Associate Professor of the Practice
Phone: (979) 458-8016
Mary E. Hilderbrand holds a PhD in political science from Harvard University. At the Bush School, she is a member of the PSAA department, where she teaches courses on comparative public administration; governance reform; and the nonprofit sector, including nongovernmental organizations internationally. She serves as Director of International Programs for the Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy. From 2000 to 2012, she was Fellow in International Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Earlier, she spent seven years at Harvard Institute for International Development. While at Harvard, she led efforts to help establish graduate programs in public policy in Bolivia and Mexico and developed active academic partnerships with them. She also directed the Kennedy School’s participation in LAURIN, the Latin American Regulatory and Infrastructure Network, a project aimed at building capacity for executive education on infrastructure regulation within several South American universities. She served as Cochair of the executive program, Meeting the Challenge of Mexico’s Future: Strategies for Leadership and Performance, and taught in it and other executive programs for international participants. Just prior to coming to the Bush School, she worked as part of an initiative to develop the School of Government and Public Policy-Indonesia, where she was Area Head for Governance and the Policy Process, and she taught in the Master in Public Affairs at Sciences Po in Paris.
She is a member of the faculty team for the Leadership Academy for Development (LAD), based at Stanford University, which works with local partners in a number of countries to hold programs for high-level officials from government, the private sector, nonprofits, international agencies, and academic institutions. Workshops focus on public policy for private sector development, governance reform, and case teaching and writing. During the past five years, she has taught LAD workshops in Kenya, Thailand, Tunisia, Jordan, Iraq, Georgia, and Ukraine.
Dr. Hilderbrand most recently published “Good Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals: Assessing Governance Targets,” in Bjorn Lomborg, ed., Prioritizing Development: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (Cambridge University Press, 2018). She coedited Transformation, Business as Usual, or Slow Fitful Progress? Recent Public Sector Reforms in Mexico (2012, published in Mexico in Spanish by a leading academic publisher).Her research interests are the politics of economic reform, institutional capacity, development assistance, reform of the state, and the role of politics and governance in development. At the Bush School, she is studying nonprofits along the US-Mexico border and the role of civil society in governance reform. She has experience managing development projects and has done consulting on capacity development and public sector reform for the United Nations Development Programme and the Inter-American Development Bank, among other organizations.