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Defining Ethical Leadership

The virtual event was held on October 28th 2020 and revolved around two framing questions:

  1. How should we define the concept of ethical leadership?
  2. What does the concept of ethical leadership need to include in relation to challenges posed by emerging technologies such as AI and Big Data?


Philip Brey, PhD is Professor of Philosophy of Technology at the Department of Philosophy, University of Twente, the Netherlands. He is also president of the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology (INSEIT), and former president of the Society for Philosophy and Technology (SPT).  He is on the editorial board of eleven leading journals and book series in his field, including Ethics and Information Technology, Nanoethics, Philosophy and Technology, Techné, Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology and Theoria. He has led a NWO Vici project for outstanding researchers (2006-2012) on new media and the quality of life, which has resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed publications, and a European Union FP7 project, SATORI (2014-2017), involving 17 international partners, which aimed to develop international standards and best practices for the ethical assessment of research and innovation. He currently leads a European Union Horizon 2020 project, SIENNA (2017-2021), involving 13 international partners, on the ethical and human rights aspects of emerging technologies, including human genomics, human enhancement, robotics and artificial intelligence. Since January 2020, he has been leading Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies, a new seven-university research programme that will span ten years.  It is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Research (NWO) and the participating institutions and has a total budget of € 27 million.

Michael Lamb, PhD is Assistant Professor of Politics, Ethics, and Interdisciplinary Humanities and Executive Director of the Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University. He is also a Research Fellow at the Oxford Character Project. Dr Lamb's research focuses on the ethics of citizenship and the role of virtues in public life. His current book project, A Commonwealth of Hope: Reimagining Augustine’s Political Thought, offers a novel interpretation of Augustine’s political thought and recovers his virtue of hope to inform contemporary politics. His work has been published in a number of edited volumes and academic journals, including the American Political Science Review, Review of Politics, Journal of Religious Ethics, Journal of Moral Education, and Journal of Character Education. Dr. Lamb's broader interests include virtue ethics, leadership and character development, religion and politics, ethics and public policy, and politics and literature. He has taught interdisciplinary courses in ethics, religion, and political theory at Oxford, Princeton, Rhodes, and Wake Forest. For excellence in teaching, he was awarded the George Kateb Teaching Award for Best Preceptor from Princeton’s Department of Politics, a Teaching Excellence Award from Oxford’s Humanities Division, and a Teaching Award from Wake Forest’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

Response to Panelists

Gary MacDougal served as CEO of a Fortune 1000 company for 17 years, was a partner of McKinsey & Company, served as General Director of the New York City Ballet, and was Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. He was also Assistant Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor in the ’88 Bush campaign and was appointed by the President to serve as a US delegate to the United Nations. He is Founder and a Director of the $400 million America for Bulgaria Foundation, Advisory Director of Saratoga Partners LLC, an advisor to governors on state human services reform, and a writer and speaker on government reform and personal development. In recent years Mr. MacDougal has been an active speaker at commencements and other academic and public policy venues. He has written extensively on public policy, business and politics with Op-Eds published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications. He has written a book Make A Difference - A Spectacular Breakthrough in the Fight Against Poverty (St. Martin’s Press), and continues to be active in a variety of public policy efforts.


Natasha Singer is a technology reporter in the Business section of the New York Times where she covers health technology, education technology and consumer privacy. Currently, she is reporting on how tech companies are developing digital health tools and their implications for the healthcare industry, medical practice and consumers. She was recently a fellow at the Data & Society Research Institute in Manhattan. Ms. Singer was previously a reporter in the Sunday Business section where her series on the consumer data industry, called "You for Sale," helped prompt several congressional and federal investigations, as well as the enactment of a student online data privacy law in California. Ms. Singer previously reported on the pharmaceutical industry and on medical ethics for the Business section. A Boston native, Ms. Singer graduated from Brown University with a degree in comparative literature and has a master's degree in creative writing from Boston University. Before joining The Times, she was a correspondent for Outside magazine covering the environment and biodiversity, and was a health editor at W magazine. She also worked in Russia as the Moscow bureau chief of The Forward, the editor-at-large of Russian Vogue, and a correspondent for Women's Wear Daily.