Karen Brown

Karen Brown is Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC), where she directs international and interdisciplinary education and research programs including the ICGC Scholar and Mellon Scholars fellowship programs and a partnership with the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Dr. Brown also co-leads the systemwide Sustainable Development Goals Initiative. In her ICGC role, she co-chairs the Master of Development Practice degree program in international development studies with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, serves as the Director of Graduate Studies and teaches in the ICGC Development Studies and Social Change (DSSC) Ph.D. minor program, and also serves as a Graduate Faculty member in Feminist Studies, the Human Rights Program, and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Dr. Brown’s past positions include Assistant Vice President for International Scholarship (2012-2015) in which she directed the University’s system-wide Global Spotlight grants program to support international and interdisciplinary research and Special Assistant for International Scholarship in the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. Dr. Brown earned her Ph.D. in Political Science (University of Minnesota) with concentrations in International Relations and Comparative Politics. She also earned an M.A. in East Asian Studies (University of Minnesota) and a B.S. in Chinese (Georgetown University). Her academic interests focus on gender and public policy in global context, international women's and children's human rights, girls in international policy, and international research ethics and methods.

Selected Publications

“The Rise of Interdisciplinarity: Implications for Promoting Advanced Specialized Knowledge at Public Research Universities,” with Karri Holley, in Robert H. Bruininks, Robert J. Jones, Andrew Furco and Kateryna Kent, eds., Re-Envisioning the Public Research University: Tensions and Demands. New York: Routledge, 2022.

“Global girl policy and the Girl Effect: gendered origins and silences,” in Deborah Levison, Mary Jo Mayes and Frances Vavrus, eds., Children and Youth as Subjects, Objects, Agents: Innovative Approaches to Research Across Space and Time, Palgrave MacMillan, 2021.

“Young Women in UN Peace and Security Policy: At Risk or In the Lead?,” in Katrina Lee-Koo and Lesley Pruitt, eds., Young Women & Leadership: New Directions in Sustaining Movements for Change?. New York: Routledge, 2020.

“The Master of Development Practice (MDP): Reflections on an adaptive and collaborative program strategy to develop integrative leaders in sustainable development” with David Wilsey, Glenn Galloway, George Scharffenberger, Claire Reid, Nina Miller, Katherine Snyder, and Larry Swatuk, in K. Kremers, A.L. Leipens & A.M. York, eds., Developing Change Agents: Innovative Practices For Sustainability Leadership. Minneapolis, Minnesota, ANGLES Press, 2019.

A Retreat from International Human Rights is not Gender Neutral,” with Robin Skrebes, Amanda Lyons and Barb Frey, The Gender Policy Report, May 8, 2017. ”Wither Gender in U.S. Trade and Development?” with Cosette Creamer, The Gender Policy Report, January 16, 2017.

”Wither Gender in U.S. Trade and Development?” with Cosette Creamer, The Gender Policy Report, January 16, 2017.

“Gender and International Relations.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. Ed. Sandy Maisel. New York: Oxford University Press, 4-27-17. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199756223-0211

Courses Taught

  • Global Survey of Gender and Public Policy
  • Doctoral Research Workshop
  • Scholarship and Public Responsibility
  • Ways of Knowing