Dr Michael Plant
Founder and Director
Whilst studying for his PhD in moral philosophy at the University of Oxford, Michael realised there was a pressing need for more research on the most cost-effective, evidence-based ways to improve global happiness – he founded the Happier Lives Institute in 2019 as a result. As well as directing HLI, Michael is also a Research Fellow at Oxford’s Wellbeing Research Centre. Before that, he was a research assistant to Peter Singer, a researcher for the Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP, and founded Hippo, a happiness-tracking app.
Samuel has a Masters in Cognitive and Decision Sciences from University College London, gaining a distinction. His research interests include the strengths and flaws of different research methodologies, causality, morality, decision-making, and whistleblowing.
Joy joined HLI after 13 years of working in operations for small non-profits and social businesses in Latin America. Originally from the United States, she has been living in Ecuador for the past eight years. In addition to her work with HLI, Joy is the founder of Vida Plena, a pilot project to provide mental health services to low-income populations in South America.
Barry joined the team full-time in 2021, but he’s been advising HLI on communications strategy since 2018. He previously worked at the Centre for Effective Altruism, organising EA Global and EAGx conferences. Barry has worked in a wide range of communications roles across the public, private and non-profit sectors for over 13 years.
Dr Samantha Bernecker
Sam is a Research Scientist at BetterUp. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Before joining BetterUp, she was a Clinical Research Scientist at Happify Health and a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group.
Prof Julian Jamison
Julian is a behavioural development economist with a particular focus on health and welfare analysis. He is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Exeter and works with the World Bank and multiple governments around the world.
Karolina is the co-founder and Director of Research at Charity Entrepreneurship. She also serves as a fund manager for the Effective Altruism Animal Welfare Fund, a mentor at WANBAM, and a consultant for various effective altruism non-profits.
Prof Peter Singer
Peter is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. He works on practical ethics, and is best known for the book Animal Liberation and his writings about global poverty.
Dr Tatjana Višak
Tatjana is a philosopher specialising in ethics and political philosophy. She is currently based in the Department of Philosophy and Economics at the University of Bayreuth.
Former volunteers and team members who have supported our work:
Kaleem Ahmid | Jide Alaga | Justus Baumann | Ethan Bialick | Lucia Coulter | Carmen Csilla Medina | Clare Donaldson | Brendan Eappen | Derek Foster | Tom Houlden | Ulf Johansson | Florian Kuhlmeier | Marcin Kowrygo | Fin Moorhouse | Nikita Patel | Teis Rasmussen | Vanessa See | Sid Sharma | Jasper Synowski | Alan Taylor | Eemaan Thind | Sonia Vallentin | Caitlin Walker