Emily Hillenbrand

Ph.D. Candidate, Development Sociology

Research Focus

Emily's research is centered on gender and development, sociology of masculinities and gender relations. She studies how structural forces, men-engaged interventions, and ideologies of transnational feminism and development are reshaping men’s livelihoods, masculinities, and gender relations in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Emily Hillenbrand has a master’s degree in Women, Gender and Development from Institute for Social Studies (ISS) in the Netherlands and a B.A. in International Relations from Middlebury College, VT. She has worked as a gender and development specialist in agriculture, nutrition and food security programs for over 10 years, working primarily in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. She has expertise in qualitative and participatory research methods, gender-transformative programming approaches, and curriculum development.

Her dissertation will focus on how men are reconstructing masculinities strategies in response to eroding livelihoods, conflict, shifting ideologies of gender, and development interventions that engage men for purposes of shaping equitable gender relations. She aims to conduct dissertation fieldwork in Malawi and in Burundi.



  • Hillenbrand and Miruka (2019), “Gender and Social Norms in Agriculture: A Review.” In Quisumbing, A., Meinzen-Dick, R., and Njuki, J. (Eds). 2019. Gender Equality in Rural Africa: From Commitments to Outcomes. ReSAKSS 2019 Annual Trends and Outlook Report. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.
  • Hillenbrand E, Karim N, Mohanraj P and Wu D. (2016). “Measuring gender transformative change: A review of literature and promising practices.” CARE USA. AAS Working Paper.
  • Njuki, J., Miruka, M., Starr, L., Hutchinson, E., and Hillenbrand, E., (2016) “Measuring Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture: Addressing the Multidimensional Nature of Gender Dynamics in Agriculture.” In Transforming Gender and Food Systems, Jemimah Njuki, Amy Kaler and John Parkins (Eds). London: Taylor and Francis.
  • Doss, Kim, Njuki, Hillenbrand, and Miruka (2014), “Women’s Individual and Joint Property Ownership
  • Effects on Household Decision-making.” IFPRI Discussion Paper 01347, April 2014.
  • Hillenbrand, E. et al (2014), “Using the Social Relations Approach to Capture Complexity in women’s empowerment.” Gender & Development, 22 (2), 351-368.


  • Farmer Field and Business School Toolkit. An integrated curriculum for agriculture extension workers, incorporating agriculture, marketing, gender, nutrition, and facilitation skills around the agriculture seasonal calendar. Lead authors: Miruka, Hillenbrand, Kaganzi, Njuki, Kruger, et al. Published by CARE USA: Atlanta, 2015.
  • Nurturing Connections. A curriculum for transforming household relations through dialogues around gender and nutrition, targeting mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Lead authors: Von Kotze, Hillenbrand, Lindsey, Ridolfi. Published by Helen Keller International, Dhaka, 2012.

Connect with Emily

  • eh642 [at] cornell.edu