Catherine Herrold

Associate Professor, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; Faculty Affiliate, Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Catherine Herrold


University Hall, Suite 3000
301 University Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN


  • PhD, Public Policy, Duke University
  • MBA, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School
  • MSc, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • BA, Economics, Mount Holyoke College


Catherine E. Herrold is an associate professor at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and a faculty affiliate of the Indiana University Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She has also served as a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo (Egypt) and Birzeit University (Palestine). 

Dr. Herrold’s research centers around civil society, democracy, and international development. She has conducted fieldwork in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Qatar.

Herrold’s book, Delta Democracy: Pathways to Incremental Civic Revolution in Egypt and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 2020), uncovers the strategies that Egyptian NGOs used to advance the aims of the country’s 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. It also provides concrete policy recommendations on how U.S. policymakers can restructure foreign aid to better help local community organizations fighting to expand democracy.

Her second book project examines the rise of voluntary grassroots organizations in Palestine and analyzes these groups' roles in state building processes.

Herrold’s work has also appeared in Social Problems, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Policy Forum, and VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations.

Herrold holds a PhD in Public Policy from Duke University. She is a member of the Mount Holyoke College Athletics Hall of Fame.

Courses Taught

  • PHST-P212: Philanthropy and Civic Engagement
  • PHST-P521: Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector (online)
  • PHST-P523: Civil Society and Philanthropy (in person and online)
  • PHST-P524: Civil Society in Comparative Perspective (in person and online)
  • PHST-P555: Directed Readings in Philanthropic Studies
  • PHST-P556: Grant Making and the Role of Foundations (in person and online)
  • PHST-P590: Internship in Philanthropic Studies
  • PHST-P600: Master’s Thesis in Philanthropic Studies
  • PHST-P890: Doctoral Dissertation in Philanthropic Studies


Research Interests

  • NGOs
  • Civil Society
  • Democracy Promotion
  • Middle East and North Africa

Current Projects

  • “Project Think and the Fragmentation of Civil Society.” (With Gizem Zencirci.)
  • “Curating Sovereignty: Voluntary Grassroots Organizations, Resistance, and State Building in Palestine.”
  • “Toward a Conditional Analysis of Roles of Service-Providing NGOs in Democracy Building.” (With Khaldoun AbouAssi.)
  • Remobilizing the Margins: Voluntary Grassroots Organizations, Civil Society, and State Building in Palestine. Book project.

Honors & Awards

Other Activities

  • Consultant, The Urban Institute, 2015
  • Fellow, The George Gund Foundation, 2005-2007
  • Fellow, The Center for Effective Philanthropy, 2004
  • Research Assistant, The Urban Institute, 2002-2003
  • Consultant, Deloitte & Touche, 2000-2002

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