Professor of African Studies and Political Science, Stanford University
As an experienced educator, researcher, and evaluator, with a background in history, political science, and education, Joel Samoff studies and teaches about education and development. From Kilimanjaro coffee farmers in Tanzania to militant bus drivers in Ann Arbor, Michigan to the education activists of South Africa and Namibia, the orienting concern of his work has been understanding how people organize themselves to transform their communities. A faculty member at the Center for African Studies at Stanford University, he has also been a faculty member at the Universities of California, Michigan, and Zambia and has taught in Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Pretoria in 2005. Concerned with public policy as well as research, and especially with the links between them, Samoff works regularly with international agencies involved in African education. For the past several years he has served as the principal adviser for the multi-agency, multi-country Joint Evaluation of External Support to Basic Education. He is the North America Editor of the International Journal of Educational Development and serves on the Advisory Boards of the Comparative Education Review and Development and Change.