Jonathan Fox is a professor of development studies at the School of International Service at American University, where he directs the Accountability Research Center. Launched in 2016, ARC is an action-research incubator that partners with public interest groups and policymakers on research questions that can inform strategies for change. ARC is funded by private foundations, including the Hewlett, Open Society, MacArthur, Packard and Mott Foundations.
Before coming to Washington DC in 2013, Jonathan Fox taught in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He joined the UCSC faculty in 1996, served twice as chair of the LALS Department and became Emeritus Professor in 2014. He has held fellowships in Washington, D.C. with the Council on Foreign Relations (1995-1996) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2004-2005). He previously served on the faculty of the MIT Political Science Department (1988-1995), where he also received his PhD in Political Science (1986).
His research interests include transparency and accountability, democratization, social movements, social and environmental policy, transnational civil society, immigration, race, ethnicity and youth studies. His current research focuses on accountability reforms around the world, including a long-term focus on Mexican rural development policy. His recent projects address accountability ‘keywords,’ comparative analysis of ‘sandwich strategies‘ for reform, ‘the right to stay home‘ in rural Mexico, as well as analysis of the roles of frontline rural health rights defenders.
He collaborates with a wide range of public interest groups, private foundations, public sector organizations and social organizations, with a focus on applied analysis of policy reforms, advocacy campaigns, capacity-building and strategic planning. Current non-profit board service includes the Community Agro-Ecology Network, Controla tu Gobierno (Mexico), the advisory board of CCiudadano (Mexico), and Fundar (Mexico, honorary board member). He worked with the Open Government Partnership, serving as a founding member of the International Expert Panel of its Independent Reporting Mechanism until 2016. He is also an Honorary Associate of the Institute for Development Studies (Brighton, UK).