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Stephen R. Stinson

Lead Researcher for Programs, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation


Stephen R. Stinson is leader of the Research Team for Programs at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. His team provides grantmaking programs with best-in-class data and intelligence that senior staff and program officers need for informed and knowledgeable concept design and strategy development, which emerges as grantmaking that has been refined for impact in the real world.

Mr. Stinson joined the Foundation in 1995, and was first a staffer in the Mental Health Program, where he gained experience with the MacArthur model of research networks and with the full array scientific networks on mental health and human development.  From 2000 through 2015, he was program administrator for the Justice Reform Program and worked on the initiatives, Models for Change:Systems Reform in Juvenile Justice; National Campaign to Reform America’s Juvenile Justice Systems; and on the Safety and Justice Challenge, working to address over-incarceration in the United States by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.

Prior to joining the MacArthur Foundation, Mr. Stinson was a professional fund-raiser for healthcare and educational organizations, including Loyola University Chicago, where he served as Director of Foundation Relations. Mr. Stinson received master’s degrees in philosophy and in theology from Loyola University Chicago. He studied graphic design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and in English literature from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Mr. Stinson also maintains memberships in the American Philosophical Association, the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, the Public Philosophy Network, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management.