Diego Troya

Professor of Chemistry @ Virginia Tech
12 karmaJoined Working (15+ years)


My interest in effective altruism was ignited after a serendipitous read of Singer's The Life You Can Save. After devoting a couple of years to studying the literature, I feel a moral obligation to help those who are not as privileged as I am. While my career (Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech) does not directly align with the typical career of other EAs, I am an aspiring earn-to-giver. With over $100,000 donated to effective charities in less than 2 years, I think a $1M lifetime donation goal is well within reach.  

How others can help me

I am curious and welcome challenging ideas that can change my mind. 

How I can help others

I have taught effective altruism courses for senior citizens, and disseminate some of the central ideas of the movement in my university chemistry courses. This experience allows me to help others in academic settings and other conventional careers think about how they can maximize their impact.  


Congratulations! 75% of your post-tax income is impressive. I am at 63%, but I don't think I can cut much more of my living expenses (currently living at 120% of the US Federal poverty level). I guess I must be saving too much for retirement. As you, I am also debating how much to contribute to animal welfare, so your thoughts are useful. 

This year, I was able to donate 44% of my pre-tax income to effective charities. Here's how I split the overall $77,500 I directed to help others:

GiveWell’s All Grants Fund:   30.4%

Malaria Consortium (via The Life You Can Save):  17.4%

New Incentives (via The Life You Can Save):  17.4%

GiveWell’s Top Charities Fund:  12.9%

The Life You Can Save (all recommended charities):  12.9%

Helen Keller Intl (via The Life You Can Save):  4.5%

GiveDirectly (via The Life You Can Save):  4.5 %

Notably absent from this portfolio are contributions to animal welfare. While I have abstained from eating meat, dairy, or eggs during the last 16 years, I still have not allocated any funds to organizations like the Humane League, the Good Food Institute, etc. I am highly confident that this will change in 2024, and I welcome supporting or dissenting thoughts about it.