Kimberley Coles, PhD

Dr. Coles is a cultural anthropologist by training, with expertise in international humanitarian aid and development and state-society relationships in both globalist and local contexts. She conducted her dissertation research in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina on international democracy and election efforts. Recent scholarship focuses on citizens being called upon to do the work of government through, for example, citizen councils and participatory decision-making.

Dr. Coles is a curricular innovator whose pedagogy centers experimentation, inquiry, societal relevance, and decentering oneself. She has long championed cultural immersion, interdisciplinarity and experiential learning, and close faculty-student mentorship. As a professor, she taught courses at the intersection of politics, anthropology, and international studies as well as qualitative research methodologies.  Recognized for innovative classroom instruction based on fieldwork-oriented exercises rooted in inquiry, she also spent two years directing an Austria-based study abroad semester, shifting its focus to contemporary issues in Europe and designing a beloved experiential excursion through parts of the former Yugoslavia.

Dr. Coles was the associate provost of institutional effectiveness at the University of Redlands prior to joining SIT.  She designed and led their reaccreditation process, advised faculty and administrators on assessment models most likely to be meaningful, and helped improve data gathering and collection efforts. She is a strong advocate for structure and infrastructure that allow missions to thrive in daily practice.


  • PhD, Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Irvine
  • MA, International Politics, American University
  • BA, Anthropology, University of California, San Diego
Kimberley Coles, PhD

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies