Paul Lachelier

| Learning Life

| Founder & Director

Paul Lachelier is a civic entrepreneur, sociologist, and founder and director of Learning Life, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit developing innovative learning communities in order to widen and deepen participation in democracy and diplomacy. For the last 30+ years, Paul has worked on the frontlines and frontiers of democracy. On the frontlines, he has been an organizer in grassroots student, environmental, labor and political party organizations, engaging diverse citizens on local to international issues. He has run for state legislative office, and taught an innovative university course on community organizing. On the frontiers of democracy, Paul has worked on grassroots innovations from founding a university labor center, to conducting a deliberative poll, running a student voter field experiment, and currently, developing a new form of citizen diplomacy called family diplomacy. Through Learning Life, Paul leads the development of a Democracy & Diplomacy Community, including the international Family Diplomacy Initiative, and a Democracy Learning Community in the US capital region. Before founding Learning Life in 2012, Paul taught at Stetson, Harvard, Tufts and the University of Wisconsin. He holds a B.A. in sociology from Georgetown University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His writing, research and programmatic work focus on democracy, civic engagement, and education. His writings have appeared in academic journals as well as popular media including the Boston Globe, Orlando Sentinel, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Albuquerque Journal, and More at Paul’s Linkedin page ( and his website (

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Havell Rodrigues

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