College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Lehn M Benjamin

Lehn M Benjamin

Lehn M Benjamin

Associate Professor

Nonprofits, accountability and evaluation, community development

Dr. Benjamin holds a doctorate in Regional Planning from Cornell University, with concentrations in community economic development and qualitative methods and evaluation. Prior to completing her doctorate, she worked for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in the United States Department of the Treasury, was a Congressional Fellow on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and worked for several voluntary and nongovernmental organizations on gender and development issues during the democratic transition in South Africa. She teaches courses on nonprofit accountability; nonprofit management; third party governance, performance measurement and advanced qualitative methods.

Dr. Benjamin’s research examines the contributions of nonprofit organizations to democracy and how recent efforts to ensure greater accountability in the nonprofit sector may support or constrain this contribution. She has studied the impact of outcome measurement in the context of funder-grantee relationships and her article, “Account Space: How Accountability Requirements Shape Nonprofit Practice” published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly received the best article award from the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) in 2009. Her current research focuses on the work front line staff do with clients and constituents, and how accountability efforts impact this work. She is also working on several collaborative research projects, including a research project looking at the role of nonprofit funding intermediaries in philanthropic relationships, brokering accountability expectations among donors and grantees.

Selected Publications

Benjamin, Lehn M. 2010. Mediating Accountability: How Nonprofit Funding Intermediaries use Performance Measurement and Why it Matters for Governance. Public Performance & Management Review. 33(4): 594-618.

Benjamin, Lehn M. 2010. Funders as Principals: Performance Measurement in Philanthropic Relationships. Nonprofit Management & Leadership. 20(4): 383-403.

Benjamin, Lehn M. and Kevin F.F. Quigley. 2010. For the World’s Sake: U.S. Foundations International Grantmaking. In H. Anheier and D. Hammack (Eds.) American Foundations: Roles and Contributions, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

Benjamin, Lehn M. and Jennifer C. Greene. 2009. From Program to Network: Evaluator’s Role in Today’s Public Problem Solving Environment. American Journal of Evaluation, 30(3):. 296-309.

Benjamin, Lehn M. 2008. Bearing More Risk for Results: Performance Measurement and Nonprofit Relational Work. Administration & Society, 39(8): 959-983.

Benjamin, Lehn M. 2008. Account Space: How Accountability Requirements Shape Nonprofit Practice. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 37(2): 201-233.

Benjamin, Lehn M. 2008. Evaluator’s Role in Accountability Relationships: Measurement Technician, Capacity Builder or Risk Manager? Evaluation: International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 14(3): 323-343.

Benjamin, Lehn, Julia Sass Rubin and Sean Zielenbach. 2007. Community Development Financial Institutions: Expanding Capital Access in Under-Served Markets. In J. DeFilippis and S. Saegert (Eds.) The Community Development Reader, New York: Routledge Publications.