Bradley C. Parks

Executive Director

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Dr. Bradley Parks is the Executive Director of AidData at William & Mary. He leads a team of over 30 program evaluators, policy analysts, and media and communication professionals who work with governments and international organizations to improve the ways in which overseas investments are targeted, monitored, and evaluated. He is also a Research Professor at William & Mary’s Global Research Institute.

Ph.D., International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science

M.Sc. (Distinction), Development Management, Development Studies Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science

B.A. (Highest Honors), International Relations, College of William & Mary

Prior to joining AidData, Dr. Parks was part of the initial team that set up the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). He oversaw the MCC’s annual country selection process from 2005-2010, and as Acting Director of MCC Threshold Programs he managed the implementation of a $35 million anti-corruption and judicial reform project in Indonesia and a $21 million customs and tax reform project in the Philippines. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and M.Sc. in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research has been published in dozens of academic and policy journals, including Science, Governance, World Development, AEA Papers & Proceedings, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Journal of Development Economics, the American Journal of Political Science, andChina Economic Quarterly. He is the author of three books, including Banking on Beijing: The Aims and Impacts of China’s Overseas Development Program (Cambridge University Press). Dr. Parks is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), where he works on issues related to Chinese lending practices and the future of the Belt and Road Initiative. He has served as a Principal Investigator on more than 50 policy research projects—funded by USAID, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, PEPFAR, DANIDA, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Green Climate Fund, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and others—worth more than $60 million. Dr. Parks’ policy publications with AidData, CGD, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy include How China Lends, Bargaining with Beijing, Hidden Debt Exposure to China, Belt and Road Reboot, Banking on the Belt and Road, and Is Beijing a Predatory Lender?  His work is regularly featured in print and broadcast media, including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg, Le Monde, CNN, NPR, and the BBC.


  • International Debt
  • Aid Effectiveness
  • Impact Evaluation
  • Evidence-Based Policymaking
  • Chinese Development Finance