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Ethics and Public Policy with Dr. Chloe Schwenke - Policy Dialogues Ep.19

“I'm talking about morality in a structured analytical way...in a way that's measurable and meaningful and persuasive and...humanizing more than anything. That's really what ethics is in public policy.”


The University of Maryland School of Public Policy Alumni Board's video and podcast series called Policy Dialogues discusses current events through a policy lens.


Episode 19 focuses on ethics and public policy with Dr. Chloe Schwenke. Participants also included Evan Papp (UMD SPP ‘11).


Dr. Chloe Schwenke is an international development ethicist, practitioner, human rights activist, researcher and educator. Her career has focused on gender equality and social inclusion, LGBTQ+, governance, peacebuilding, and human rights.


Chloe is President of The Center for Values in International Development, which is a new non-profit organization comprised of both practitioners and ethicists, working together to make secular, universal moral values explicit, informative, persuasive, and influential in international relief and development policy, programming, advocacy, monitoring, evaluation, and learning. She served as a political appointee at USAID under the Obama Administration, as Senior Advisor on democracy, human rights, and governance in sub-Saharan Africa, and on LGBTQ+ issues. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland at College Park.


We discussed:

  • Her international development experiences in post apartheid South Africa;

  • The interaction between ethics and public policy;

  • Working for the Obama administration as one of the first transgender political appointees in the federal bureaucracy;

  • Her co-authored an article with the Center For American Progress titled: Transforming U.S. Foreign Policy To Ensure Dignity and Rights for LGBTI People;

  • The mission of the Center for Values in International Development; and

  • The tension in being a foreign policy practitioner advocating for policies that have yet to be fully embraced in the U.S.


The views expressed do not represent official positions of the school or alumni network.