People

Tyler J. VanderWeele

Tyler J. VanderWeele, Ph.D., is the John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Director of the Human Flourishing Program and Co-Director of the Initiative on Health, Religion and Spirituality at Harvard University. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University in mathematics, philosophy, theology, finance, and biostatistics. His methodological research is focused on theory and methods for distinguishing between association and causation in the biomedical and social sciences and, more recently, on psychosocial measurement theory. His empirical research spans psychiatric and social epidemiology; the science of happiness and flourishing; and the study of religion and health. He is the recipient of the 2017 Presidents’ Award from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS). He has published over four hundred papers in peer-reviewed journals; is author of the books Explanation in Causal Inference (2015), Modern Epidemiology (2021), and Measuring Well-Being (2021); and he also writes a monthly blog posting on topics related to human flourishing for Psychology Today. You may also visit his School of Public Health Profile.

Contacttvanderw [at] hsph.harvard.edu

Flynn Cratty

Flynn J. Cratty, Ph.D., serves as Associate Director of the Program. He oversees its day-to-day functions and engagement with Harvard faculty and students. A historian of early modern Europe, he is a graduate of Duke University (B.A.), Southern Seminary (M.Div.), and Yale University (M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D.). His dissertation, “The Soul in Paraphrase”: Prayer and the Changing Mental Worlds of Early Modern France and England, won Yale's university-wide Theron Rockwell Field Prize. Prior to arriving at Harvard, Flynn was a John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University.

Contactflynncratty [at] fas.harvard.edu

 

Matthew T. Lee, Ph.D., is a Research Associate and Director of the Program's Flourishing Network. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Delaware in 2000. He is also Professor of the Social Sciences and Humanities at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University.  His current research explores topics such as well-being and flourishing, benevolent service to others, and the integration of social science and the humanities. He is co-editor of Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and the Humanities.

Contact: matthew_lee [at] fas.harvard.edu.

Ying Chen

Ying Chen, Sc.D., serves as an empirical research associate and data scientist for the Program. She completed her doctoral training in social epidemiology at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in 2016, and received her MSc in global health from the University of Oxford in 2011. Her current research focuses on identifying psychosocial factors such as positive family relationships and religion that may help promote human flourishing and well-being.

Contactyingchen [at] fas.harvard.edu

Jeffrey Hanson

Jeffrey Hanson, Ph.D., is a senior philosopher for the Program. He received his Ph.D. from Fordham University in 2005. He was an adjunct assistant professor of philosophy at Boston College from 2005 to 2010. From 2010 to 2015 he was a research fellow at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. He remains an honorary fellow of their Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry. He is the editor of Kierkegaard as Phenomenologist: An Experiment (Northwestern University Press) and co-editor with Michael R. Kelly of Michel Henry: The Affects of Thought (Bloomsbury). His first monograph, Kierkegaard and the Life of Faith: The Aesthetic, the Ethical, and the Religious in "Fear and Trembling" was published by Indiana University Press in 2017.  Dr. Hanson’s research focuses on issues in philosophy of religion, phenomenology, aesthetics, and ethics. His writings on Kierkegaard, French phenomenology of religion, and the arts are motivated by an ongoing interest in the practical value of philosophy for human flourishing, and he draws on the whole history of philosophy and theology for both his scholarly work and popular publications on literature, music, film, and popular culture.

Contact: jhanson [at] fas.harvard.edu

Richard Cowden

Richard G. Cowden, Ph.D., is a social-personality psychologist and the psychology research associate for the Program. He completed his doctoral training at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is broadly interested in intersections between cultural-contextual dynamics and psychosocial processes that shape adaptive functioning, personal growth, and well-being. Much of his research agenda focuses on character strengths and positive adjustment, especially the implications of forgiveness for health and well-being in diverse cultures and contexts. He has written 40+ scholarly articles and book chapters that address various aspects of human flourishing in a wide range of populations.

