About the Greater Good Science Center



Staff Staff
Meet the people who run the Greater Good Science Center.
Editorial Board Editorial Board
Greater Good's board includes leading authors and scientists from around the country.
Supporters Supporters
Read about the Center's founding donors and major contributors.
Fellows & Post-Docs Fellows & Post-Docs
The Center supports the work of extraordinary young scholars.


Jesse Antin Jesse Antin
Development Director

Jesse leads the Greater Good Science Center’s development and membership efforts. He brings a background in arts and conservation fundraising and is grateful now to understand the psychology behind why giving feels so good! Prior to joining the GGSC, Jesse was a fundraiser for the environmental law non-profit Earthjustice. This followed a career in classical music during which he won a Grammy as a countertenor with the vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Jesse graduated from Brown University and now lives in Oakland with his wife and two young sons, and enjoys tennis, backpacking, and singing with his new group Clerestory.

Emily Campbell Emily Campbell
Education Research Associate

Emily contributes to education content, helps run the Summer Institute for Educators, and coordinates projects such as educator surveys and the gratitude in education grant program. A Ph.D. student in Human Development and Education at UC Berkeley, her research interests include moral development and education; social-emotional learning and positive psychology; and parenting/family socialization across cultures.

Before coming to Berkeley and the GGSC, she graduated from Stanford with a degree in Human Biology, worked at an elementary school in East San Jose through the City Year program, and spent two years teaching English at a high school in Japan. She loves traveling, but is always grateful for the beautiful environment, weather, diversity, and vegetarian food availability in the Bay Area.

Christine Carter Christine Carter
Senior Fellow

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is a sociologist and the author of the popular books The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work and Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. A sought-after keynote speaker, Christine talks to to executives, general audiences, and parents about how to live life from our “sweet spot”—that place of both power and ease. She has been quoted or featured in many major media outlets, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Dr. Oz Show, the TODAY show, the Rachael Ray Show, and PBS, as well as NPR and BBC Radio.

Christine received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, where she was a Senior Fellow, and her Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley. She has also worked as an innovation consultant for Fortune 500 companies. Predictably, Christine is happiest when she is with her friends and her family, especially her four kids, husband, and dog, Buster.

Mariah Flynn Mariah Flynn
Education Program Coordinator

Mariah provides administrative support for GGSC education initiatives like the Summer Institute for Educators. Participants and colleagues alike know her as “the woman who sends all the detailed emails.”

Before joining the GGSC, Mariah worked with the Schools of Hope (SOH) Project in Madison, Wisconsin. Serving first as an AmeriCorps member and later as a SOH staff member, she coordinated volunteers and early literacy resources at low-income Madison preschools and provided support to volunteer tutors and AmeriCorps members as they navigated the world of working with elementary-aged students. Prior to her time at SOH, Mariah earned her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Mariah and her wife, Anna, made the big leap to the left coast in late 2014, just as another winter was arriving in Wisconsin. They are grateful to have found sunny weather and a welcoming community in the East Bay!

Dacher Keltner Dacher Keltner
Founding Director

Dacher Keltner, Ph.D, is a founder of the Greater Good Science Center and its director. After receiving his Ph.D. from Stanford University, Dacher (rhymes with “cracker”) has devoted his career to studying the nature of human goodness, conducting ground-breaking research on compassion, awe, laughter, and love. He is also a leading expert on social intelligence, the psychology of power, and the emotional bases of morality. He has written more than 100 scientific papers and two best-selling textbooks, Social Psychology and Understanding Emotions. More recently, he is the author of the best-selling book Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, and a co-editor of the Greater Good anthology, The Compassionate Instinct.

Dacher is an outstanding speaker who has received several national research and teaching awards. Wired has rated the podcasts of his “Human Emotion” course as one of the five best academic podcasts in the country. He has twice presented his research to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as part of a continuing dialogue between the Dalai Lama and scientists, and his work is featured regularly in major media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, and NPR. In 2008, the Utne Reader named him as one of 50 visionaries who are changing our world.

Jason Marsh Jason Marsh
Director of Programs and Editor in Chief

Jason Marsh is the founding editor in chief of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning online magazine, Greater Good, and the GGSC’s director of programs. He oversees the production of all editorial content, curates the “Science of a Meaningful Life” event and video series, and coordinates the public education efforts at the GGSC, where he has worked for more than a decade. In that time, Jason’s writing has explored everything from the psychology of the bystander to the reasons why he should finally start meditating.

Jason is also a co-editor of two anthologies of Greater Good articles: The Compassionate Instinct and Are We Born Racist?. Before coming to the GGSC, Jason was the managing editor of the political journal The Responsive Community. He has also worked as a reporter and producer at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, as a documentary producer, and as a kindergarten teacher. His first documentary, Unschooled, a profile of three families practicing the controversial homeschooling method known as “unschooling,” debuted at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana. A graduate of Brown University and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Jason lives in Berkeley with his wife and daughter.

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton
Faculty Advisor

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, focuses his research on the interface of culture, social cognition, and intergroup processes. He is interested in understanding how marginalization of one’s social group affects basic processes related to social identity and intergroup relationships. Rudy writes for Greater Good about cross-group relationships and the psychology of prejudice, and he is a co-editor of the Greater Good anthology, Are We Born Racist?. He served as interim director of the GGSC from 2013-2014.

