The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) is the global
standard in public service education. NASPAA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership association
with over 300 institutional member schools at U.S. and non-U.S. universities across 25 countries
that award degrees in public administration, public policy, public affairs, nonprofit and related
fields. NASPAA is the recognized global accreditor of master’s degree programs in these fields.
NASPAA’s twofold mission is to ensure excellence in education and training for public service
and to promote the ideal of public service.
Through the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA), and in collaboration with
the Standards Committee, NASPAA Accreditation is the peer review quality assurance process
for graduate-level, master’s degree programs in public policy, affairs, and administration.
NASPAA’s accreditation process, driven by public service values, is mission- and outcomesbased, and grounded in an in-depth self-evaluation of programs using the NASPAA Accreditation
Standards – the quality benchmark of graduate public service programs around the world.
NASPAA’s membership is growing and becoming more diverse consisting of large and small
schools, HBCU’s, Tribal schools, minority serving programs and international programs.
NASPAA holds several Memoranda of Understanding with peer organizations around the world,
which facilitate collaboration to help programs based in different regions pursue relationships
with both organizations. Cooperative activities that have been undertaken under these
agreements include creating a coordinated accreditation process, identifying programs within a
region interested in pursuing accreditation, supporting international exchange, and sharing best
practices. NASPAA has also conducted conferences with partners outside the continental United
States, in China, UAE, Qatar, Mexico, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
NASPAA’s priority is serving its members; it accomplishes its mission by offering direct
services to its member institutions and students, through:
o Accreditation. Developing appropriate standards for master’s programs through its
Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and offering 4 badges for accredited
programs to earn, showing their commitment to Inclusion, Civic engagement, Global
education, and Sustainability.
o Advocacy. Representing to governments and other institutions the objectives and needs of
education for public affairs and administration.Curriculum Development & Innovation. Providing a forum for publication (Journal of
Public Affairs Education) and discussion (Annual Conference and regional meetings) of
education scholarship, practices and issues; supporting teaching and learning through the
activities of the Institute for Innovative Teaching and Learning for Public Service
(Publicasesand the NASPAA Simulation Network).
o NASPAA Data Center. Building a data center that collects, analyzes, and share data on the
field. The NASPAA Data Center is becoming the authoritative source for data-based decision
makingin public affairs education.
o Internship Opportunities. Providing internships for students and career resources for
graduates by sponsoring the leading job board in the field (PublicServiceCareers.org).
o Collaboration across the field. Undertaking joint educational projects with allied
professional organizations and collaborating with institutes and schools of public
administration in other countries through conferences, consortia, and joint projects to share
best practice and learn from each other.
NASPAA celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2019, having evolved into a truly global network,
supporting programs that advance public service values and education across issues, sector, and
geographic boundaries. NASPAA now has an unprecedented opportunity to build a more
responsive, equitable, and just society – training the next generation of leaders to be able to
respond to current and future social and political realities, as well as to have national impact
and be levers of change in their countries, states, and local communities.
The standards for NASPAA’s accredited programs have been updated to reflect the importance
of transparent, accountable, participatory, and equitable approaches in a globalized world, the
critical role that diversity, equity and inclusion must play in public service education, and the
need to bring nonprofit management to the core of the field.
This is an outstanding opportunity for a leader who is passionate about, and committed
to, public service. In this role, they will guide NASPAA through its next phase of
development and growth, identifying new priorities, programs and initiatives. The next
Executive Director will build on a very strong reputational and financial foundation, as
well as a healthy governance structure to help NASPAA meet the challenges of social,
political, and economic change. The Role:
Location: Washington, DC
Reports to: NASPAA’s 18-member Executive Council
Direct Reports: 9 direct reports in the areas of finance, accreditation, membership
development, events and education, Institute of Innovation, Data Center
and office management
The Executive Director will collaboratively develop a vision and strategy, while managing a
successful transition from a long-tenured and highly regarded predecessor, supporting and
guiding an exceptional team of professionals during a time of growth and change. They are
responsible for driving the success of NASPAA’s mission by focusing on the following priority
▪ Support the entire organization as it comprehensively integrates core principles of equity,
diversity and inclusion across all of NASPAA’s primary areas of influence, including
accreditation, teaching and learning, delivering diversity in NASPAA and our field, research
and recognition, and annual conference planning.
