William Damon is Director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence and Professor of Education at Stanford University.
Damon's current research explores how young people develop purpose in their civic, work, family, and community relationships. He examines how people learn to approach their vocational and civic lives with a focus on purpose, imagination, and high standards of excellence. Damon also has written widely about how to educate for moral and ethical understanding.
Damon's most recent books are: The Power of Ideals: The Real Story of Moral Choice (2015) (with Anne Colby), Failing Liberty 101: How We Are Leaving Young Americans Unprepared for Citizenship in a Free Society (2011), The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life (2008); Taking Philanthropy Seriously: Beyond Noble Intentions to Responsible Giving (2006) (with Susan Verducci); The Moral Advantage: How to succeed in business by doing the right thing (2004), and Noble Purpose: The joy of living a meaningful life (2003). His earlier books include Bringing in a New Era in Character Education (2002), Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet (2001) (with Howard Gardner and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi); the Youth Charter (1997); Greater Expectations: Overcoming the Culture of Indulgence in Our Homes and Schools (1995); Some Do Care: Contemporary Lives of Moral Commitment (1992) (with Anne Colby); and The Moral Child (1990). He has also written five other books and numerous articles for professional journals.
Damon is editor-in-chief of The Handbook of Child Psychology, Fifth and Sixth Editions (1998 and 2006). He is a member of the National Academy of Education.
Damon has received awards and grants supporting his research 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 Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Thrive Foundation for Youth.
Before coming to Stanford in 1997, Damon was University Professor at Brown University, where he continues to hold a courtesy appointment as adjunct professor of human development. Earlier, Damon was Professor of Psychology at Clark University and, in 1988, was a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Puerto Rico. Damon is married and has three grown children.