Hong Nguyen
Director of Operations

From managing our money to scheduling staff birthday parties, Hong Nguyen keeps the Greater Good Science Center running. She has worked at UC Berkeley since the year 2000, most recently at the Center for Risk Management. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has raised three kids.

Elise Proulx Elise Proulx
Marketing Director

Elise Proulx is the marketing director of the Greater Good Science Center. Previous to joining GGSC, Elise was marketing and development director at San Francisco’s beloved literary festival, Litquake, and ran Kidquake in the Schools, a program that brought children’s book authors to public schools in San Francisco. She spent more than a decade in the worlds of book publishing and news media in both New York City and California and finds it satisfying to have circled back to Berkeley, where she received her B.A. in English Literature when post-structuralism was the hottest subject on Sproul Plaza. She also has a Master of Information and Library Science from San José State University, and lives in Berkeley with her husband, son, and two persnickety cats.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas Emiliana Simon-Thomas
Science Director

Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center, where she oversees its fellowship program, Expanding Gratitude project, and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s “Science of Happiness” online course.

Emiliana earned her doctorate in Cognition Brain and Behavior at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation used behavioral and neuroscience methods to examined how negative states like fear and aversion influence thinking and decision-making. During her postdoc, Emiliana transitioned to studying pro-social states like love of humanity, compassion, and awe. From there, she served as Associate Director/Senior Scientist at CCARE (the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education) at Stanford University, focusing on how compassion benefits health, well-being, and psychosocial functioning.

Today, Emiliana’s work spotlights the science that connects health and happiness to social affiliation, caregiving, and collaborative relationships, as she continues to examine the potential for—as well as the benefits of—living a more meaningful life.

Jeremy Adam Smith Jeremy Adam Smith
Editor & Web Producer

Jeremy Adam Smith edits the GGSC’s online magazine, Greater Good, and helps launch new products like Thnx4.org and Greater Good in Action. He is the author of The Daddy Shift, which the San Francisco Chronicle calls “amazing” and the New York Times praises as “a chronicle of a time that he predicts we will look back upon as the start of permanent change.” He also co-edited the collection Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood, as well as two Greater Good anthologies, Are We Born Racist? and The Compassionate Instinct.

Jeremy’s coverage of racial and economic segregation in San Francisco schools has won numerous honors, most recently the 2014 Sigma Delta Chi award for investigative reporting and John Swett Award from the California Teachers Association, and his articles and essays have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Utne Reader, The Nation, Mindful, Shambhala Sun, Wired, and many other periodicals, websites, and books. Jeremy has also been interviewed by The Today Show, the New York Times, USA Today, Salon.com, Working Mother, Nightline, ABC News, NBC News, the Globe and Mail, and numerous NPR shows about parenting and education. Before joining the GGSC, Jeremy was a 2010-11 John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University. You can follow him on Twitter!

Jill Suttie Jill Suttie
Book Review Editor

Jill Suttie, Psy.D., is Greater Good‘s book review editor and a regular contributor to the magazine. She received her Psy.D. from the University of San Francisco, where she studied depression and body image issues in new mothers. Prior to joining Greater Good, Jill has worked as a psychologist in private practice, a college counselor and administrator, and a biochemist. She is also a musician who recently released her first CD of original songs. Jill lives with her husband and two children in Berkeley.

Vicki Zakrzewski Vicki Zakrzewski
Education Director

Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D., is the education director of the Greater Good Science Center. Her articles (GGSC Magazine, Huffington Post, Edutopia, and ASCD’s Educational Leadership), talks, workshops, and GGSC Summer Institute for Educators around the world provide science-based ideas for promoting the social and emotional well-being of students, teachers, and administrators, as well as methods for creating positive school cultures. Recent consulting work for incorporating the life-enhancing science of compassion, empathy, gratitude, awe, and other social-emotional skills includes: Futures Without Violence, the Mind and Life Institute (of which she is a fellow), the Jim Henson Company on a new television show for preschoolers, the International School of Brussels on the Common Ground Collaborative character curriculum, and Pixar/Disney on The Emotions Survival Guide—a follow-up book for children based on the movie Inside Out.

A former teacher and school administrator, Vicki earned her Ph.D. in Education and Positive Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. In her doctoral research, Vicki spent two months in India at a school awarded the Peace Education Prize by UNESCO and the Hope of Humanity Award by the Dalai Lama, researching their methods for developing teachers’ ability to create caring relationships with students. She’s previously worked with Kaiser Permanente’s award-winning Educational Theatre Programs, the Ball Foundation’s story project for personal transformation which helped bring systemic change to school districts, as a children’s playwright for a worldwide humanitarian non-profit, and as a curriculum developer.

Editorial Board

Richard Davidson
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Frans de Waal
Emory University

Paul Ekman
University of California, San Francisco

Deirdre English
University of California, Berkeley

Amitai Etzioni
George Washington University

Owen Flanagan
Duke University

Robert Frank
Cornell University

Charles A. Garfield
Shanti; UC, San Francisco

Alfie Kohn

Jonathan Kozol

Nel Noddings
Stanford University

Pearl Oliner
Humboldt State University

Samuel P. Oliner
Humboldt State University

Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison


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Greater Good Events

Mindfulness and Well-Being at Work
Friday: Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley Saturday: DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina
November 13-14, 2015

Mindfulness and Well-Being at Work

Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!


Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

Self-Compassion By Kristin Neff Learn to be kind to yourself. A society obsessed with competition doesn't always make that an easy thing to do, but seeking after self-compassion, not self-esteem, is our ticket to happiness.

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"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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