▪ Collaborate with the NASPAA Executive Council members in the next strategic planning
process in a post-Covid world.
▪ Refine the business model, taking into account a blended approach of virtual and in-person
conferences, seminars, gatherings and accreditation site visits.
▪ Expand, maintain and diversify funding sources/revenue streams to ensure financial
sustainability, and the availability of necessary resources to deliver the highest quality
programming to the membership.
▪ Capitalize on alliances with organizations in other countries to further internationalization
efforts; invest in strong partnerships with government, nonprofits and businesses.
▪ Promote innovation in teaching and learning for public service including the need to
▪ Provide leadership and management of staff; build and nurture an organizational culture
that is grounded in a shared vision, respect and accountability,and in the pursuit of quality
programming, services, and support to the membership and its students.
▪ Work collaboratively with the Executive Council to develop and implement a strategic plan
to achieve NASPAAs mission, next level of impact, and sustainable organizational growth.
▪ Facilitate strategic discussions about how to make public affairs education relevant for our
world; challenge traditional approaches and explore transdisciplinary approaches in
NASPAA’s work; focus on big issues of climate change, global pandemics, and global
▪ Continue an ongoing commitment to embed diversity in NASPAA and across the field
educating and encouraging diverse constituents to have difficult dialogue, promote
inclusion, and advance equity. Assist the Executive Council in monitoring and evaluating NASPAA’s relevancy to the field,
staying ahead of where public policy is going to effectively support members and
Executive Council & Committee Relations
▪ Work with the Executive Council to ensure strong, transparent, and high-functioning
governance role; support the Board inits role and responsibilities and that of its committees.
▪ Participate as a member of the Executive Committee of the Council, together with the
President, Vice President, and past President of the association.
▪ Inform the Executive Council and its committees about policy trends, challenges and
opportunities in order to facilitate discussion, deliberation and policy making; recommend
▪ Serve as a thought partner to the Executive Council & Committees to ensure that relevant,
accurate, and timely information is provided to inform and guide strategic level thinking.
▪ Build a trusting and transparent partnership with the Executive Council & Committees in
order to achieve the mission, vision and goals.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
▪ Capitalize on the opportunity to re-imagine how NASPAA thinks about equity- for NASPAA
as an organization, and for how NASPAA supports member schools; the Executive Council
has identified this as a key priority from the entire membership.
▪ Build stronger support of policy programs in HBCU’s; accredit more and invite more
membership/partnership with HBCU’s.
▪ Elicit greater Tribal perspective and presence reflected in NASPAA’s work and partnerships.
▪ Encourage a process of learning that equity impacts all that NASPAA does; NASPAA must
think of the civic square as addressing structural inequities.
▪ Commit to elevate more diversity into NASPAA leadership roles and our own understanding
of EID and what it means to be anti-racist.
External Relations & Fund Development
▪ Advance public service through partnerships with other organizations and promoting
cooperationbetween member institutions with similar purposes domestically and in other
▪ Serve as champion and spokesperson, enhancing NASPAA’s leadership position in public
affairs education and advocating for policy change bothdomesticallyand internationally.
▪ Balance advocacy for core policies that impact our graduates such as efforts to reform the
federal hiring throughadvocacy inside and beyond the academy.
▪ Work with legislators, partner organizations and regulatory agencies at the highest levels to
further strategic advocacy priorities.
▪ Manage relationship with existing and potential donors and explore new creative
partnerships to expand the funding base.
Infrastructure & Team Leadership
▪ Provide general oversight of all NASPAA activities; assure the effective management of dayto-day operations, and a high-functioning, efficient organization. Together with the CFO, prepare an annual budget for review and adoption by the Executive
Council; oversee the fiscal status of the association including monitoring the budget,
reporting and audit.
