Jonathan Haidt
Chairman and Co-Founder

Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is a social psychologist who studies morality; his current research investigates how to apply moral psychology to improve the functioning of companies, universities, and other complex social systems. He co-founded Heterodox Academy in 2015, and is also a co-founder of EthicalSystems.org, YourMorals.org, and CivilPolitics.org. Haidt is the author of three books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006), the New York Times bestseller, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (2018). Descriptions of his projects and lists of his publications can be found at RighteousMind.com.

Caroline Mehl
Executive Director and Co-Founder

Caroline Mehl is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of OpenMind. She has expertise in translating psychological research into innovative real-world applications. Caroline began her career at the private equity firm Blackstone, where she was involved in the firm’s inaugural Tactical Opportunities fund. She has experience in venture capital, social entrepreneurship, and venture philanthropy. Previously, Caroline was an Associate Research Scholar at New York University’s Stern School of Business and she served as the Treasurer of Heterodox Academy. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at NYU-Stern. Caroline received her bachelor’s degree from Yale and her master’s degree from Oxford as a Blavatnik Foundation Scholar.

Takuya Sawaoka
Research Director

Takuya Sawaoka is the Research Director of OpenMind. In this role, Takuya oversees OpenMind’s research agenda by leading the design and measurement of OpenMind’s behavioral interventions. Takuya received his PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford University, and his bachelor’s degree from Yale University. His previous research broadly examined how people reason about individual vs. collective moral responsibility – his most recent work investigated how collective moral outrage facilitates or impedes moral persuasion. His research has appeared in Psychological Science, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Macrina Cooper-White
Research Scientist

As a doctoral candidate at UCLA’s Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Macrina is interested in using novel techniques to detect open-mindedness for the purpose of trying to bridge social and political divides. At OpenMind, she is passionate about drawing on academic research to develop evidence-based content and creative assessment measures. Macrina has experience translating complex scientific ideas for a broad audience, having worked as a science editor at The Huffington Post. She received a master’s degree in Social Psychology from UCLA and her bachelor’s in Cognitive Science from Yale University. 

Fabio Votta
Research Analyst

Fabio is an early career researcher with an interest in studying political polarization. A social scientist by training and a passionate programmer, he seeks to address research questions at the intersection of the computational and social sciences. Fabio has worked as a junior data scientist at a small tech startup called Paraboost, where he applied natural language processing and machine learning techniques to improve customer response models. In 2018, he was a recipient of the Naomi C. Turner Prize from the World Association of Public Opinion Research. Fabio obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Stuttgart in Germany, where he is also currently completing his master’s degree in Empirical Political and Social Research.

Zoë Downes
Product Specialist

Zoë’s background is in communication and conflict resolution. After earning her B.A. in Linguistics from Brown University, she spent several years in the world of woodworking and custom design. During that time, she began studying psychology, with a particular focus on irrationality, decision making, and organizational behavior. She is a trained mediator, and has worked with nonprofits and courts in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

Jonathan Haidt
Chairman and Co-Founder

Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is a social psychologist who studies morality; his current research investigates how to apply moral psychology to improve the functioning of companies, universities, and other complex social systems. He co-founded Heterodox Academy in 2015, and is also a co-founder of EthicalSystems.org, YourMorals.org, and CivilPolitics.org. Haidt is the author of three books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006), the New York Times bestseller, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (2018). Descriptions of his projects and lists of his publications can be found at RighteousMind.com.

Caroline Mehl
Executive Director and Co-Founder

Caroline Mehl is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of OpenMind. She has expertise in translating psychological research into innovative real-world applications. Caroline began her career at the private equity firm Blackstone, where she was involved in the firm’s inaugural Tactical Opportunities fund. She has experience in venture capital, social entrepreneurship, and venture philanthropy. Previously, Caroline was an Associate Research Scholar at New York University’s Stern School of Business and she served as the Treasurer of Heterodox Academy. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at NYU-Stern. Caroline received her bachelor’s degree from Yale and her master’s degree from Oxford as a Blavatnik Foundation Scholar.

