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Heritage Expert

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D.

  • William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy
The Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, healthcare and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory.

Anderson is also the Founder and Editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, N.J.

Anderson’s recent work at Heritage focuses on the constitutional questions surrounding same-sex marriage. He is the co-author with Princeton’s Robert P. George and Sherif Girgis of the acclaimed book “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” (Encounter Books, December 2012). Justice Samuel Alito cited the book twice in his dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court case involving the Defense of Marriage Act. The three also co-wrote the article “What is Marriage?” in the winter 2011 issue of Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Anderson’s new book, The Future of Marriage and Religious Liberty, will respond to the Supreme Court’s June 2015 ruling on marriage, and will be released in July 2015.

Anderson has appeared on ABC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and the Fox News Channel. In addition to a memorable 2013 debate about marriage on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, his news interviews include appearances on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CNN’s New Day with Chris Cuomo, MSNBC’s The Ed Show with Ed Schultz, and Fox News’ Hannity.

In April, 2015, the Washington Post ran a front-page profile of Anderson, and his work has been featured in or published by major newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Examiner, National Review, the Weekly Standard and Christianity Today. It also has appeared in journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, First Things, the Claremont Review of Books, the New Atlantis, Touchstone, Books and Culture, The City and Human Life Review.

Anderson’s previous positions include assistant editor of First Things; Robert Novak Journalism Fellow; and executive director of the Witherspoon Institute, where he was research assistant to Robert P. George and Jean Bethke Elshtain.

Anderson received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. He earned his doctoral degree in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, where he received his master’s degree. His research spans the natural law tradition in conversation with classical and contemporary liberalism. His dissertation, which he defended in October 2014, is titled: “Neither Liberal nor Libertarian: A Natural Law Approach to Social Justice and Economic Rights.”

Anderson, who was born in Baltimore, Md., currently resides in Washington, D.C. For his latest essays and videos, follow his public facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RyanTAndersonPhD

Follow him on Twitter: @RyanTAnd

All Publications by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D.