Nicholas Beckstead (born 1985) is an American philosopher and AI governance and safety consultant.
Beckstead majored in mathematics and philosophy at the University of Minnesota and obtained a PhD in philosophy from Rutgers University. As a graduate student, he co-founded the first US chapter of Giving What We Can, pledging to donate half of his post-tax income until his retirement to the most cost-effective organizations fighting global poverty in the developing world.
After completing his studies, Beckstead became a Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute and then a Program Officer for Open Philanthropy, where he oversaw much of that organization's research and grantmaking related to global catastrophic risk reduction. In November 2021, he joined the FTX Foundation as CEO, and ran the FTX Future Fund. Along with the rest of the Future Fund team, he resigned in November 2022 when FTX collapsed.
Beckstead's research focuses on topics related to the long-term future and its normative implications, including existential risk, population ethics, space colonization, and differential progress. His doctoral dissertation, which combines some of these interests, is often credited as an important early contribution to longtermism....