FASPE challenges graduate students and future leaders to recognize and confront their ethical responsibilities as professionals by analyzing the decisions and actions of Nazi-era professionals.
FASPE was founded in response to two distinct yet interrelated societal forces. The first was a growing concern over the rampant breakdown of ethical values in several of our most important and respected professions. The second was the challenge of memorialization and education as the Holocaust becomes more distant over time. How are the Holocaust and its ramifications to be taught and contemplated today, in the 21st century? It is FASPE’s challenge to draw contemporary meaning and currency from the increasingly distant Nazi period through the study of the ethical breakdown of the professions in Nazi Germany and what can be learned from this regarding the ethical responsibilities of professionals in our day.
A pilot program with FASPE Law and Medical Fellows was launched in Germany and Poland in the summer of 2009. The Seminary program was added in 2010, followed by the Journalism program in 2011 and a program for Business fellows in 2015.
In 2020, FASPE awarded fellowships to 69 individuals (13 in Business, 14 in Journalism, 14 in Law, 14 in Medical and 14 in Seminary) out of a large pool of applicants from across the United States and abroad.
FASPE’s fellowship programs are led by distinguished faculty comprised of university professors and practicing professionals in the five disciplines, along with leading ethicists and historians who have specific expertise in the role of the professions in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe from 1933 to 1945.
In recent years, FASPE has also conducted Continuing Legal Education programs in ethics for a number of international law firms and governmental institutions, introduced tailored ethics programs for corporations and launched a condensed study trip to Germany and Poland for practicing professionals.
FASPE has also been playing a growing role in the public discourse around contemporary ethical issues in the professions through published commentary and participation on public panels by FASPE staff, faculty and fellows.
As we consider FASPE’s future and its growth, we believe that we have an increasingly important role to play in addressing current ethical challenges in the professions that are arising from the dual forces of globalization and rapidly changing technologies.
Our future will include institutional and programmatic expansion as well as growth that comes from the power of our fellows.
FASPE will expand its programing on contemporary ethical issues by creating new fellowships in additional professions and by increasing our offerings for mid-career professionals. FASPE will also broaden its involvement in the public discourse on current ethical issues in the professions.
FASPE’s greatest resource for the future lies with our Fellows. There are over 600 FASPE alumni Fellows. As our Fellows progress in their careers they bring with them a heightened sensitivity to the ethical issues in their fields and a deep commitment to addressing them. FASPE engages with its Fellows by providing them with the forums for sharing, collaborating and advising on matters that affect them and their professions. Over time, Fellows will increase their contributions to and impact on their professional and civic communities.