Dr. David A. Crocker is senior research scholar and director of the School of Public Policy’s international development specialization. Coming to UMD in 1993, he specializes in international development ethics, sociopolitical philosophy, transitional justice, democracy, and democratization. In 1998, he started the Development Circle, a bi-weekly speaker-forum that addresses ethical issues in international development. He directed the first three study-abroad trips to Morocco, where School graduate students and Public Leadership undergraduates studied "Culture and Human Rights - A Public Leadership Perspective." In 2010, he led the first School study trip to Peru to study "Development, Democracy, and Human Rights in Peru.” Dr. Crocker also directs doctoral dissertations on ethics and global issues. In May 2013, Dr. Crocker was one of the seven UMD faculty and staff who were inducted into the Sigma Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society that selects its inductees on the basis of “exemplary character, scholarship and intelligence, service and leadership in campus or community life, good citizenship, and fellowship and consecration to democratic ideals."
From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Crocker served as director of the College Park Scholars Public Leadership program, an undergraduate living-learning-service program for 150 freshmen and sophomores. In this program he treats leadership, citizenship, and civic engagement as exemplified by Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Aun San Suu Kyi, Wangari Maathai and Steve Jobs. Continuing as faculty member in Public Leadership, each spring he will teach the “Leadership and Social Change” course.
After three degrees from Yale University (M.Div., MA, and Ph.D.), Dr. Crocker taught philosophy for 25 years at Colorado State University, where he established one of the world's first courses in ethics and international development. He was a visiting professor at the University of Munich, was twice a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Costa Rica, held the UNESCO Chair in Development at the University of Valencia (Spain), and taught at the National Autonomous University of Honduras and the University of Chile. He was chair of the American Philosophical Association's Committee on International Cooperation, an officer of the Human Development and Capability Association, and a founder and president of the International Development Ethics Association. He has been a consultant with the Inter-American Development Bank, USAID, the World Bank, and the International Center for Transitional Justice.
Dr. Crocker has given 250 invited lectures or conference papers in English or Spanish in 25 countries. His most recent publications are Ethics of Global Development: Agency, Capability, and Deliberative Democracy, "Comercio, reducción de pobreza, y democratización: Hacia un círculo virtuoso, " and “Democratic Leadership, Citizenship, and Social Justice.” A study in progress, entitled "Reckoning with Past Wrongs: Ends, Means, and Cases," evaluates the experiences of East Asia, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Spain, and the United States. In 2010, Dr. Crocker received the Landmark Award "given for exceptional long-term achievements in support of international life at the University of Maryland." In 2012, he received the Undergraduate Teaching Award “in recognition of excellence, special dedication and outstanding contributions toward the achievement of the mission of the Office of Undergraduate Studies.”
Areas of Interest:
Ethics, development, foreign aid, democratization, and human rights