About us

The Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center (PNLC) cultivates adaptive, transformative leaders. PNLC is a community of faculty, staff, students, and practitioners that creates and nurtures excellence in public affairs management and leadership through research, teaching, professional development, consulting, and outreach. Our faculty's research strengths, our access to additional researchers within the Humphrey School and the University, and our combined ability to convene high-level policymakers for planning and action make us a vital resource for the community.

The center conducts rigorous and relevant research that builds public and nonprofit capacity. We provide resources, connections, and community for public affairs leaders and managers. We create learning materials that build individual capacity. Our efforts expand the body of public affairs knowledge in the academic community, as well as the public and nonprofit sectors. Our work prepares people to lead and manage in a diverse world, facilitating application across organizational, geographic, and societal boundaries.

Focus Area: Leadership & Management
  • Research, education, and outreach activities focusing on where and how leadership and management is exercised
  • Expertise in leadership and management of government and nonprofit organizations, policy implementation, entrepreneurship, and leadership and management of cross-sector collaborations
  • Work addressing ongoing challenges of fostering ethical public service and nurturing leadership in the public interest
Focus Area: Cross-sector Collaboration & Networks
  • Research on how and when cross-sector partnerships are most effective in addressing public problems
  • Convening of leaders in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and the public sectors to address policy issues that critically affect all sectors, such as transportation field, studies of collaborative policy implementation in emergency situations, and human service networks
Focus Area: Governance & Accountability
  • Research that identifies the limitations and strengths of mechanisms and models of governance and accountability in public institutions
  • Activities that directly involve students and enrich the Humphrey School's curriculum with the latest thinking and research on governance and accountability issues while promoting dialogue among new and established leaders of nonprofit, philanthropic, public-sector, and intermediary organizations
  • Research on how best to implement public policy. Faculty do basic and applied research to learn more about how to efficiently and effectively carry-out governing bodies’ directives.