Contact: rcowden [at] fas.harvard.edu

Jennifer Wortham

Jennifer S. Wortham, Dr.PH, is a religion, spirituality, and forgiveness research associate for the Program.  She earned her doctorate in public health at the UCLA, Fielding School of Public Health, and she teaches graduate-level courses in health services quality  management and patient safety methods.  She has extensive experience in health system transformation, and she has served as a strategy and population health consultant for leading healthcare organizations in the public and private sectors for over 30 years.  Dr. Wprtham's current research focuses on the impact of moral and spiritual injury on health outcomes, and she is leading an international research project on the development of psycho-social-spiritual interventions for victims of moral injury.  She authored a memoir on forgiveness titled A Letter to the Pope: The Keeper of the Nest, based on her family's experience with clergy abuse; and she is leading a survivor led coalition focused on the establishment of a United Nations World Day for the Protection of Child Dignity.  

Brendan Case

Brendan W. Case, Th.D., serves as the Program's Associate Director for Research, working both to develop integrative research strategies that draw together explorations of human flourishing from across the social sciences and humanities, and to disseminate the Program's work through external partnerships and public events. Dr. Case is the author of The Accountable Animal: Justice, Justification, and Judgment (T&T Clark, 2021), and co-author (with William Glass) of Least of the Apostles: Paul and His Legacies in Earliest Christianity (forthcoming from Pickwick Press). His work has also appeared in journals such as Modern Theology, Studies in Christian Ethics, Franciscan Studies, and Pro Ecclesia. His works in-progress include a long-term project to develop a theological account of love that brings fundamental Christian convictions into conversation with classic debates in moral philosophy and contemporary debates in the social and behavioral sciences. Before coming to Harvard, he completed his Th.D. at Duke Divinity School, and served as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion.

Contact: brendan_case [at] fas.harvard.edu

Katelyn Long, DrPH, MSc, is a Research Associate for the Program. She was John and Daria Barry postdoctoral fellow at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her current work focuses on determinants of well-being, group dynamics of religion on human flourishing, and the development of tradition-specific spiritual well-being measures. She completed her doctoral studies at Boston University School of Public Health where her dissertation focused on the role of faith-based and charitable health providers in health systems. Her other public health work has been in the areas of chronic disease prevention, adolescent health, mental health, and positive deviance in vulnerable communities. She earned her Master of Science in Public Health from the University of Utah and her undergraduate degree in religion with a minor in music from Vanguard University.

tim lomas

Tim Lomas, Ph.D., is a Psychology Research Scientist in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and part of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. Dr. Lomas's research mainly focuses on cross-cultural perspectives on well-being, and especially on concepts and practices deemed ‘non-Western.’ Such research includes assisting with the Global Flourishing Study, developing a lexicography and conceptual map of ‘untranslatable’ words relating to well-being, and working with Gallup to create and analyze new well-being-related items for their world poll. Tim has published over 80 papers and 11 books relating to wellbeing, involving topics/approaches including linguistics, semiotics, art, emotional dialectics, balance/harmony, systems theory, social theory, politics, gender, and Buddhism. His latest book, entitled Happiness, will be published in 2022 by MIT Press as part of their Essential Knowledge series.

Christina Hinton Research Associate

Christina Hinton, Ph.D., is a Research Associate at the Human Flourishing Program and the Founder and CEO of Research Schools International (RSI). At Harvard, Dr. Hinton leads the Human Flourishing Program's work in education, researching character skills (e.g., kindness, gratitude, seeing the good in others) that support loving relationships and flourishing in schools internationally. She also co-leads our Flourishing Network, spearheading its education and entrepreneurship initiatives. At RSI, Dr. Hinton leads research and professional development to promote flourishing in schools around the world. Prior to her current roles, Dr. Hinton was a faculty member at Harvard Graduate School of Education, lecturing on the neuroscience of learning, character education, and school-based research. She also worked in multilateral diplomacy and international policy-making at the OECD’s Center for Educational Research and Innovation and UNICEF. She completed her doctorate and Master’s in education, neuroscience, and child development at Harvard. 

