Expertise: Life-span human development, character education
Awards and Honors
National Academy of Education
William Damon is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence, and a professor of education at Stanford University.
Damon's research explores how people develop integrity and purpose in their work, family, and civic life. Damon's current work focuses on civic and entrepreneurial purpose among the young. He examines how young Americans can be educated to become devoted citizens and successful entrepreneurs. Damon's work has been used in professional training programs in fields such as journalism, law, and business and in character and civic education programs in grades K–12.
Damon’s most recent book is Failing Liberty 101 (Hoover Press, 2011). Other recent books include The Path to Purpose: How Young People Find Their Calling in Life (2008) and Taking Philanthropy Seriously (2006); Damon’s earlier books include Bringing in a New Era in Character Education (Hoover Press, 2002); Greater Expectations: Overcoming the Culture of Indulgence in Our Homes and Schools (1995); and The Moral Child (1992).
Damon is editor in chief of The Handbook of Child Psychology, fifth and sixth editions (1998 and 2006). He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association.
Damon has received awards and grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John Templeton Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Thrive Foundation for Youth, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Before coming to Stanford in 1997, Damon was University Professor and director of the Center on the Study of Human Development at Brown University. From 1973 to 1989, Damon served in several academic and administrative positions at Clark University. In 1988, he was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Puerto Rico, and in 1994–95 he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
Damon received his bachelor's degree from Harvard College and his PhD in developmental psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is married and has three children.