O. Carter Snead
William P. and Hazel B. White Director
Professor of Law
Concurrent Professor of Political Science
Office: 424 Geddes Hall
Professor Carter Snead is the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the de Nicola 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 Review, Constitutional 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. From 2008-12, the Director General of UNESCO appointed him to a four-year term on the International Bioethics Committee. In 2016, Pope Francis appointed him to the Pontifical Academy for Life, which advises the Vatican on culture of life issues. He is also an elected fellow of The Hastings Center, the oldest independent bioethics research institute in the world. Read his full biography.
Associate Director for Operations
Office: 416 Geddes Hall
A 2014 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Laura Gonsiorek 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.
Office: 420 Geddes Hall
Hannah Brown joined the team in Fall 2019 as the Center's program coordinator. A native northern-Virginian, she graduated from Syracuse University with a B.F.A. in illustration and then moved to New York City to work in publishing. Hannah held multiple jobs in the industry and worked as an editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster for two years before moving to South Bend with her husband Nat, who is working towards his MBA at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. As a convert who was drawn to the Catholic Church specifically because of its intellectual tradition and rich history, she is thrilled to contribute to the dCEC's work.
Scholarly Research and Publications Program Manager
Office: 416 Geddes Hall
Margaret Cabaniss is the scholarly research and publications program manager for the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture. Previously, she was the managing editor at Crisis Magazine and InsideCatholic.com. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, with a B.A. in English literature.
Rev. Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C.
Office: 1018 Flanner Hall
Reverend Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C. is chaplain to the de Nicola 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. His latest book is Man of God: Lessons to Young Men About Life, Sex, Friendship, Vocation, and Loving with the Heart of Christ (2017).
Culture of Life Program Manager
Office: 424 Geddes Hall
Petra Farrell joined the de Nicola Center in October 2017 as the Culture of Life Programs Manager, having served for several years as a volunteer with St. Joseph County Right to Life. She performed sidewalk counseling as well as organized and emceed the committee's annual fundraising dinners. "Abortion will end in my lifetime, and all life will be thought of as sacred," she said. "The opportunity to work with the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture as the Culture of Life Program Manager is the chance I have been waiting for to put into action my true passion for life." Her background also includes work as a training conference coordinator, a graduate program administrator, and sales. She is an alumna of St. Mary's College and lives with her husband Dan and their 5 children in South Bend.
Student Program Manager
Office: 416 Geddes Hall
Pete Hlabse joined the de Nicola Center staff in October 2017 as the Student Programs Manager, making a short move down the hall from the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism where he worked prior to joining the dCEC. He studied Theology and Philosophy in the Catholic Tradition as a Notre Dame undergraduate and holds an MA in Higher Education from Boston College. Long a self-professed fan of the Center's work, Pete expressed his delight at joining the team. "I am excited to be part of this work to form students in the rich intellectual and moral traditions which the dCEC and its fellows so compellingly articulate." He is married to fellow ND classmate Beth and lives in South Bend.
Office: 418 Geddes Hall
Ken Hallenius is the communications specialist for the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, handling the dCEC's public relations, social media engagement, podcast, website, and donor relations. He joined the dCEC in 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 Berkeley, California. In addition to his work at Notre Dame, he co-hosts Living Stones, a nationally-syndicated weekly radio conversation about the Catholic faith produced by Mater Dei Radio in Portland, Oregon. He is an affiliate member of the Catholic Press Association and has published pieces in Angelus News, Orange County Catholic, the Seattle Times, and Grotto Network.
Director of the Jacques Maritain Center
Office: 429 Geddes Hall
John O'Callaghan is an associate professor of philosophy and the director of the Jacques Maritain Center. He is a permanent member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. O'Callaghan is a past President of the American Catholic Philosophical Association. His areas of scholarly interest include Medieval Philosophy, the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, and Thomistic Metaphysics and Ethics. He is the author of the book Thomistic Realism and The Linguistic Turn: Toward a More Perfect Form of Existence (2003, republished 2016), and has published more than twenty scholarly papers and book chapters. In 2016, he presented a paper at the "Disability and the Face of Mercy" conference sponsored by the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy hosted at the Vatican.
Director of the Under Caesar's Sword Research Project
Office: 2077 Jenkins Nanovic Hall
Daniel Philpott (Ph.D. Harvard, 1996) is Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. He pursues research on religion and global politics. His research focuses on topics like reconciliation and global religious freedom. His latest book, Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation (2012), derives from theological and philosophical roots an ethic of reconciliation that offers concrete guidelines to political orders facing pasts of authoritarianism, civil war, and genocide. On the same topic, Philpott has edited The Politics of Past Evil: Religion, Reconciliation, and Transitional Justice (2006). With Monica Duffy Toft and Timothy Samuel Shah, he is author of God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (2011). His book, Religious Freedom in Islam? Intervening in a Public Debate, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. He is co-director of the Under Caesar’s Sword project, which researches Christian responses to persecution around the globe and is funded by the Templeton Religion Trust. Since 2011, he has been an Associate Scholar of what is now the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington, D.C.
Office: 424 Geddes Hall
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.