▪ Continue to invest in, prioritize and build the internal capacity of NASPAA staff in order to
effectively perform international work, accommodate association growth, and in its DEI
▪ Inspire, coach and develop a high performing team with multiple responsibilities and
talents; motivate and collaborate, actively seek input; assure a process for recruitment,
development of appropriate salary structures, and consistent evaluation of staff and
Accreditation and Programming
▪ Working with COPRA, direct accreditation and quality assurance efforts; working with the
Standards Committee, oversee the development of appropriate standards for educational
programs and reviewing the quality of programs.
▪ Grow and diversify the volunteer network of NASPAA site visitors domestically and globally,
providing volunteers the opportunity to use their expertise to support the development of
public service education programs, and the field.
▪ Ensure the advancement of equality of opportunity of all persons to education for public
service and the careers to which it leads.
▪ Encourage innovation in education and provide a forum for the discussion of educational
issues at conferences, committees, seminars, workshops and in all student engagement
▪ Amplify on the importance of curriculum, teaching and learning through continued focus
on cases and simulations.
▪ Continue efforts in data collection and building a robust data warehouse in public affairs
education to enhance understanding and competitiveness of the sector.
▪ Promote programs and services that are produced in a cost-effective manner; assure
program quality and organizational stability through development and implementation of
standards and controls, systems and procedures, and regular evaluation.
▪ Fifteen years of strategic leadership experience, including at least three years at the
executive level in membership, national/affiliate, geographically dispersed, or complex
▪ International experience and strong cultural competence is essential.
▪ Professional experience may have been gained as a public policy practitioner, in a
membership, nonprofit, international NGO, social enterprise, and/or large multi-site
advocacy organization; familiarity with professional accreditation; knowledge of higher
education space preferred.
▪ Broad general management experience across finance, human resources,
operations/technology, marketing, program, fund development, and working with
volunteers and Boards.Track record of working collaboratively on multi-year strategic planning; advocacy and
▪ Demonstrated achievement in high growthand/or change environments, bringing to scale
complex organizations and putting technology to work; adept at assessing
infrastructure/operational requirements necessary to support sustainable growth and
healthy organizational culture.
▪ Proven ability to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes both internally and
externally including the NASPAA organization, its membership, student body and partners.
▪ Proven ability to communicate and work effectively with multiple internal and external
stakeholders to achieve mutually agreed upon outcomes.
▪ Track record of innovative and sustainable fundraising from individuals, corporations,
foundations, and current and potential NASPAA partners.
▪ Superior mentoring, professional development, people management and leadership skills;
evidence of leading change with positive outcomes; an inspiring team builder who
engenders trust and builds group commitment to goals and objectives.
▪ Passionate about NASPAA’s mission; has a strong appreciation of public service and views it
as a calling; understands accreditation, the uniqueness of academia and the diversity of
NASPAA’s programs; knowledge of the domestic policy landscape.
▪ A servant-leader who communicates a clear and compelling vision for the future of the
association; applies creative solutions to organizational problems, anticipating situations
and needs, and responds appropriately to emerging situations.
▪ Cares deeply about DEI, social justice and civic engagement; multi-cultural management
experience and a high level of emotional intelligence.
▪ Culturally competent given the challenge to advance racial equity.
▪ Skilled at coordinating the work of a high performing team in a central office environment
but can also coordinate many different committees and groups.
▪ Proven change manager; ability to influence and enable others to work collaboratively in
service of members, students, and graduates.
▪ Systems thinker who is focused on the membership; helps to define goals and establish
priorities to ensure results.
▪ Exceptional written, verbal and presentation skills; ability to inspire and motivate people at
all levels within and outside of the organization.
▪ Displays the highest levels of personal and professional integrity and models exemplary
▪ A Bachelor’s degree required; an MPA, MPP, MPAFF or similar graduate degree is preferred. NASPAA is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities
and employment without regard to race, creed, religion, color, gender, national origin, disability, age,
veteran status or military liability, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation or any other
characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law.
If you or someone in your network is interested in exploring this opportunity,
please submit a cover letter and resume to:
Janet Albert Tory Clarke
Partner, Bridge Partners Partner, Bridge Partners
Job posted: 2021-04-24