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Michael D. Layton, Ph.D.

Michael Layton joined the Johnson Center in September 2020 as the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair, the nation’s first endowed chair focused on community philanthropy.

Michael brings a wealth of experience to this role, including his work as a researcher, teacher, director, advocate, and consultant. He has worked closely with a mix of community philanthropy organizations throughout the Americas, and brings to his position a nuanced understanding the unique challenges and capacities of community philanthropy to act as a catalyst in promoting community-led development and in strengthening the local context for philanthropy.

Michael began his career as the founder and director of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, in the Philadelphia neighborhood where he was born and raised. He pursued his doctorate in order to better understand the history and core values of democracy in America. After teaching at Wesleyan and Yale Universities, he founded and directed the Philanthropy and Civil Society Project at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City, where he developed a groundbreaking research and advocacy program to understand and strengthen philanthropy and civil society.

Michael earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in political science from Duke University, holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Haverford College, and is a proud graduate of Philadelphia’s Central High School.

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