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; winner of the 2018 ARNOVA Outstanding Book Award), 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, Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Political Geography, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Modern African Studies, Annual Review of Environment & Resources, WIREs: Energy & Environment, and Journal of Public Affairs Education, among others.
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.