Carter Snead

O. Carter Snead
William P. and Hazel B. White Director
Professor of Law
Concurrent Professor of Political Science
Office: 424 Geddes Hall
Phone: 574-631-9656

Professor Carter Snead is the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture, Professor of Law in the Law School, and Concurrent Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Snead is one of the world’s leading experts on public bioethics – the governance of science, medicine, and technology in the name of ethical goods. He has published over forty journal articles, book chapters, and essays on abortion, embryo research, neuroethics, assisted reproduction, end of life decision-making, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. His articles have appeared in such publications as the New York University Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Forum, the Vanderbilt Law ReviewConstitutional Commentary, the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, and Political Science Quarterly. He is the editor of two book series with the University of Notre Dame Press, including “Catholic Ideas for a Secular World.”

He has advised officials in all three branches of the federal government on matters of public bioethics. He served as General Counsel to President Bush’s Council on Bioethics (chaired by Leon R. Kass). He led the U.S. delegation to UNESCO and was its chief negotiator for bioethics-related treaties and conventions from 2003-2005. He also served as the U.S. Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics from 2006-08. In 2016, he was appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life, which advises the Pope on culture of life issues. Read his full biography.

Ryan Madison

Ryan Madison
Associate Director
Concurrent Instructor of Philosophy
Office: 422 Geddes Hall
Phone: 574-631-1167

Formerly the Center’s Myser Fellow, Professor Ryan Madison joined the Center in March 2013 from the College of St. Thomas More in Fort Worth. Prior to that, he taught philosophy for four years at the Cardinal Glennon College at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was hired by the archbishop of St. Louis (following a national search) to implement a new philosophy curriculum. He earned his B.A. from St. John’s College and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Loyola University. His work focuses on ancient philosophy, metaphysics, and the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, and he is currently completing a book on Aristotle and the relationship between metaphysics and theology. 


Laura M. Nash
Associate Director for Operations
Office: 416 Geddes Hall

A 2014 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Laura Nash is the Associate Director for Operations. She manages the Center's day-to-day operations and finances, executes strategic planning, oversees the staff, and ensures that Center initiatives operate at the highest-level. She previously served as the Center's Events Planning Program Manager and as the Medical Ethics Intern. She is currently pursuing an executive master in nonprofit administration through the Mendoza College of Business.


Margaret Cabaniss
Scholarly Research and Publications Program Manager
Office: 416 Geddes Hall
Phone: 574-631-1868

Margaret Cabaniss is the scholarly research and publications program manager for the Center for Ethics and Culture. Previously, she was the managing editor at Crisis Magazine and She graduated summa cum laude from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, with a B.A. in English literature.


Ken Hallenius
Communications Specialist
Office: 418 Geddes Hall
Phone: 574-631-3192

Ken Hallenius is the communications specialist for the Center for Ethics and Culture, handling the CEC's public relations, social media engagement, website, and donor relations. He joined the staff in March 2016 after 15 years at the University of Portland, where he worked in alumni relations and residence life. He holds an M.A. in pastoral ministry from the University of Portland and a B.A. in philosophy from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. In addition to his work at the Center, he co-hosts Living Stones, a weekly radio conversation about the Catholic faith on Mater Dei Radio.


Tracy Westlake
Administrative Assistant
Office: 424 Geddes Hall
Phone: 574-631-9656

Tracy Westlake, the Center’s administrative assistant, has been with Notre Dame since 1994 and joined the Center shortly after its founding in the summer of 1999. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in business education. Tracy and her husband, Chris, have two children, Eric and Susi.


Rev. Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C.
Office: 246 Geddes Hall
Phone: 574-631-1380

Reverend Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C. is chaplain to the Center for Ethics and Culture. A native of Baltimore, Father Terry joined the Congregation of Holy Cross after earning a B.S. in biology from Notre Dame and an M.S. in biology from Virginia Tech. He was ordained in 2000 and received his Ph.D in theology from the Catholic University of America in 2012. Father Terry teaches the course "Science, Theology, and Creation" to undergraduates and is the Assistant Director of Life Sciences Research and Outreach at the ND Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing.