Charles Sellen

Global Philanthropy Fellow

Charles Sellen
University Hall, Suite 3000
301 University Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN


  • Ph.D., Economics of Philanthropy (Sciences Po Paris, 2012)
  • M.A., International Political Economy (Sciences Po Paris, 2006)
  • B.A., Economics and Political Science (Sciences Po Strasbourg, 2005)
  • Exchange year, International Affairs (Georgetown University, 2003-04)


Charles Sellen, Ph.D., is the inaugural “Global Philanthropy Fellow” at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy during the 2019-2020 academic year. He is also a Fulbright laureate in the “NGO Leaders” program.

He specialized in philanthropy since he wrote a report for the Embassy of France in Washington in 2004 about the international funding from U.S. foundations. He has subsequently been the first French country expert for the Hudson Institute Center for Global Prosperity’s Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances.

Dr. Sellen has acquired a twofold experience in research and practice: He served as head of partnerships in a private consulting firm to C-level executives in Paris. After defending his Ph.D. at SciencesPo Paris, he was a researcher at CerPhi, France’s first-born independent research center on philanthropy. For the past five years, he has been the editorial coordinator for scientific publishing at the Agence française de développement (AFD)—French Government’s international aid agency. There, in addition to his publishing missions spanning all fields of development studies, he helped raise awareness about the influence of private foundations in the international development arena.

In Europe, Dr. Sellen has participated in multiple events on philanthropic issues as keynote speaker or panelist (Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Luxembourg, Paris). He has also been an advisor to NGOs and foundations in France.

Among several voluntary commitments, Dr. Sellen has namely been a board member and chairman of La Fabrique Spinoza, the leading Francophone nonprofit think tank on happiness and wellbeing issues.