You are here: American University Profiles Students Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez

Back to top

Photograph of Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez

Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez Public Administration (PhD)

BA Political Science (Honors), University of Oklahoma - May 2014</p>Master's of Public Administration, American University - May 2018</p>Ph.D. Public Administration & Policy, American University - (expected) May 2019


Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University.

Brandon’s research agenda is animated by the questions: “How does using non-governmental entities to deliver public programs and policies influence citizen’s experiences and outcomes, especially for vulnerable or marginalized communities? How can this third-party governance either enhance or deteriorate the attainment of social equity?” Brandon’s research interests lie at the intersection of public management scholarship on the outsourcing of government service delivery and public administration studies of social equity and disentitlement.

Utilizing the policy domain of foster care and adoption services in the U.S., Brandon is writing a dissertation that synthesizes his research interests. His dissertation uses an original, self-created dataset of states' contracting decisions regarding child foster care and adoption services in the past 20 years. He is investigating these contracting decisions, theorizing them as "the contracting out of administrative burden" following the relatively rapid expansion of spousal and parental rights of LGBTQ Americans.

Brandon’s research on the American foster care and adoption system contributes to scholarship on (1) contracting, especially issues for vulnerable populations that may arise in the externalization of public service delivery; (2) administrative burden, particularly the salience of the concept in "third-party governance" regimes; (3) social equity, for both vulnerable foster care children and marginalized LGBTQ adults seeking parenthood; and, (4) program evaluations of child and family policies.

In addition to his solo-author work, Brandon has ongoing research projects with both faculty and other PhD students. These co-author papers explore a wide variety of policy areas, including rape and sexual violence prevention, LGBTQ anti-discrimination policies, HIV/AIDS transmission prevention programming in LGBTQ communities of color, marriage equality’s effects on children’s welfare, and immigration detention at private prisons.

In addition to his research, Brandon's dedication to teaching and mentoring students has been reinforced during his PhD studies. He was afforded the selective opportunity to tutor microeconomics, statistics, quantitative research methods, and econometrics courses. Additionally, Brandon was privileged to be selected by his Department to be the instructor of record for the Spring 2017 undergraduate "Introduction to Public Administration and Governance" course.

These experiences have solidified Brandon’s commitment to his research as well as his teaching and mentoring.