Derick Brinkerhoff is Senior Fellow in International Public Management at RTI International (Research Triangle Institute), a nonprofit research organization headquartered in North Carolina, and has an associate faculty appointment at George Washington University's School of Public Policy and Public Administration. He holds a doctorate in public policy and administration from Harvard University and a master's in public administration from the University of California Riverside. Derick has published extensively, including six books and numerous articles and book chapters.
As an undergrad, he studied anthropology at the University of California Riverside and then served three years in the Peace Corps in Chad, teaching English in secondary school. His doctoral program at Harvard University's School of Education, in administration, planning, and social policy, allowed him to combine an international policy focus with study in organizational development (OD) and public management. While at Harvard, he worked with Rosabeth Moss Kanter (then at Yale, currently at the Harvard Business School), spending two years doing US-focused OD and research. He also consulted with the Harvard Institute for International Development, working in Mali.
Following graduation in 1980, Derick began taking international development assignments as an independent consultant, which led him to Portugal, Zaire, and Washington, D.C. He then accepted a job with USAID in the Office of Rural and Institutional Development. There, he managed an applied research project and traveled to USAID Missions to work on project designs, implementation start-ups, and evaluations. It was during this period that Derick and a core group of likeminded colleagues founded the Development Management Network.