Jeff Unsicker, PhD

Jeff Unsicker completed graduate studies in international development, education, policy analysis, and administration. His research focused on the political economy of foreign aid for adult education, rural development, and Ujamaa socialism in Tanzania. A member of SIT’s core faculty from 1990-2016, Jeff has also served as academic dean and interim president of SIT Graduate Institute. While at SIT, he co-founded and served as general secretary of a global partnership for educating NGO leaders that has programs in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and co-directed a program on leadership for social justice for the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowships Program.

Before joining SIT, Jeff was the coordinator of education and leadership development programs for an advocacy coalition of over 50 community-based organizations in Southern California; faculty director of the International Service and Development degree at an international liberal arts college in northern California; a research associate at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Botswana. His current teaching and practice are focused on policy analysis and advocacy by grassroots associations, NGOs, and other local, national, and transnational civil society organizations that are working for social change. He has recently done training and consulting for the advocacy divisions of BRAC in Bangladesh, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Oxfam America, and CARE. Jeff has also held various leadership and strategy planning roles in a statewide coalition of citizen, public interest, and environmental organizations that played a key role in retiring Vermont’s nuclear power reactor and replacing it with safe and green alternatives Jeff’s teaching, consulting, and activism are the basis for his book, Confronting Power: The Practice of Policy Advocacy (Kumarian Press, 2012).


  • PhD, Stanford University
  • MA, Stanford University
  • BA, University of California, San Diego
Jeff Unsicker, PhD

SIT Graduate Institute

Professor Emeritus

MA in Sustainable Development

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