William MacAskill (born William Crouch;[2] March 24, 1987) is a Scottish philosopher and notable figure within the effective altruism movement.[3][4] He is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford. MacAskill is also the founder and president of 80,000 Hours,[5] the co-founder and vice-president of Giving What We Can,[6] and the author of Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and a Radical New Way to Make a Difference.


MacAskill was educated at Cambridge, Princeton, and Oxford, where he obtained a PhD in philosophy in 2013.[7]


MacAskill's work and his organisations have been featured in The New York Times,[8] The Wall St Journal,[9] The Washington Post,[10] The Huffington Post,[2] The Guardian,[2] BBC News,[2] BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme,[2] CNBC,[2] NPR,[2] TED,[2] and other media outlets globally. He is a regular contributor to Quartz, and has written for The New Yorker,[2] The Guardian,[2] The Independent,[2] Time,[21] and The Washington Post.[22]

MacAskill's argument that young idealists should work for Wall Street has been the subject of a New York Times op-ed by David Brooks.[23] Brooks argued that, while effective altruists may start earning to give in order to realize their deepest commitments, their values may erode over time, becoming progressively less altruistic. In addition, Brooks objected to the view on which altruists should turn themselves "into a machine for the redistribution of wealth."

In 2014, MacAskill was a notable critic of the ice bucket challenge.[24][25][26]