Sonu Bedi Named Director of Ethics Institute at Dartmouth

The associate professor of government will lead the expansion of the institute’s academic programming.

Associate Professor of Government Sonu Bedi has been named the inaugural Hans ’80 and Kate Morris Director of the Ethics Institute.

Bedi has taken the helm of the Ethics Institute as it seeks to enhance its intellectual presence on campus and across higher education by increasing engagement with faculty and students who are exploring important intellectual questions about emerging ethical issues.

Bedi, who began his role as director on March 15, will lead the expansion of the institute’s academic programming, oversee the ethics minor, and work closely with Executive Director Aine Donovan on programming and academic coordination. Donovan will continue her work at the institute, supporting student programs and outreach to the professional schools.

“I look forward to creating new opportunities for faculty and students to engage in the rich intellectual community of scholars, both here at Dartmouth and elsewhere, working on questions of ethics in society,” says Bedi, who will continue to teach while directing the institute.

“We are thrilled to have Professor Bedi bring his vision and expertise to the Ethics Institute,” says Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives Denise Anthony, who oversaw an external review of the Ethics Institute in 2016.

Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities Barbara Will, the A. and R. Newbury Professor of English, says Bedi is the ideal choice to direct the Ethics Institute. “Sonu Bedi’s scholarship and commitment to his students make him eminently suited to direct an institute whose work has never been more essential—and to lead it toward a more scholarly focus and a deeper engagement with the faculty.”

Bedi has taught in Dartmouth’s government department since 2007. Prior to coming to Dartmouth, Bedi earned his PhD in political science from Yale University and his JD from Harvard Law School.

A scholar of contemporary political theory, constitutional law, and law and identity, Bedi is the author of two books: Beyond Race, Sex, and Sexual Orientation: Legal Equality without Identity (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and Rejecting Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and co-editor of Political Contingency: Studying the Unexpected, the Accidental, and the Unforeseen (New York University Press, 2007).

Widely recognized for his teaching, Bedi received the John M. Manley Huntington Award for newly tenured faculty in 2013, and was elected by the Class of 2014 to receive the Jerome Goldstein Award for Distinguished Teaching.

The Ethics Institute, which serves as the home of Dartmouth’s ethics minor, is one of the oldest ethics centers in the United States, founded in 1982 by a small group of faculty members who recognized the primacy of ethics in a liberal arts education. One of the founders, John Hennessey of the Tuck School of Business, wrote, “Morality must be a persistent concern of all professions and all professional schools. Indeed by definition one of the essential ingredients of a profession is the creation and use of an explicit set of ethics governing individual and collective behavior of the professionals in that field.”