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Kristy Kelly, holds dual appointments in the Drexel School of Education and the Global Studies, Modern Languages Department

Kristy Kelly, PhD

Associate Clinical Professor, School of Education
Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages
Office: One Drexel Plaza, Room 146
Phone: 215.895.2381


  • PhD and MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BA, Pennsylvania State University

Research Interests:

  • Politics of knowledge
  • Gender and education 
  • Women and educational leadership
  • Feminist pedagogies
  • Gender mainstreaming
  • Transnational feminisms
  • Intersectionality
  • Training and adult education
  • Gender policy
  • Race/class/gender/sexuality
  • Vietnam and Southeast Asia


Kristy Kelly, PhD joined the Drexel faculty in 2012, and served as director of the Global and International Education Program until 2015. Dr. Kelly is simultaneously affiliated with the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, where she was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Southeast Asian Studies from 2010-2012. She serves as an Expert Advisor on Training for Gender Equality and Gender Mainstreaming to the United Nations, and a Fulbright Core Specialist on Gender Equality. She also chairs the Global Education Colloquium at Drexel University.

Kelly is a sociologist who uses gender and education as critical lenses to examine social change in Southeast Asia. She teaches courses on gender and education, education diplomacy, education and development, qualitative research methods, and the political economy of education reform. She is completing a book titled "Whatever Happened to Comrade? The Politics of Gender and Development in Vietnam", which is a multi-year ethnography of Vietnamese feminist engagement with gender and development discourses, policies and practices, and with the state, development institutions and each other in post-socialist Vietnam. Her book illuminates training as a key feminist space, place and process for transforming social relations and development practice. She has also published on higher education in Vietnam; gender, land and corruption in Africa; women and educational leadership; feminist pedagogies and online learning; transnational feminisms; and the politics of gender, class and citizenship in Asia.

Prior to joining Academia, she worked for a variety of development organizations, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Hong Kong, the Center for Southeast Asian Refugee Resettlement (CSEARR) in San Francisco, and Volunteers in Asia (VIA) in Vietnam. She established the first Vietnam office of the Institute of International Education (IIE) in Hanoi, where she lived from 1992 to 2000. She continues to consult and advise on gender, education and development issues for multilateral and humanitarian aid organizations in Asia and Africa.

Selected Publications:

  • Kelly, Kristy. 2015. Social Learning, Adult Learning and Feminist Pedagogies. Santo Domingo: UN Women Training Centre.
  • Kelly, Kristy, Lucy Ferguson and Khaitsa Wasiyo. 2015. United Nations Milestones and Engagements with Gender Equality ( Santo Domingo: UN Women Training Centre.
  • Dao The Duc, Hoang Cam, Le Ha Trung, Lee Kanthoul and Kristy Kelly. 2012. Gender-Based Violence and Masculinities in Vietnam: Life History Analysis of the Associations between Violence and Masculinities in Two Sites in Vietnam. Hanoi, Vietnam: UN Women, UNIFEM and Partners4Prevention.
  • Kelly, Kristy. 2011. Vietnam Case Study: Gender Equality in Educational Leadership and Management. Paris, France: UNESCO, International Institute for Educational Planning.
  • Baer, Susanne, Lucy Nowottnick, Maria Bustelo, Emanuela Lombardo, Amaia Pérez-Orozco, Myra Marx Ferree, Kristy Kelly, Mieke Verloo, and Kathrin Zippel. 2009. Manual for Gender+ Trainers and Commissioners. Prepared for Transnational Applied Research on Gender Equity Training (TARGET) Project. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin – Madison.
  • Kelly, Kristy. 2007. Gender and HIV/AIDS in Vietnam: A draft report prepared on behalf of the Gender and Sexuality Sub-group of the HIV/AIDS Technical Working Group. Hanoi, Vietnam: Pact Vietnam.
  • Kelly, Kristy. 2000. “The Higher Education System in Vietnam.” World Education News and Reviews 13(3).