Faculty Fellow Jaimie Bleck has been appointed to the new position of senior research advisor to the Kellogg Institute’s Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity.

“As senior research advisor, Jaimie will work with us to strengthen the research we do and ensure that our research strategy and methods allow us to answer the questions we seek to address,” says Ford Program Director Rev. Robert Dowd, CSC. “She will also work closely with us to engage Notre Dame faculty and students in the work of the Ford Program.

“Jaimie is an outstanding social scientist who is widely respected at Notre Dame and beyond for her ingenuity and tenacity in addressing important questions related to democracy and human development and I am extremely pleased that she has joined the Ford team.”

A political scientist, Bleck focuses her research on issues of democracy and citizenship as well as education and social service provision in Mali and elsewhere in Africa. She also teaches popular graduate and undergraduate courses on research methodology appropriate for fieldwork in the developing world.

“Jaimie has conducted fieldwork in very challenging settings and understands the importance of research that is informed by community engagement,” says Dowd. “Her competency in both qualitative and quantitative methods will boost the Ford Program's efforts to address important research questions and increase the effectiveness of efforts intended to help people to make the most of their potential.”

For her part, Bleck says she is “thrilled” to be joining Dowd, East Africa Regional Program Coordinator Jackie Aridi, and the rest of the Ford team.

“I'm really excited about the opportunities for the Ford Program to tackle pressing questions of integral human development through collaborative, interdisciplinary approaches that draw on our relationship with Holy Cross and other partners in communities in East Africa,” she says.

Bleck won an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship as well as USAID funding from the Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance to conduct field research for her current project on the role of the local discussion groups known as “grinw” in rebuilding civil society and democracy in Mali. She is the author of Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).

The Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, a program of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, conducts research and evaluation that can inform development theory and practice while making a positive, measurable, and sustainable difference in people’s lives.

Part of the University of Notre Dame’s new Keough School of Global Affairs, the Kellogg Institute is an interdisciplinary community of scholars and students from across the University and around the world that promotes research, provides educational opportunities, and builds linkages related to democracy and human development, two topics critical to our world.