Senior Fellow

Anita L. Allen, JD, PhD

  • Henry R. Silverman Professor, Carey Law School
  • Professor, Philosophy, School of Arts and Sciences

Anita L. Allen, JD, PhD is the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an expert on privacy law, the philosophy of privacy, bioethics, and contemporary values, and is recognized for scholarship about legal philosophy, women’s rights, and race relations. She was Vice Provost for Faculty at Penn from 2013—2020. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2016, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. In 2010, she was appointed by President Obama to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

Her books include Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide (Oxford, 2011), The New Ethics: A Guided Tour of the 21st Century Moral Landscape (Miramax/Hyperion, 2004), Why Privacy Isn’t Everything: Feminist Reflections on Personal Accountability (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), and Uneasy Access: Privacy for Women in a Free Society (Rowman & Littlefield, 1988). She has published over 100 scholarly articles, book chapters, and essays, and has appeared on national TV and radio.

She serves on the board of the National Constitution Center and as Chair of the Board of EPIC, the Electronic Communications Privacy Center. She was a member of the NIH Precision Medicine IRB, and the Boards of Directors of Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan DC, and Maternity Care Coalition of Philadelphia.

She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. She was the first African American woman to hold both a PhD in Philosophy and a JD, and the first to be elected President of The American Philosophical Association’s Eastern Division.

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