The William H. Crook Program in International Affairs is dedicated to promoting global economic development and fighting poverty. It sponsors innovative research on global poverty with the specific aim of generating concrete, practical recommendations that policymakers and the public can embrace. The Program also develops imaginative undergraduate and graduate programs that will give students the opportunity to tackle development issues on their own. 

The program is funded by the Eleanor Crook Foundation named in honor of William H. Crook, a pioneer in global development. Ambassador Crook established the Office of Economic Opportunity at the request of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 and was national director of Volunteers in Service to America, now known as AmeriCorps. He also served as Ambassador to Australia. Upon returning to Texas, he had a distinguished career in business and remained active in poverty relief, establishing two orphanages in Ethiopia during the 1985 famine.

Honoring his impact in the fight on poverty, the program annually awards the Crook Fellowships, which provide summer internship funding for talented students working with innovative nongovernmental, governmental, and multilateral organizations on economic development and poverty reduction throughout the world. Since 2008, over 50 fellows have engaged in cutting-edge, important, and often difficult work to improve the economic, social, and educational conditions of communities in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Please see the LBJ School of Public Affairs website for additional information.


Each summer the Crook Fellows blog about their experiences in the field, sharing stories about their work, their learning, and impressions of the real work of development. Click here to read their blogs.