Angela Duckworth is a renowned psychologist and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character education. Her experience as a public school math teacher ignited her interest in the science of why some people work harder than others. She received a B.A. from Harvard University and an MSc from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar. Dr. Duckworth earned her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is now the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor, faculty co-director of the Penn-Wharton Behavior Change for Good Initiative, and faculty-co-director of Wharton People Analytics. A MacArthur Genius Grant winner, her research centers on the importance of effort and determination over natural talent as determinants of success. Dr. Duckworth’s book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance was an immediate New York Times bestseller.
Combining her research interests with a passion for seeing children thrive, Dr. Duckworth co-founded Character Lab in 2013 to advance the science of how to cultivate character virtues in young people. The organization works to support school-based researchers and make emerging insights more accessible and actionable for educators across the country. As CEO, she has grown Character Lab’s Research Network to include over 70 participating schools and universities, including Wake Forest. She is currently a co-principal investigator of a study that is part of Wake Forest’s international research network focused on “Exemplar Interventions to Develop Character.”