Conversations On Philanthropy
Emerging Questions on Liberality and Social Thought

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HEATHER WOOD ION is a chief executive and cultural anthropologist who holds dual degrees from Oxford University and specializes in turning around troubled organizations. Her doctoral research on social and cultural recovery from disasters has been applied to assist communities and corporations in trouble all over the world. She has turned around communities locked in adversarial paralysis, social service agencies, corporations that have lost their mission, and start-ups unable to cope with growth. She taught for over two decades at universities including the University of Heidelberg, Cal-Poly Pomona, and Western University of Health Sciences and is a frequent lecturer in medical schools on the social issues of health care delivery and medical ethics. For the last seven years of his life, Jonas Salk, MD, relied on Heather Ion as his editor, sounding board and collaborator on issues of international health policy, and in establishing the science of hope. Dr. Ion’s book, Thirdclass Ticket, has been translated into Italian, Hindi, Japanese, and Chinese, and is currently being made into a feature film. Another book, with Saul Levine MD, Against Terrible Odds, applies her knowledge of social and cultural recovery to the profound issues of individual resilience. Dr. Ion has served on numerous boards and national initiatives, including The Valeo Initiative, in collaboration with the Center for Healthcare Improvement and the Veterans’ Health Administration to ‘create an epidemic of health’. She currently serves as Chief Executive of The Goldie Hawn Institute.

EMILY CHAMLEE-WRIGHT is Associate Professor of Economics at Beloit College. She is author of The Cultural Foundations of Economic Development (Routledge 1997) and co-author of Culture and Enterprise: The Development, Representation, and Morality of Business (Routledge 2000) with Don Lavoie.

ALEJANDRO ANTONIO CHAFUEN has twenty-five years experience in the not-for-profit sector, both here and abroad. He has been president and CEO of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation since 1991. Mr. Chafuen is a member of the board of several grant seeking and grant giving foundations including the Chase Foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia; the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty; The Fraser Institute; the Hispanic American Center for Economic Research; and ex-officio, is a member of the John Templeton Foundation and the Templeton World Charity Foundation. He has authored several works on ethics and economics and, on issues relevant to the philanthropic sector, he has written “Holding Think Tanks to High Standards” ( and Corporate Social Responsibility: A Traditional Catholic Perspective in Business and Religion: A Clash of Civilization? Nicholas Capaldi, ed. (Loyola University, New Orleans: 2005)

DAVID ELLERMAN works in the fields of economics and political economy, social theory and philosophy, and in mathematics. His undergraduate degree was in philosophy at M.I.T. (‘65), and he has Masters degrees in Philosophy of Science (‘67) and in Economics (‘68), and a doctorate in Mathematics (‘71) all from Boston University. He has been in and out of teaching in economics, mathematics, accounting, computer science, and operations research departments in various universities (1970-90), founded and managed a consulting firm in East Europe (1990-2), and worked in the World Bank from 1992 to 2003 where he was an economic advisor to the Chief Economist (Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern). Now he is a visiting scholar at the University of California in Riverside. He has published numerous articles in various fields (see Curriculum Vitae) and five books.

CLAIRE MORGAN is director of the Social Change Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Her primary concern is to promote innovative, interdisciplinary work that integrates theory and practice to promote greater freedom and prosperity. Before joining Mercatus, Claire was a fellow at the Liberty Fund in Indianapolis, Indiana. She received her Ph.D. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was managing editor of the PEGS Journal, The Good Society. She has spent time as a visiting fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London and at the Institute for Humane Studies in Arlington, Virginia. She also holds degrees in Applied Philosophy (Bowling Green State University), Political Theory (London School of Economics), and Politics (London Guildhall University).

FREDERICK TURNER is the Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is the author of sixteen books of poetry, criticism, and fiction, including The New World: An Epic Poem; Rebirth of Value; Meditations on Beauty, Ecology, Religion and Education; and Tempest, Flute and Oz: Essays on the Future.

J.D. VON PISCHKE is president of Frontier Finance International, a Washington-based company that is affiliated with IPC and ProCredit Holding. IPC is a consulting firm that is in the forefront of starting microfinance banks that operate on a commercial basis. ProCredit Holding is the owner of nineteen microfinance banks in as many countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa. Dr. Von Pischke worked in project and policy positions in the World Bank for twenty years and has produced eight books, as editor or author, and many articles on financial sector development, with special emphasis on the small end of the market. He earned his PhD at Glasgow University in Scotland.

JEFFREY ASHE is the manager of community finance at Oxfam America. Prior to coming to Oxfam, Mr. Ashe founded and served as executive director of Working Capital, the largest microenterprise program in the United States. Before Working Capital, Mr. Ashe was director of the “PISCES Project,” the first worldwide investigation of programs reaching the smallest economic activities of the poor. He also served as senior associate director at ACCION International where he assisted in the dissemination of peer group lending throughout Latin America. Mr. Ashe designed, assisted, and evaluated microenterprise programs in thirty-five countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe for the World Bank, the Agency for International Development, CIDA, ODA, and many NGO clients. In addition, he developed microenterprise projects in Arkansas, North Dakota, and Canada. Before his work in the microenterprise field, Mr. Ashe directed a nation-wide rapid rural appraisal for the Costa Rican government and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador. Mr. Ashe has published extensively in the microenterprise field and is the author of several books and articles on the topic. He also teaches microfinance at Brandeis and Columbia Universities. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA in Sociology from Boston University.

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