Derick Brinkerhoff

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Derick Brinkerhoff

Professorial Lecturer


Derick Brinkerhoff is a Distinguished Fellow Emeritus with RTI International, a large nonprofit research institute, where he spent 15 years as a fulltime staff member and semi-retired in 2018. He has a part-time faculty appointment at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, where he has taught the NGO Management and International Development course annually since 2002. Dr. Brinkerhoff has specialized in policy implementation, democracy and governance, decentralization, state-society relations, post-conflict reconstruction, and organizational change. He has worked with public agencies, NGOs, the US military, and the private sector across a broad range of development sectors in over 30 countries, and has had long-term and short-term assignments in a number of fragile and conflict-affected states, including Chad, Haiti, Madagascar, and Iraq. 

His career has combined research and analysis with hands-on field assignments. Among his recent research projects have been an exploration of the role of social norms in combatting corruption, a study of NGO capacity development in Indonesia, a book on social accountability and governance, and comparative research on the impact of remoteness on African citizen perceptions of service quality and trust in government. He has published extensively, including nine books and numerous articles and book chapters. He is an editorial board member of the journal, International Review of Administrative Sciences, and serves on the Executive Committee of the RTI Press. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, elected in 2010. He has a doctorate in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University, and a masters in public administration from the University of California, Riverside. He got his start in international development by serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chad in 1970-73.