Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill

Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill is director of the Campus Free Expression Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Earlier in her career, she was Executive Director of the Fund for Academic Renewal, a program of 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, philanthropy, and higher education in journals such as The New Atlantis, Society, and Philanthropy. Jacqueline earned her M.A. and Ph.D. Duke University and her B.A. from the University of Calgary. Jacqueline is a trustee of the American Academy of Liberal Education. She was a trustee and president of Advocates for the Goucher Prison Education Partnership, and she has taught in the college program at Maryland’s only prison for women. She lives with her husband and their children in Takoma Park, Maryland.  Views expressed are her own.

A nation divided, but local communities united?

Turning to what we can accomplish in our own communities offers a way to overcome our divisions.

Charles Dickens’ New Year’s call for trust and hope

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.



Women, work, and civil society

What did civil society lose as women entered the workforce? Examining the complex ways in which civic organizations – once built on the voluntary labor of women – are now suffering…

Discretionary philanthropy? It’s the only kind.

To speak of philanthropy as “giving back” rather than simply of “giving” makes philanthropy seem to be a matter of justice rather than of generosity, stripping it of its moral character.



Philanthropy and Democracy

We often think of philanthropy as simply making a positive contribution to the life of the republic. But so-called “big philanthropy” – philanthropy carried out on the grandest scale by the wealthiest individuals and foundations – has a complicated place in a democracy like ours.