Takuya Sawaoka
Research Director

Takuya Sawaoka is the Research Director of OpenMind. In this role, Takuya oversees OpenMind’s research agenda by leading the design and measurement of OpenMind’s behavioral interventions. Takuya received his PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford University, and his bachelor’s degree from Yale University. His previous research broadly examined how people reason about individual vs. collective moral responsibility – his most recent work investigated how collective moral outrage facilitates or impedes moral persuasion. His research has appeared in Psychological Science, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Macrina Cooper-White
Research Scientist

As a doctoral candidate at UCLA’s Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Macrina is interested in using novel techniques to detect open-mindedness for the purpose of trying to bridge social and political divides. At OpenMind, she is passionate about drawing on academic research to develop evidence-based content and creative assessment measures. Macrina has experience translating complex scientific ideas for a broad audience, having worked as a science editor at The Huffington Post. She received a master’s degree in Social Psychology from UCLA and her bachelor’s in Cognitive Science from Yale University.

Fabio Votta
Research Analyst

Fabio is an early career researcher with an interest in studying political polarization. A social scientist by training and a passionate programmer, he seeks to address research questions at the intersection of the computational and social sciences. Fabio has worked as a junior data scientist at a small tech startup called Paraboost, where he applied natural language processing and machine learning techniques to improve customer response models. In 2018, he was a recipient of the Naomi C. Turner Prize from the World Association of Public Opinion Research. Fabio obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Stuttgart in Germany, where he is also currently completing his master’s degree in Empirical Political and Social Research.

Zoë Downes
Product Specialist

Zoë’s background is in communication and conflict resolution. After earning her B.A. in Linguistics from Brown University, she spent several years in the world of woodworking and custom design. During that time, she began studying psychology, with a particular focus on irrationality, decision making, and organizational behavior. She is a trained mediator, and has worked with nonprofits and courts in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

Jonathan Haidt
Chairman and Co-Founder

Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is a social psychologist who studies morality; his current research investigates how to apply moral psychology to improve the functioning of companies, universities, and other complex social systems. He co-founded Heterodox Academy in 2015, and is also a co-founder of EthicalSystems.org, YourMorals.org, and CivilPolitics.org. Haidt is the author of three books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006), the New York Times bestseller, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (2018). Descriptions of his projects and lists of his publications can be found at RighteousMind.com.

Caroline Mehl
Executive Director and Co-Founder

Caroline Mehl is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of OpenMind. She has expertise in translating psychological research into innovative real-world applications. Caroline began her career at the private equity firm Blackstone, where she was involved in the firm’s inaugural Tactical Opportunities fund. She has experience in venture capital, social entrepreneurship, and venture philanthropy. Previously, Caroline was an Associate Research Scholar at New York University’s Stern School of Business and she served as the Treasurer of Heterodox Academy. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at NYU-Stern. Caroline received her bachelor’s degree from Yale and her master’s degree from Oxford as a Blavatnik Foundation Scholar.

Takuya Sawaoka
Research Director

Takuya Sawaoka is the Research Director of OpenMind. In this role, Takuya oversees OpenMind’s research agenda by leading the design and measurement of OpenMind’s behavioral interventions. Takuya received his PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford University, and his bachelor’s degree from Yale University. His previous research broadly examined how people reason about individual vs. collective moral responsibility – his most recent work investigated how collective moral outrage facilitates or impedes moral persuasion. His research has appeared in Psychological Science, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Macrina Cooper-White
Research Scientist

As a doctoral candidate at UCLA’s Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, Macrina is interested in using novel techniques to detect open-mindedness for the purpose of trying to bridge social and political divides. At OpenMind, she is passionate about drawing on academic research to develop evidence-based content and creative assessment measures. Macrina has experience translating complex scientific ideas for a broad audience, having worked as a science editor at The Huffington Post. She received a master’s degree in Social Psychology from UCLA and her bachelor’s in Cognitive Science from Yale University.

Fabio Votta
Research Analyst

Fabio is an early career researcher with an interest in studying political polarization. A social scientist by training and a passionate programmer, he seeks to address research questions at the intersection of the computational and social sciences. Fabio has worked as a junior data scientist at a small tech startup called Paraboost, where he applied natural language processing and machine learning techniques to improve customer response models. In 2018, he was a recipient of the Naomi C. Turner Prize from the World Association of Public Opinion Research. Fabio obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Stuttgart in Germany, where he is also currently completing his master’s degree in Empirical Political and Social Research.

Zoë Downes
Product Specialist

Zoë’s background is in communication and conflict resolution. After earning her B.A. in Linguistics from Brown University, she spent several years in the world of woodworking and custom design. During that time, she began studying psychology, with a particular focus on irrationality, decision making, and organizational behavior. She is a trained mediator, and has worked with nonprofits and courts in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts.