Will Wilkinson (born 1973) is an American writer who currently serves as Vice President of Policy at the Niskanen Center. Until August 2010, he was a research fellow at the Cato Institute where he worked on a variety of issues including Social Security privatization and, most notably, the policy implications of happiness research. Wilkinson was also the managing editor of the Cato Institute's monthly web magazine, Cato Unbound. Previously, he was Academic Coordinator of the Social Change Project and the Global Prosperity Initiative at The Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and, before that, he ran the Social Change Workshop for Graduate Students for The Institute for Humane Studies. His political philosophy is described by The American Conservative magazine as "Rawlsekian"; that is, a mixture of John Rawls's principles and Friedrich von Hayek's methods. Wilkinson formerly described his political views as libertarian, but he now rejects that label.
Wilkinson was born in Independence, Missouri, and grew up in Marshalltown, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1995, received an M.A. in philosophy from Northern Illinois University in 1998, and did work toward a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland.
In 2009 Wilkinson gained Canadian citizenship via his father, a Canadian expatriate in America, whose Canadian citizenship was reinstated following a change in Canadian emigration law.
In 2015, Wilkinson completed his MFA studies at the University of Houston.