Alnoor Ebrahim

Alnoor Ebrahim

(617) 627-5104
Research/Areas of Interest: -Social impact measurement -Performance measurement -Accountability -Governance -Leadership -Strategy for social change organizations -Managing NGOs and Social Enterprises


  • PhD, Environmental Planning & Management, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, United States, 1999
  • MS, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, United States, 1994
  • BSc, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States, 1991


Alnoor Ebrahim is a Professor of Management at The Fletcher School, and the Tisch College of Civic Life, at Tufts University. His research addresses several core dilemmas of social change facing businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies: What strategies should they adopt for delivering and scaling social change? How can they best measure and improve their impacts? How should they handle competing demands for accountability from diverse stakeholders? How can they influence "system" problems such as global poverty that require collective action?

Many of these questions are addressed in Professor Ebrahim's book, Measuring Social Change: Performance and Accountability in a Complex World (Stanford University Press), which has received multiple awards, including from the Financial Times and Impact & Sustainable Finance Faculty Consortium, and The Alliance for Nonprofit Management. He is also author of the award-winning NGOs and Organizational Change: Discourse, Reporting, and Learning and is co-editor of Global Accountabilities: Participation, Pluralism, and Public Ethics (both with Cambridge University Press).

Alnoor serves on advisory boards to IRIS+ at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), and on the board of Imago Global Grassroots. He previously served on a working group established by the G7 to create global guidelines on social impact measurement, and on Acumen's Lean Data advisory council. He has also worked with the NGO Leaders Forum, an annual gathering of CEOs of large humanitarian development organizations. His previous research on accountability mechanisms within the World Bank led to a Congressional Testimony on improving the Bank's information disclosure policy.

Professor Ebrahim teaches courses on leadership and strategy, and in executive programs at Fletcher, Harvard, and Georgetown. Prior to joining the Fletcher faculty, he taught at Harvard Business School, where he chaired two executive programs for social sector leaders, and also at Virginia Tech. Professor Ebrahim received his doctorate and master's degrees from Stanford University, and his bachelor of science from M.I.T.
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Selected Publications

Ebrahim, A., Brown, L. D., & Batliwala, S. (2022). Governance for global integration: Designing structure and authority in international advocacy NGOs. World Development, 160. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2022.106063

Ebrahim, A. (2003). NGOs and organizational change: Discourse, reporting, and learning (Vol. 9780521824866). doi:10.1017/CBO9780511488566

Ebrahim, A., & Weisband, E. (2007). Global accountabilities: Participation, pluralism, and public ethics. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511490903

Ebrahim, A., Battilana, J., & Mair, J. (2014). The governance of social enterprises: Mission drift and accountability challenges in hybrid organizations. Research in Organizational Behavior, 34, 81-100. doi:10.1016/j.riob.2014.09.001

Ebrahim, A., & Rangan, V. K. (2014). What impact? Aframework for measuring the scale and scope of social performance. California Management Review, 56(3), 118-141. doi:10.1525/cmr.2014.56.3.118

Brown, L. D., Ebrahim, A., & Batliwala, S. (2012). Governing International Advocacy NGOs. World Development, 40(6), 1098-1108. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.11.006

Ebrahim, A. (2009). Placing the normative logics of accountability in gthick perspective. American Behavioral Scientist, 52(6), 885-904. doi:10.1177/0002764208327664

Ebrahim, A. (2001). NGO behavior and development discourse: Cases from Western India. Voluntas, 12(2), 79-101. doi:10.1023/A:1011259801647

Ebrahim, A. (2005). Accountability myopia: Losing sight of organizational learning. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 34(1), 56-87. doi:10.1177/0899764004269430

Ebrahim, A. (2019). Measuring Social Change: Performance and Accountability in a Complex World. Stanford University Press. Retrieved from