Alnoor Ebrahim

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Alnoor Ebrahim is an Associate Professor in the Social Enterprise Initiative at the Harvard Business School. His research and teaching focus on the challenges of performance management, accountability, and governance facing organizations with a social purpose. He is also affiliated with the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University.

Professor Ebrahim is author of the award-winning book, NGOs and Organizational Change: Discourse, Reporting, and Learning, and is co-editor, with Edward Weisband, of Global Accountabilities: Participation, Pluralism, and Public Ethics (both with Cambridge University Press), which compares accountability dilemmas in nonprofits, business, and government. He has been the recipient of awards for best article in the journals Nonprofit Management and Leadership, and the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

He teaches the MBA required course, "FIELD 3" and an elective course "Managing Social Enterprise." He has previously taught  "Leadership and Organizational Behavior" (LEAD), and "Leading and Governing High-Performing Nonprofit Organizations." In the HBS executive education portfolio, Professor Ebrahim servers as faculty chair of "Governing for Nonprofit Excellence" and co-chair of  "Performance Measurement of Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations" while also teaching in "Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management."

Professor Ebrahim's research is closely integrated with practice. He serves on a working group of the Social Impact Investing Taskforce established by the G8, and on an advisory board of the Global Impact Investing Network. He has authored commissioned reports on civil society relations with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, and he consults to international NGOs on their challenges of global governance and accountability. Over the past two decades, he has worked on projects with a number of nongovernmental organizations including ActionAid International, CIVICUS: The World Alliance for Citizen Participation, the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., the Tata Energy Research Institute in New Delhi, and the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in western India.

Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard, Alnoor taught at Virginia Tech for several years, where he was a founding codirector of the Institute for Governance and Accountabilities. He holds a BSc degree from MIT (1991) in civil and environmental engineering, and a PhD from Stanford University (1999), where he studied environmental planning and management.

  1. "Putting the Brakes on Impact: A Contingency Framework for Measuring Social Performance" (with V. Kasturi Rangan) was runner-up for the 2010 Carlo Masini Award for Innovative Scholarship from the Public and Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management.

  2. Nominated for the 2010 Carolyn Dexter Award from the Academy of Management with V. Kasturi Rangan for “Putting the Brakes on Impact: A Contingency Framework for Measuring Social Performance” (Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, August 2010).

  3. Winner of the 2005 Editors' Prize for Best Scholarly Paper in Nonprofit Management and Leadership for "Making Sense of Accountability: Conceptual Perspectives for Northern and Southern Nonprofits" (winter 2003).

  4. Winner of the 2003 Outstanding Article in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly Award for "Information Struggles: The Role of Information in the Reproduction of NGO-Funder Relationships" (March 2002).

  5. Winner of the Outstanding Book Award in 2004 from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action for NGOs and Organizational Change: Discourse, Reporting and Learning (Cambridge University Press, 2003).