Anita L. Allen is the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy. A graduate of Harvard Law School with a PhD from the University of Michigan in Philosophy, Allen is internationally renown as an expert on philosophical dimensions of privacy and data protection law, ethics, bioethics, legal philosophy, women’s rights, and diversity in higher education. She was Penn’s Vice Provost for Faculty from 2013-2020, and chaired the Provost’s Arts Advisory Council.
Allen is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2018-19 she served as President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association. From 2010 to 2017, Allen served on President Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Allen has served on the faculty of the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell, for which she is an advisor. A two-year term as an Associate of the Johns Hopkins Humanities Center concluded in 2018. She has been a visiting Professor at Tel Aviv University, Waseda University, Villanova, the University of Arizona, Harvard Law and YaleLaw, and a Law and Public Affairs Fellow at Princeton. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Tilburg University (Netherlands) in 2019 and from Wooster College in 2021.
A prolific scholar, Allen has published over a hundred and twenty articles and chapters, and her books include Unpopular Privacy: What Must We Hide (Oxford, 2011); Privacy Law and Society (Thomson/West, 2017); The New Ethics: A Guided Tour of the 21st Century Moral Landscape (Miramax/Hyperion, 2004); Why Privacy Isn’t Everything: Feminist Reflections on Personal Accountability (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), and Uneasy Access: Privacy of Women in a Free Society (1988). Allen has given lectures all over the world and appeared on television, radio and written for major media.
She currently serves on the Board of the National Constitution Center, and has served on numerous other boards and professional advisory boards, including the Pennsylvania Board of Continuing Judicial Education, the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the AALS Executive Committee, the Maternity Care Coalition and the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children. She was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in 2015, and chaired its Board, 2019-2022. Professor Allen is a member of the Pennsylvania and New York bars, and formerly taught at Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Pittsburgh, after practicing briefly at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and teaching philosophy at Carnegie-Mellon University.