Dr. Amy Gutmann is an internationally renowned scholar whose research addresses some of the most salient issues in contemporary society, including democratic deliberation, religious freedom, equal opportunity, race and multiculturalism, education, and ethics and public affairs. Please download Dr. Gutmann’s full CV (PDF).

Her systematic analysis of the role of education was summarized in Democratic Education, published in 1987 (expanded ed.1999). This book has been translated into a dozen languages, and is widely taught in schools of education and in liberal arts curricula throughout the world.


An eye-opening look at the inevitable moral choices that come along with tremendous medical progress, Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Die is a primer for all Americans to talk more honestly about health care.

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Dr. Amy Gutmann Curriculum Vitae (57k PDF)

Democratic Education began a scholarly debate on the democratic governance of schools, and informs arguments on school choice, school vouchers, parental authority in education, and education for citizenship. Democratic Education also was the touchstone both for Dr. Gutmann's subsequent work on deliberative democracy and for the values that she has aspired to advance as a scholar and University president: Freedom, opportunity, and mutual respect.

Another major scholarly contribution by Dr. Gutmann was made in the field of political philosophy: She and Dennis Thompson (of Harvard) developed the conceptual framework for deliberative democracy as well as many of its applications in contemporary democracies. In Democracy and Disagreement, widely seen as the definitive book on this approach to democratic theory, the authors proposed deliberation not as a panacea, but rather as an antidote and alternative to coarseness, intransigence, and extremism degrading politics and public discourse in America. In 2004, Dr. Gutmann and Thompson followed up with Why Deliberative Democracy?

Turning to the political polarization and legislative gridlock that has increasingly defined American governance in recent years, in 2012, Dr. Gutmann and Thompson published The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It, arguing that uncompromising mindsets lead ultimately only to the preservation of the status quo. The authors demonstrate that it is not political partisanship—strong partisans in fact often are effective in the art of political compromise—but rather the advent of 'the perpetual campaign cycle' that contributes most to political stasis.

Dr. Gutmann's scholarship in practical ethics grew from her foundational work on deliberative democracy. Her case study textbook (authored with Thompson) Ethics and Politics: Cases and Comments (fourth edition, 2005) builds on a course in ethics and public policy that she taught for many years at Princeton, and her vision of how deliberative democracy can be applied to pressing matters in practical ethics, including bioethics. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Gutmann Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

President Gutmann in the News

Bioethics and changing health care
Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane (WHYY-FM) | 09/05/2019 President Amy Gutmann and PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno discussed the role of bioethics in contemporary medicine and their new book, “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Die.”
Medical science needs to partner with ethics
Psychology Today | 08/26/2019 “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Die: Bioethics and the Transformation of Health Care in America,” a new book by President Amy Gutmann and PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno, was reviewed.
The ethical mess of our healthcare system
The New York Times | 08/14/2019 President Amy Gutmann and PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno authored an op-ed about the U.S. health care system. “By revising and reinforcing the A.C.A.,” they wrote, “we can benefit all Americans without threatening any with the loss of hard-fought, lifesaving health coverage. Surely our fellow Americans with life-threatening diseases of all sorts are also worth saving.”
Jon Bon Jovi receives honorary degree from University of Pennsylvania
Times of India | 05/21/2019 At Monday’s Commencement ceremony, President Amy Gutmann lauded Jon Bon Jovi for his musical achievements and community restaurants. “The pay-it-forward model (of the Soul Kitchen) serves in-need and paying customers with dignity and encourages their active participation through volunteer services,” she said. The musician and humanitarian was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree.