Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Maryland, College Park
Website URL
United States, twentieth century, urban history, political history, policy history, nonprofit organizations, social innovation, philanthropy, social welfare, democracy, federalism,
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Claire Dunning is a historian of the United States in the twentieth-century and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park’s School of Public Policy. She received her Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 2016 and was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. As a historian with appointments outside of history departments, Claire often gives historical context and historical analysis to current events related to nonprofits, philanthropy, social innovation, welfare policy, and urban development.

She teaches, researches and writes about a variety of topics in social and political history of the postwar period, including democratic governance, philanthropy, capitalism, citizen participation, nonprofit organizations, inequality, and social welfare provision 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. 

Recent Publications

New Careers for the Poor: Human Services and the Post-Industrial City.” Journal of Urban History 44.4 (2018): 669-690.



Philanthropy, Nonprofits, and Democracy in the United States.” (February 1, 2018) OAH Process

The Strange Career of New Careers for the Poor: The Challenge of Evaluating the Impact of a Great Society Program.” (December 4, 2017) HistPhil Blog.

How the State Learned to Give Like a Foundation.” (April 6, 2016) HistPhil Blog.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Politics, Urban History