Social scientist & impact strategist based in Los Angeles.


DAVID T. HSU is a political scientist and social impact strategist based in Los Angeles. He consults for leaders pursuing greater impact through philanthropy, policy, and culture change. He previously worked at NationBuilder, the technology company that powers grassroots campaigns and movements around the world, and prior to that at the U.S. Department of Justice and the University of Pennsylvania. David graduated from Duke and earned his Ph.D. in international relations at Princeton. He is a board member of the social enterprise L.A. Kitchen, creator of L.A.’s citywide anti-gala Shared Plates, and an advisor for Encore.org’s Generation to Generation campaign.  


Alpenglow on the John Muir Trail (Photo: David Hsu)

Alpenglow on the John Muir Trail (Photo: David Hsu)


I'm working to advance ideas and institutions that humanize strangers in society. 



Social Impact Consultant, Freelance (current)  
Propper Daley 

Board of Directors (current)
L.A. Kitchen

Campaign Advisor (current)
Generation to Generation, powered by Encore.org

Director of Enterprise Sales, International Politics & NGOs (2016) 
Senior Communications Strategist (2015)
Community Strategist (2014)

Postdoctoral Fellow & Visiting Lecturer (2012-2014) 
University of Pennsylvania  

Assistant Instructor, Department of Politics (2006-2012)
Princeton University

Paralegal Specialist, Technology & Financial Services Enforcement Section (2004-2006)
U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division 

Foreign Affairs Intern (2003)
Meridian International Center  



Ph.D. Politics (2012)
Princeton University

B.A. Political Science (2004)
Duke University
Phi Beta Kappa


Community Building

Creator & Co-Chair
Shared Plates, a citywide "anti-gala" of 100+ dinner parties benefiting L.A. Kitchen

Vice Chair, Reunions
Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni 

Guest Chef  
Modern Movements Fellowship, organized by GOOD


Selected Writing

Public resource. Untethered: A Primer on Social Isolation.   

Commissioned. "Letting Go: DIY Strategies to Build Local Campaign Ownership." 

Commissioned. Custom research on global policy and philanthropic strategy, celebrity causes, and corporate social impact.  

Blog post. "When you publish a petition and no one shows up," cited by CNN.

Book-length PhD dissertation. "Power Grab: U.S. Foreign Economic Relations after 9/11"   

Article manuscript. "Defending Openness in a Time of Fear: The International Political Economy of U.S. Visa Issuance"




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