Mark Brennan PhD

Dr. Mark Brennan, Professor and UNESCO Chair

Mark Brennan, Ph.D. is the UNESCO Chair for Community, Leadership, and Youth Development and Professor of Leadership and Community Development at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Brennan’s teaching, research, writing, and program development concentrate on the role of civic engagement, community, and leadership development in the youth, community, and rural development process. His work has also increasingly focused on the role of youth as active contributors to peace building, social justice, and functioning societies.

Dr. Brennan has over 25 years of experience in designing, conducting, and analyzing social science research related to community and youth development. This work has involved extensive comparative research throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia and Central America. He is co-founder of the Global Network of UNESCO Chairs on Children, Youth, and Community.

Dr. Brennan’s research and program development has been funded by a variety of governments, foundations, and private sources and resulting in over 150 publications in leading peer-reviewed journals, books, and outreach publications, and nearly 200 invitations to presentations at professional meetings, government agencies, and international organizations. All research outputs have been translated into teaching and outreach curriculum to facilitate the transfer of knowledge to a wider international audience. Included are over twenty outreach curriculum designed for communities and youth to use in fostering community capacity building, local collective capacity enhancement, and peaceful social settings throughout the UN system. His recent books include Theory, Practice, and Community Development (2013) and Community Leadership Development:  A Compendium of Theory, Research, and Application (2013).

Dr. Brennan has been awarded several prestigious research fellowships designed to facilitate international comparative research in the areas of community and youth development. He was awarded the W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award in 2014, 2010 Community Development Society Current Research Award, 2010 NACDEP Excellence in Community Development Programming Award, and 2008 University of Florida Outstanding Faculty Research Award. Dr. Brennan was named a Penn State Distinguished Honors Faculty in 2010, selected as a Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow in 2007, UNESCO Research Fellow in 2008, and Fulbright Scholar in 2011. These and other opportunities lead to my appointment as UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development in 2012.

Finally, Dr. Brennan has served as chair/co-chair on a variety of national and international committees and provides consultation for professional associations, government agencies, and international agencies. He serves on the editorial review boards for several journals including the Journal of the Community Development Society, Journal of Rural Studies, International Journal of Volunteer Administration, and the Community Development Journal. He is past Editor of the policy journal Rural Realities and Editor for Special Issues of the Journal of the Community Development Society.

Dr. Brennan is a 1992 graduate of Salisbury University, majoring in Sociology and having studied under Phil Bosserman, Charles Cipolla, Allan Pappas, and A.K Talbot.

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