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Non-Profit and NGO Management at SU’s Maxwell School

Professor Shena Ashley

Professor Shena Ashley

Non-Profit and NGO Management at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University

In 1995 with the arrival of the Departments then new Associate Dean and Chair, Astrid Merget, the Department of Public Administration (at that time, not inclusive of International Affairs) added coursework specific to non-profit management and finance, and expanded the Public Management field of study to Public and Non-Profit Management.

Two decades later, the Maxwell School continues to be a leader in quality education for not only Non-Profit, but also, NGO Management. With faculty and coursework specific to these sectors, students are able to master the management and policy analysis skills necessary for careers throughout the US non-profit and international NGO world.

Shena Ashley, Assistant Professor for the PAIA Department, teaches, “Non-profit Management and Leadership” as well as “Fund Development for Non-profit Organizations”.  Professor Sharon Kioko, a public finance expert, teaches “Financial Management for Non-profit Organizations”. On the international NGO side, Steve Lux, Director of Maxwell’s Executive Education programs, teaches “Managing NGOs in Transitional and Developing Countries”, and Robert Christian teaches the core MA IR course, “Challenges of International Management and Leadership”.  In addition to his role on faculty, Robert is the President and Founder of the Boulder Institute of Microfinance, celebrating its 20th year of operation this year.

MPA and MAIR students interested in non-profit and NGO management often engage in projects and internships at non-profits and NGOs based here in Syracuse and around the world.  Charlie Benjamin, President of the Near East Foundation has taken on interns and fellows every year since moving their headquarters to Syracuse, and has been a frequent speaker and advisor to students in our programs. Additionally, students in our MA IR program complete professional internships at NGOs around the world during their summer and fall terms away from campus.  For those in the MPA program, many options exist in a thriving, diverse and very accessible non-profit and NGO community in Central New York.

Snow Fellowships in Non-Profit Management
Syracuse University’s Maxwell School provides two fellowships each year for students entering the MPA program with a focus in Non-Profit Management.  The Snow Fellowships in Non-Profit Management fully support two MPA students each year with a full tuition scholarship and stipend. The Snow Fellows work locally over the academic year at the Central New York Community Foundation.  Extending what they are learning in the classroom to the community is an essential part of the Fellowship. Funded jointly by the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and the John Ben Snow Foundation, the Fellowships were created to help keep the best and brightest students who had a strong commitment to non-profit work in the field without the added burden of extensive graduate loan debt.  Twenty years of Snow Fellows are working all over the world in the most amazing organizations.

Related Research and Projects
In addition to the work students can get involved in locally, there are also several on-going research and projects based within the Maxwell School. These include the TNGO Initiative based out of the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, looking at governance, leadership and effectiveness of transnationally operated NGOs around the world. This project has led to the development of one of the largest data bases of NGOs and their leaders in the world.   Students have also worked on Shena Ashley’s grant, funded by the Kresge Foundation, “Advancing Methods to Design and Evaluate Capacity Building Interventions”.

Alumni of Maxwell’s MPA and MA IR programs hold and have held these and similar positions related to this field of study:

Public Policy Coordinator, Vermont Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations
Program Manager, Council of American Overseas Research Centers
President and CEO, Center for Nonprofit Excellence
Executive Director, World Vision
Vice President for Advancement, Interlochen Center for the Arts
Executive Director, Hospicecare
Director of Marketing Research, American Cancer Society
Senior Program Development Specialist, ChildFund International
Executive Director, Literacy Coalition of Herkimer & Oneida Counties
External Consultant, America Speaks
Program Officer, Planned Parenthood Global
Manager, American Red Cross
Director of Microfinance, Tanzanian Children’s Fund
Director of Operations, The Decibels Foundation
Coordinator, Initiative for Global Development
Network Developer, Council on Foundations
Senior Program Officer, The Asia Foundation
Development Manager, Women Heart: National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
Program Manager, Camp Good Days and Special Times
Executive Director, Seeds 4 Success, Inc.
Associate Director, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Program Manager of Volunteer Engagement, Association of Small Foundations

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April 2024
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