African Leadership University


Professor Ben Gardner

Meet Ben Gardner, a passionate and dedicated educator, scholar, and researcher, whose interdisciplinary work has contributed significantly to the field of global studies. As an Associate Professor and the Faculty Coordinator for Global Studies at the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, University of Washington Bothell, Ben’s teaching and research interests center on the relationships among culture, power, and political and economic change.

Ben holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Connecticut College, an M.E.S. from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. As an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Environmental Politics at the University of Washington Seattle, Ben’s research engages political questions and theoretical debates, contributing to scholarship on the cultural politics of the environment, political economy of development, and the post-colonial state.

Ben’s teaching philosophy emphasizes creating a student-centered classroom where students’ interests, experience, and knowledge help determine how to approach course material to collectively learn about the subject. He believes in training students to become ethnographers, geographers, and writers who can question the everyday practices and ideas that produce our own common sense understanding of the world, and critically evaluate the assumptions and beliefs that underpin conventional wisdom.

Ben’s passion for teaching has earned him numerous accolades, including the University of Washington Bothell Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014 and the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Mentor Award in 2017. 

Ben enjoys bringing his research and teaching to diverse public audiences and is a sought-after speaker with the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau. With his interdisciplinary expertise and commitment to social justice and sustainability, Ben Gardner is an inspiring role model for the University of Washington community and beyond.

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