In recent years, historians have uncovered a good deal about the domestic production and circulation of development knowledge between US philanthropies and US universities. They have begun to trace as well the role of US foundations in the formation of transnational epistemic communities of experts that cohered around, and defined, developments such as population control, food production and economic planning initiatives.3 The voice of the foundation in these histories nevertheless remains largely that of the foundation presidents and senior officers in New York. This article, however, intends to shift our perspectives on the foundations and the construction of development from the “centre” in New York to the “periphery” by examining the history of the Ford Foundation’s New Delhi office and its representative Douglas Ensminger, who directed the office from 1952-1970. As such, it provides the first historical examination of a foundation field office and the critical role such offices played in the making of development knowledge, policy and practice during the Cold War.

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Copyright © 2012 Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. This chapter first appeared in American Foundation and the Coproduction of World Order in the Twentieth Century.

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