Rev. Robert Dowd, CSC, the founder and longtime director of the Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, will assume the position of assistant provost for internationalization with Notre Dame International on Feb. 1.

Dowd is an Africanist and an associate professor of political science who studies religion, development, and political culture. While assuming his new responsibilities with NDI, he will continue to direct the Ford Program through June 2020.

“As founding director of the Ford Program, Fr. Bob has been a leader in shaping the way we think about and study international development at Kellogg and at Notre Dame more broadly,” said Sharon Schierling, Kellogg’s managing director.  “We look forward to continuing to collaborate closely with him to advance the University’s internationalization goals.”

Dowd said he has been "incredibly blessed" to have led the Ford Program, and he will have the opportunity to collaborate with Kellogg in his new job.

"I will be in a position to support the work of the Ford Program in new and different ways," he added.  

At NDI, Dowd’s primary responsibilities will include leadership of the Dublin Global Gateway, Kylemore Abbey Global Centre, and the São Paulo Global Center; and future engagement with Africa.


NDI’s Senior Assistant Provost for Internationalization Jonathan Noble will continue to lead the Gateways and Centers in Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, and Rome. Senior Director for Internationalization Angie Appleby Purcell will continue to lead the Jerusalem Global Gateway and the Mexico City and Santiago Global Centers.

A Notre Dame graduate with a doctorate in political science from UCLA, Dowd has served as director of the Ford Program for 12 years. His research interests include African politics, ethnic politics, and the relationship between religion, political institutions, national identity, and human development. He is author of the book, Christianity, Islam and Liberal Democracy: Lessons from sub-Saharan Africa (Oxford University Press, 2015) and several articles on African politics. He is currently focusing on research concerning religion and the integration of migrants/refugees in Europe and North America and the effects of faith-based schools on citizenship and civic engagement in Africa.

Fr. Bob will be a member of NDI’s leadership and faculty engagement teams.