Kristy Kelly joined the Drexel faculty in 2012, serving as director of the Global and International Education Program until 2015. She 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. Dr. Kelly serves as an Expert Advisor on Training for Gender Equality and Gender Mainstreaming to the United Nations, and is a Fulbright Core Specialist on Gender Equality. She also chairs the Global Education Colloquium at Drexel University.
Dr. Kelly is 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. Dr. Kelly 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, Dr. Kelly 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.