Angela Duckworth, Founder & CEO
In her late twenties, Angela left a demanding job as a management consultant to teach math to seventh graders in the New York City public schools. Several years in the classroom taught her that effort was tremendously important to success. To begin to solve the mystery of why some people work so much harder and longer than others, Angela entered the PhD program in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is now a professor and 2013 MacArthur Fellow. With Dave Levin and Dominic Randolph, she founded Character Lab with the aim of radically accelerating the science and practice of character development.
Sean Talamas, COO
Prior to coming to Character Lab, Sean was a postdoctoral research fellow at University of St Andrews, Scotland, where he completed his PhD in psychology. Sean also received a master’s of arts in industry and organizational psychology, a master’s of arts in teaching, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Most of Sean’s education (both formal and experiential) was achieved while serving active duty in the U.S. Air Force in a special operations career field called TACP.
What We Do
The Character Lab Research Network is a consortium of innovative schools around the country. It enables schools to work collaboratively with leading scientists to conduct more sophisticated research—research that is student-centered and aligned with school needs.
The Research Network seeks to close the gap between science and practice. By gathering data on the effectiveness of promising research ideas, we can determine the most impactful ways to cultivate the strengths students need to thrive. In part, we share these insights with schools via Research Snapshots.
Character Lab Playbooks are ready-to-use, evidence-based resources that target specific character strengths. Anyone who wants to help children develop character strengths—parents, coaches, counselors—can use Playbook strategies at school or at home. View our overview video for more information.
Thought of the Week
Our Thought of the Week features actionable advice about the science of character in the form of a personal letter from Angela Duckworth, psychologist, author of Grit, and our co-founder and CEO. Published every Sunday morning, Angela’s TOTW interprets the everyday decisions we make in the world through the lens of scientific research about character. Every Thought of the Week is scientifically informed and maintains rigorous fidelity to original character research.
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Character is not an old-fashioned concept. It will always be in style.” -Angela Duckworth
“Character is a skill—not a trait. It can be enhanced, and there are proven and effective ways to do so.” -James Heckman