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Richard Parker is Lecturer in Public Policy and Senior Fellow of the Shorenstein Center. An Oxford-trained economist, his career before coming to the Kennedy School in 1993 included journalism (he cofounded the magazine Mother Jones as well as Investigative Reporters & Editors, and chairs the editorial board of The Nation); philanthropy (as executive director of two foundations he donated more than $40 million to social-change groups); social entrepreneurship (he grew environmental group Greenpeace from 2,000 to 600,000 supporters, helped launch People for the American Way, and raised over $250 million for some 60 non-profits), and political consulting (advising, among others, Senators Kennedy, Glenn, Cranston, and McGovern). From 2009 to 2011 he was an economic advisor to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.
His books include The Myth of the Middle Class, an early study of widening U.S. income and wealth distribution and Mixed Signals: The Future of Global Television,a critical assessment of the spread of satellite-based news and its political impacts. His intellectual biography, John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics, which traces the history of 20th century economic theory and policy through the career of Harvard's most famous economist, was described by William F. Buckley as "the best biography of the century", by Sean Wilentz as "the best progressive history I've read in 15 years", and by Keynes' biographer Robert Skidelsky as "an unparalleled achievement."
His academic articles appear in numerous academic anthologies and journals and he writes regularly for magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New Republic, Nation, Harper's, Le Monde, Atlantic Monthly, and International Economy, among others.
He received the Kennedy School's Carballo award for outstanding teaching in 2011 and ALANA's Teacher of the Year award in 2007 from the School's students of color.
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