society

    “Taxes,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote in 1927, “are what we pay for civilized society.” For everyone scrambling to fill out tax forms this week, it’s evident that the price paid today is high. … MORE >>

  • Measles, mumps, and Lady Mary

    Lady Mary Wortley Montagu showed many faces to eighteenth-century European aristocracy: an epistolary genius, whose letters from Turkey introduced many to the Muslim world; a divorcée who was pursued by Alexander Pope and other leading men of her day; and great beauty whose looks were ruined by small pox.… MORE >>

  • A red herring from the Redskins

    Earlier this week, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder one again defied Native American groups, the local press, and even the president of the United States by affirming that he would not give into pressure to change the Redskins’ name.… MORE >>

  • Optimizing inequality

    Is there an optimal amount of inequality? Americans seem much more disposed than Western Europeans to tolerate inequality: indeed, the American dream presupposes inequality, because the notion that a person can work hard and “get ahead” means not only getting above the economic station one was born into but also getting ahead of others.… MORE >>

  • Philanthropy, photography, and Roger Fenton

    Photos from the Ukraine have helped us understand better the unfolding crisis across the Ukraine and especially in the Crimea.… MORE >>

  • Tale of two cities: Philanthropy in Washington, D.C.

    Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities… MORE >> contrasts Paris as a future-looking city of ideas and London as a city with nostalgia for its past.

  • Tavern talk: The decline of political discourse

    Ben Schreckinger wrote last week at Slate… MORE >> that “there will never be another American Revolution.” Of course there won’t be another American Revolution, you might be thinking—the American republic—imperfect as it may be—is the best regime around.

  • “Scrawl is best”: The persistence of the hand-written

    In an era when communications are spliced into 140-character tweets, and when school children are taught typing but not cursive—and certainly not taught what used to go under the craftsmanlike name of “penmanship”—one might think that the hand-written note would be on its way out.… MORE >>

  • Status update: Sharing more, trusting less

    Facebook—the social media platform where 1.2 billion people post “status updates,” “like” each other’s photos, and share other web content—turned 10 this week.… MORE >>

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