Photo by Kristine Paulsen

Deni Elliott is Project Co-Director for the National Ethics Project. She is professor emeritus in the Department of Journalism and Digital Communication at the University of South Florida. Deni held the endowed Eleanor Poynter Jamison Chair in Media Ethics and Press Policy from 2003-2023. During her two decades at USF, she also served as Interim Regional Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs (2021-2022) department chair (2012-2018), campus ombuds (2004-2017). She is included in the list of 33 subject matter experts by the National Center on Disability and Journalism.

Prior academic appointments include University of Montana: Mansfield Professor of Ethics and Public Affairs (1992-1996), University Professor of Ethics (1996-2004), Professor of Philosophy (1992-2004), and Founding Director, Practical Ethics Center (1996-2004); Dartmouth College: Director, Ethics Institute (1988-1992), Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy (1988-1992) and Associate Research Professor, Department of Education (1988-1992). Deni’s first tenure-track appointment was in Utah State University’s Department of Mass Communication (1984-1988). She served as Ethics Officer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (2004-2012).

Deni is the author of more than 200 articles and book chapters for the scholarly, trade and lay press. The books for which she is author, co-author, editor or co-editor include The Harness Effect: The Magic of Guide Dogs (now under pre-publication review), Ethics for a Digital Era (Wiley/Blackwell, 2018); Ethical Challenges: Building an Ethics Toolkit (Authorhouse, 2009); Ethics in the First Person, A Guide to Teaching and Learning Practical Ethics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), The Kindness of Strangers, Philanthropy in Higher Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), Contemporary Issues: Journalism (ABC-CLIO, 1998), Ethics of Scientific Research, A Guidebook for Course Development, (UPNE, 1997), Research Ethics: A Reader, (UPNE, 1997); The Ethics of Asking: Dilemmas in Higher Education Fundraising, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), Parts and Parity: Ethics and Organ Transplantation (Institute for Study of Applied and Professional Ethics, 1995) and Responsible Journalism (SAGE, 1986). She has also co-produced three video-documentaries: The Burden of Knowledge, on ethical questions of pre-natal genetic testing, and A Case of Need and Buying Time, which both cover ethical issues of news media coverage of medical and financial need. The documentaries are distributed by Fanlight Productions. From February, 2003-June, 2006, Dr. Elliott wrote and co-hosted Ethically Speaking with Producer Dean Ritz, a weekly 2-minute radio show for Montana Public Radio with syndication through PRX (Public Radio Exchange).

Dr. Elliott has a B.A. in Communication from University of Maryland, M.A. in Philosophy from Wayne State University and an Ed.D. in Philosophy of Education from Harvard University. Her work at Harvard included work through Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Department of Philosophy, Law School and Graduate School of Education. Professors Sissela Bok, Lawrence Kohlberg, Martin Linsky, and Israel Scheffler served as her doctoral committee members.

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