Jennifer N. Brass

Assistant Professor

(812) 855-1460
Room Number:
SPEA 457

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 2010
  • M.A., Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 2004
  • B.S. (magna cum laude), Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 1999


  • Approaches to Development
  • Nation Building
  • National & International Policy
  • NGO Management in Comparative Perspective
  • Research Methods


Dr. Jennifer N. Brass is an expert on service provision, governance, and state development, with a primary geographic focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Her book, Allies or Adversaries? NGOs and the State in Africa (Cambridge University Press), examines the role that nongovernmental organizations play in service provision, state-society relations, and state development in Kenya. Related to her monograph, Brass’s newest research agenda aims to synthesize collective knowledge about the effects and effectiveness of NGOs using systematic review techniques. A second, collaborative project examines the politics and governance of renewable and small-scale electricity provision in developing countries, with a focus on Africa.

Brass's articles have appeared in Governance, World Development, Development and Change, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Modern African Studies, Annual Review of Environment & Resources, WIREs: Energy & Environment, Journal of Asian and African Studies, and Journal of Public Affairs Education.

Brass has conducted extensive field research in Senegal, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda. She holds a Ph.D. and masters in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.


  • 2016 SPEA Teaching Award for excellence in undergraduate instruction, Indiana University
  • Recipient of one of five Outstanding Junior Faculty Awards at Indiana University in 2016
  • 2014 SPEA Teaching Award for excellence in graduate instruction, Indiana University
  • 2013 Award for Best Comparative Paper presented at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship ($120,000), National Science Foundation
  • Emerging Scholar Award of Merit (2012), International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR).

In the News

Selected Works