About the Center
The mission of the Ethics Center is to engage individuals and organizations in making choices that respect and care for others.
Center funders Linda and A.C. "Mike" Markkula Jr. (center) with current and former executive directors (left to right) Kirk Hanson, Dennis Moberg, Tom Shanks, Manuel Velasquez.
What We Do
Located in the Silicon Valley, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics brings the traditions of ethical thinking to bear on real world problems. Beyond a full range of events, grants, and fellowships for the Santa Clara University Community, the Center also serves professionals in fields from business to health care, from government to the social sector, providing innovative approaches to problems from fake news to privacy protection. Through our website and international collaborations, we also bring ethical decision making resources to the wider world.
The Center was founded in 1986 with a seed grant from Linda and A.C. "Mike" Markkula, who also provided its initial endowment. The Center's history reflects Santa Clara University's commitment to ethics as part of educating the whole person in the Jesuit tradition.
- We will be one of, if not the major ethics educator in the world.
- We will double down on forming the ethical character of the next generation, making our materials available to an increasing number of colleges and universities, increasing our resources on character education for K-12 public and faith-based schools.
- We will be a very prominent and trusted commentator and interpreter of ethical developments in society and its institutions, providing thoughtful analysis of the ethics of these breaking issues to an ever-widening set of traditional and new media platforms.
- We will expand our capacity to respond quickly and do in-depth ethical analysis of unexpected and truly new social and technological problems which arise.
The Ethics Center's staff of 25 includes ethics scholars and practitioners in many fields.
Among our staff are Ph.D. ethicists, lawyers, businesspeople, educators, religious leaders, scientists, and journalists.
We are guided by an Advisory Board of leaders in the Silicon Valley. The board is comprised of representatives of major valley companies, law firms, and nonprofit organizations. We also have a Faculty Steering Committee that helps develop Center policy.
The Center's home at a Jesuit institution that requires ethics courses for all undergraduates gives us access to a faculty with expertise in ethics in many disciplines. More than 70 of those faculty members serve as Center Scholars who assist us in a variety of projects.