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

Charlotte Duffee, Ph.D., is a John and Daria postdoctoral fellow with the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. She is a historian and philosopher of medicine focused on the evolution of Western ideas about suffering and their influence on American medicine. She completed her Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Toronto and holds additional degrees from the University of Toronto, the New School, and New York University. Her work has appeared in journals such as BioethicsMedical Humanities, and the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Pedro Antonio

Pedro Antonio de la Rosa Fernández Pacheco, Ph.D., MPH, is a postdoctoral fellow with the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. His current research focuses on the study of risk and protective factors for alcohol use among adolescents. He completed his doctoral studies in Biomedicine and Applied Medicine at University of Navarra focusing on the effectiveness of gamification as a tool to improve school-based health education programs. He received his master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Alcalá de Henares, and an undergraduate degree in Medicine from the University of Navarra.

Kate Jackson-Meyer, Ph.D., is a John and Daria Barry postdoctoral fellow at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University and the Assistant Program Director of the Harvard Catholic Forum. Her current research investigates the problems of tragic dilemmas, moral distress, and moral injury in fields such as bioethics, war, and peacemaking in order to analyze the complexity of moral decision-making and the prospects for community-based moral healing. She is the author of Tragic Dilemmas in Christian Ethics  (Georgetown University Press 2022). She earned a Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College, a M.A.R. in ethics from Yale Divinity School, and a B.A. in biology and religion from the University of Southern California.

W Kaftanski

Wojciech T. Kaftanski, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow and Communications Associate at the Human Flourishing Program. He was previously a Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven, Belgium, a Visiting Scholar in the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre at University of Copenhagen (2015) and a House Foundation Fellow at Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf (2011). He is the author of “Kierkegaard's Existential Mimesis: A Study of Imitation, Existence, and Affect" (Routledge, 2021). He researchers ethical problems in relation to education, leadership, exemplarity, well-being, flourishing, imagination, and imitation. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Australian Catholic University in Australia. 

R. Noah Padgett, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow with the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. His research focuses on the development, evaluation, and application of advanced quantitative methods for the study of human behavior across the lifespan. His work includes publications on topics including educational measurement, psychometric theory, applied statistics, and biostatistics. His recent work is focused on the development of a flexible psychometric modeling framework for survey data that can incorporate response time alongside item responses as indicators of the construct of interest.
Jonathan C. Rutledge, Ph.D., is a John and Daria Barry postdoctoral fellow with the Human Flourishing Program. He has held postdoctoral fellowships previously at the University of Notre Dame (Center for Philosophy of Religion) and the University of St Andrews (Logos Institute for Analytic and Exegetical Theology). His primary area of research lies at the intersection of analytic philosophy and contemporary theology with a focus on metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. He is the author of Forgiveness and Atonement: Christ’s Restorative Sacrifice (Routledge 2022).
Xavier Symons, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Human Flourishing Program. He previously worked as a bioethicist at the Australian Catholic University and The University of Notre Dame Australia. Xavier's research interests include ethical issues at the beginning and end of life, conscientious objection, the ethics of healthcare resource allocation, and pandemic ethics. His is the auther of Why Conscience Matters: A Defence of Conscientious Objection in Healthcare (2022 Routledge). Dr Symons is the recipient of a 2020 Fulbright Future Postdoctoral Scholarship and was a scholar in residence at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute for Ethics from September 2021 to March 2022.
Renae Wilkinson Renae Wilkinson, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow with the Human Flourishing Program. Her research examines the role of family and educational pathways to life-course health and well-being with a concentration on parental social and economic resources during adolescence. She completed her doctoral studies in sociology at Baylor University where her dissertation focused on childhood parental death and its associations with health and educational attainment across the transition to adulthood. She earned master's degrees from Baylor University in sociology and the University of Portland in business administration, and completed her undergraduate studies in sociology at Portland State University.