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.

The fox guarding higher education’s philanthropic hen house

Too many donors place their trust in university leaders with a preference for unrestricted dollars, who ask donors to invest millions without the benefit of independent advice or oversight.

How to protect your philanthropic legacy

As important as guarding against deviations from donor intent, is finding pathways to fulfill it.

On this Valentine’s Day, a reflection on marriage and civil society

The decline of marriage affects how American civil society holds up.

The complacent class and the future of philanthropy

The upper middle class has become a “complacent class,” of which the defining characteristic is “the lack of a sense of urgency” to achieve something great. How will this affect philanthropy?

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…