Claire Dunning is an assistant professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is an affiliated faculty member in the Do Good Institute and the History Department.
Dunning is a political and urban historian of the United States in the 20th century, focusing on the history of poverty, inequality, governance, and nonprofit organizations in American cities. Her work has been published in the Journal of Urban History and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She is currently writing a book on the history of public-private partnerships in cities titled Nonprofit Neighborhoods: Poverty Policy and Privatization in Boston, 1949-present. The book analyzes decades of efforts by policymakers, philanthropists, grassroots activists, and nonprofit executives to reduce poverty in American cities, and considers the local consequences of pursuing a public good through private organizations. Her work has been supported by organizations such as the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School, The Foundation for the National Archives, the Rockefeller Archive Center, and the Tobin Project, and has been recognized by the Business History Conference and the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.
Dunning holds a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and and an A.B. in history and public policy from Dartmouth College. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and previously worked at a community foundation.