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Jennifer Mosley, a female-presenting person, smiles towards the camera in a library.

Jennifer E Mosley, PhD

Associate Professor; Editor, Social Service Review; Faculty Director, UChicago Obama Foundation Scholars Program
she/her/hers
mosley@uchicago.edu
Address

969 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Office Location: E14

Areas of Expertise
Community
Government and Policy
Homelessness
International
Non-Profit Organizations
Philanthropy
Poverty and Income
Social Work
Urban
Welfare

Jennifer Mosley researches the role of nonprofit organizations as political actors, specifically the role human service organizations, community-based nonprofits, and philanthropic foundations play in advocating for or implementing policy change that affects underrepresented populations. She is particularly interested in the relationship between advocacy and improved democratic representation and how public administration and nonprofit management trends, particularly within collaborative governance and contracting, affect the public policy roles of nonprofit organizations.  At Crown Family School,  she teaches courses on policy formulation and implementation, advocacy & social change, and organizational theory. As of July 1, 2021 she is the editor-in-chief of Social Service Review, a premier peer-reviewed academic journal housed at the Crown Family School. 

Professor Mosley's research shows how human service nonprofits use collaborative governance processes and involvement in policy advocacy to more effectively support the communities or populations they serve, as well as to strategically gain access to greater resources and legitimacy. Her previous work includes studies that investigate how environmental and organizational pressures work together to encourage or constrain different types of advocacy involvement, the extent to which human service nonprofits become involved in advocacy, the specific tactics they choose, and the intersection between collaboration and advocacy. Much of her work explores how these processes take place in the fields of homeless services and child welfare. Other work explores the political activity of a wider variety of nonprofit organizations, for example how communitiy based organizations on the Southside of Chicago attempt to represent the community they serve (and how those actions are perceived by community members) and investigations into the role philanthropic foundations play in both shaping and responding to major policy change.  

She is currently extending her research on nonprofits and policy in a number of areas, particularly the democratic legitimacy of collaborative governance networks and how nonprofits have responded to evidence-based practice mandates. Overall, her research agenda is driven by the goal of understanding better how nonprofit organizations attempt to influence the policy environment they are working in, while simultaneously representing the communities they serve to government.

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Jennifer Mosley is an Associate Professor at the School of Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and is the Editor of Social Service Review. She researches the role of nonprofit organizations as political actors, specifically the role human service organizations, community-based nonprofits, and philanthropic foundations play in advocating for or implementing policy change that affects underrepresented populations.

Professor Mosley received her B.A. in psychology from Reed College and her M.S.W. and Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles. While at UCLA, she was also a fieldwork supervisor and a senior research associate at the Center for Civil Society. Her practice experience is in the areas of child welfare, homeless services, community-based advocacy, and social justice philanthropy.