Paul Nelson is Associate Professor of International Development, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh.  He directs the Masters of International Development degree program, and teaches and conducts research on NGOs, human rights and development policy, religion and social change, and international organizations.  Before joining the university in 1998 he worked as a policy analyst for several non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  In addition to a 1995 book on the World Bank and NGOs, he is the author of “New Rights Advocacy: Changing Strategies of Human Rights and Development NGOs” (Georgetown, 2007; coauthor with Ellen Dorsey), and of articles on the politics of NGOs, transparency, international organizations, human rights and development, and the Millennium Development Goals.  He holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Substantive Areas:
Rule of Law
Civil Society

Latin America


New Rights Advocacy: Changing Strategies of Development and Human Rights NGOs (with Ellen Dorsey)  Georgetown University Press, 2008.

Ellen Dorsey, Mayra Gómez, Bret Thiele and Paul Nelson, “Falling short of our Goals: Transforming the millennium development goals into millennium development rights”, Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, Vol. 28/4, 2010, 516-522, 2010.

“Human Rights, the Millennium Development Goals, and the Future of Development Cooperation,” World Development (December 2007), 35:12, 2041-55 .

“New Rights Advocacy in a Global Public Domain,” European Journal of International Relations, vol. 13, no. 2, June 2007, 187-216 (with Ellen Dorsey).

“Local Claims, International Standards, and the Human Right to Water,” in The International Struggle for New Human Rights, Clifford Bob, ed., Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.

“Political Opportunity Structures and Non-State Influence: Making the Case for Transparency at the World Bank,” in Transnational Activism in the EU and UN, ed. Jutta Joachim and Birgit Locher, London: Routledge Press, 2008.

Paul Nelson CV