Psychologist, Pamela Paresky is the Chief Research Officer to the CEO and President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. She is an author, speaker, and Director of the Aspen Center for Human Development (ACHD) where she examines issues of leadership, happiness, the good life, and other topics in human development in collaboration with a faculty of scholars in diverse fields.
For several years, through her consulting practice, MultiGenerational Consulting Services, LLC, Pamela worked with individuals, companies, families, and nonprofits to create optimal relationships and organizations. She worked both one-on-one and with groups, offering customized programs that provided the opportunity to transform one’s thinking about roles and relationships, work and philanthropy, and about fundamental questions of personal meaning and happiness. She also provided consulting in areas as diverse as marketing, television technical advising, and curriculum assessment. A featured speaker at the National Character and Leadership Symposium and former United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) Adjunct/Research Professor, Pamela co-taught a leadership course at USAFA, and worked with a team that delivered leadership courses around the world.
A Year of Kindness, her research-based guided journal, encourages people to record daily acts of kindness and thoughts of gratitude. Her current writing project is Losing Ourselves: How the pursuit of happiness makes us less happy (working title). Research for the book derives from philosophy, social science, wisdom traditions, and life stories that illuminate what creates a meaningful and fulfilling life.
She is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Miami-based United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education and the Alumni Development Board for Phillips Academy (Andover). She participates in working groups for Service Year Alliance (formerly The Franklin Project) and The Red Cross, is an Advisor to the board of the Bridging Bionics Foundation, and serves on the Advisory Panel of the Ethics and Professional Policy Committee of the American College of Medical Quality.
Dr. Paresky received a PhD in Human Development and Psychology from the University of Chicago. Her work at the National Opinion Research Center focused on happiness, relationships, and “Flow,” a construct describing optimal experience developed by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, a pioneer in the study of both happiness and performance. Building on his discovery that the best moments in life often occur when people stretch themselves while working toward something worthwhile, Pamela has spent the past twenty years investigating the source of both optimal performance and a life worth living. In addition to her interdisciplinary PhD, she holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology, and a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology with a concentration in Culture and Native American Studies. Before becoming a psychologist, Pamela conducted anthropological field research in the North West Territories of Canada where she lived with and photographed the Inuit. In New York City, she studied the city's Native American population, and briefly had a career as a professional actor.
The focus and goal of her research and work is for each individual to lead the most fulfilling life possible — a life that matters.
Pamela lives in Colorado with her two children.