Our Team

Akhil Gupta, MBA

Akhil Gupta, MBA

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Founder and Director

Akhil was inspired to conceive of the UEF mission during his two years at Harvard's Advanced Leadership Initiative. The University’s rich intellectual resources catalyzed seminal insights which spurred him to gather and share wisdom more broadly with a wider audience.

From 2015 until 2020, he held the posts of Senior Fellow and Guest at Harvard University. Prior to Harvard until 2015, he served as Chairman of Blackstone India. He joined The Blackstone Group as Senior Managing Director in 2005 and commenced its India operations.

Akhil received his MBA from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University in 1981 and a B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Akhil currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, on the Dean’s Leadership Council at Harvard Divinity School, and on the Advisory board of Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Project.

Allen Simon, MTS

Allen Simon, MTS

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Research and Writing Associate

Having graduated with an MTS degree in Religion and Literature from Harvard Divinity School in Spring of 2018, Allen is still living in the Boston area as he continues to work on UEF projects. Most notably, he has been working with Mr. Gupta on a book which will explore common threads across the world's major religious traditions. Allen also holds a B.A. in Religion from Rice University (2016).

Donald E Frederick, PhD

Donald E Frederick, PhD

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Associate Advisor

Donald advises UEF on topics such as flourishing, religion, and technology. Donald is generally interested in concepts of flourishing, technology, and how to harness the latter to promote the former.

In addition to advising UEF, Donald is an Associate of Harvard’s Human Flourishing Program and does tech consulting and builds start-ups. Donald received his PhD in psychology from the University of Chicago where he also received masters in computer science as well as divinity. His undergraduate degrees are in history and comparative religion.

Christophe Porot

Christophe Porot

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Research and Writing Associate

Christophe Porot did his undergraduate studies at St. Olaf College and has pursued his postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford and Harvard University. He is a Dean's Fellow recipient at Harvard and worked as a Managing Editor, along with Dr. Charles Taliaferro, for a series on Philosophy of Religion in the Wiley-Blackwell journal Religious Studies Review.

He has edited for the the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy, the Ashgate Companion to Theism, and has multiple publications including in: “Mr. Robot and Philosophy”(Open Court), “The Limits of Naturalism” (European Journal for Philosophy of Religion), and “Ten Years after Donald Davidson” (RIA University Press). In college Christophe won a state championship in debate. He is currently a consultant for Universal Enlightenment & Flourishing.


Emily Atkinson

Emily Atkinson

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Research and Writing Associate

Emily Atkinson graduated in English Literature and Linguistics with a First from the University of Oxford, before dedicating her time to non-profits, journalism and research. She has a keen interest in philosophy, neurolinguistics, international development and women's rights.

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