Derek Barker, Program Officer

Derek W. M. Barker is a program officer at the Kettering Foundation. With a background in political theory, he works primarily on research concerning the democratic role of higher education institutions; philanthropy and nonprofit organizations; journalism; and the professions. Barker is the coeditor (with David W. Brown) of Kettering’s Higher Education Exchange and also works closely with the foundation’s team of resident researchers.

Barker’s contributions to Kettering research include “The Colonization of Civil Society” in the Kettering Review (2010) and the coauthored working paper Research on Civic Capacity (2011). Barker has also edited several Kettering publications, including Democratizing Deliberation: A Political Theory Anthology (with Noëlle McAfee and David McIvor, 2012), A Different Kind of Politics: Readings on the Role of Higher Education in Democracy (with David W. Brown, 2009), and Connections (with Melinda Gilmore, 2012).

Barker’s academic publications include the book, Tragedy and Citizenship: Conflict, Reconciliation, and Democracy from Haemon to Hegel (SUNY Press, 2009). He recently published an article on the intersection between deliberative democratic theory and virtue ethics in Political Theory. He has also published scholarly articles on topics such as oligarchy and modern representative government; Wilson C. McWilliams and the state of contemporary populism; and conceptual frameworks for “engaged” forms of scholarship.

Barker’s previous experience includes an appointment as visiting assistant professor of political studies at Pitzer College. He holds a PhD in political science from Rutgers University.