Dr. Ken Menkhaus is professor of Political Science at Davidson College, where he has taught since 1991.
He received his Ph.D. in International Studies in 1989 from the University of South Carolina, where he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for dissertation research on southern Somalia. His subsequent specialization on the Horn of Africa has focused primarily on development, conflict analysis, peace operations, state failure, state-building, and political Islam, involving both academic research and policy work. He taught for two years at the American University in Cairo Egypt from 1989 to 1991. In 1993-94, he served as special political advisor in the UN Operation in Somalia, was a visiting civilian professor at the US Army Peacekeeping Institute in 1994-95, and was awarded a visiting scholar position at the US Army Strategic Studies Institute in 2011-12. In 2004 he was awarded a US Institute of Peace grant for research on armed conflict in the Horn of Africa.
He regularly serves as a consultant for the UN, US government, non-governmental organizations, and policy research institutes, and has provided expert testimony on five occasions before Congressional subcommittees. Menkhaus is author of over fifty articles, book chapters, and monographs, including Somalia: State Collapse and the Threat of Terrorism (2004), "Governance without Government in Somalia" in International Security (2007), and "State Fragility as Wicked Problem" in PRISM (2010). He has been interviewed on BBC, CNN, FOX, Al Jazeera, NPR's All Things Considered, the Voice of America, the Diane Rehm Show, MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, and other media. Menkhaus also has a professional and teaching interest in philanthropy and the non-profit sector, and developed a course and grant-giving exercise on that topic which is supported by a $100,000 grant from Ms. Doris Buffet's "Learning by Giving" foundation.