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. Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD)

    This first-year MBA course focuses on how managers become effective leaders by addressing the human side of enterprise.  The first modules examine teams, individuals, and networks; the intermediate modules look at successful leaders "in action"; and the final module introduces a model for strategic career management.
  2. Governing for Nonprofit Excellence (GNE)

    This Executive Education course, an HBS Social Enterprise Initiative program, is designed to maximize the contributions of individual nonprofit board members. Participants are challenged to examine their role and the role of their boards in improving organizational effectiveness.  Professor Ebrahim is the faculty chair.