Meet our Distinguished Fellows

Our Distinguished Fellows are a group of like – minded folks – practitioners, philanthropists, academics, and subject-matter experts who assist us in  sharing their thoughts on current topics by periodic blog posts.

Interested in joining them?  Let us know!

Trevor Blair is the founder and CEO of Blair Search Partners, a executive recruiting firm that specializes in search engagements for nonprofit and public-sector clients. Trevor has nearly 20 years of experience in executive search, recruiting and workforce development. Meet Trevor: Trevor Blair

Heather Carpenter is Chair of the the Business & Economics Department, and Program Coordinator of the MA in Nonprofit Management at Notre Dame of Maryland University. Heather teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Nonprofit Management, Business, Marketing, Communications, Strategic Planning, Nonprofit Financial Management, and Human Resources. She is the co-author of the book The Talent Development Platform: Putting People First in Social Change Organizations and Nonprofit Crisis Management: Response to Covid 19 and has published articles on the topics of talent management, experiential education, nonprofit management education, and nonprofit leadership. meet Heather:Heather Carpenter, Ph.D

Elizabeth Castillo Ph.D is Assistant Professor in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University. Dr. Castillo investigate how we can create a sustainable economy through the lens of intangible assets (e.g., social, cultural, spiritual, reputational, and political capital) and their production of social, financial, and environmental returns (the triple bottom line). She also studies the relationship between resource exchange and the social construction of reality (social ontology). Meet Elizabeth: Elizabeth Castillo, Ph.D

Yolanda Coentro is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP) based in Boston, MA, which provides an extensive list of continuing education, fellowships, workshop, seminars, and training to nonprofit leaders in four locations in MA and NY. Meet :Yolanda Coentro

Laura Deitrick, Ph.D. is the Director of the Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research at the University of San Diego. She has been a nonprofit executive director, board member, management consultant, and researcher on major nonprofit trends. Meet Laura:

Mary Tovella Dowling is a practicing attorney and a partner at For Purpose Law Group. Ms. Dowling’s legal practice primarily focuses on providing full-service legal representation to tax exempt organizations, social enterprises and entrepreneurs across a broad spectrum of industries and sectors in transactional and litigation matters. Ms. Dowling’s nonprofit practice is focused on providing counsel and guidance to tax exempt organizations and their donors as they navigate the myriad legal issues facing modern tax exempt entities. Meet Mary: Mary Tovella Dowling

Dr. Helen Eckmann is currently an Assistant Professor at Brandman University School of Business and Professional Studies. This year Helen is going up for promotion for Full Professor. Helen teaches Ethics, Innovation, Supply Chain and Sustainability at Brandman in the MBA and BBA programs. Helen has her own consulting business,, for that work she was awarded the San Diego Business Woman of the year for NAWBO National Association of in 2009. Meet Helen: Helen Ekman, Ph.D.

Karen Henken is co-founder of The Supply Chain, a nonprofit focused on providing technology-based solutions  addressing sustainable supply chain needs in food systems and medical equipment products and wellness services. For the last 6 years, Ms. Henken has served as a professor of practice at University of San Diego, teaching social innovation and social entrepreneurship at the Kroc School and the School of Business. Meet Karen: Karen Henken

May L. Harris is the Founder and Managing Partner of For Purpose Law Group, a legal firm with offices in San Diego, Arizona, Wyoming Colorado, and Washington D.C. which specializes in clients who, as the name implies, have a “purpose” – ranging from nonprofits to social enterprises. May has over twenty years of executive, development, and leadership experience within the nonprofit sector and within socially innovative businesses. Meet May: May L. Harris

Bruce Hoyt. A native of Denver, Colorado, Bruce has enjoyed a long career in investment banking and community service.  He recently combined his business and community interests, leading the grant making and social impact investing efforts for Gary Community Investments, a large private foundation serving low income children and their families.  Beginning in January of 2020, Bruce joined indieDwell, an early stage public benefit corporation seeking to revolutionize the way affordable housing is produced and delivered in the U.S. meet Bruce: Bruce Hoyt

Jennifer A. Jones, Ph.D. is the Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management at the University of Florida where she runs the Nonprofit Research Lab. She has been working in and with nonprofits since the late 1990s. Meet Jenny:

Sue Carter Kahl, Ph.D. is the President of Sue Carter Kahl Consulting and has 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Her work is infused with lessons learned as a nonprofit executive and staff member, board member, volunteer, and researcher. Meet Sue:

Pat Libby is a popular speaker, writer, and change management consultant who views the work of third sector organizations through the kaleidoscope of her experiences as a long-time nonprofit CEO, academic, board member, and consultant to innumerable organizations.  Pat founded and led the Nonprofit Institute at USD for 14 years – creating graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral levels, an endowed research center, and community education programs serving hundreds of people and organizations each year. Meet Pat: Pat Libby

Alfred Ramirez is President of Diverse Strategies Now and a keynote speaker, trainer and facilitator for nonprofit and corporate organizations, educational groups (including universities and K-12 schools) and communities nationwide. Ramirez is known as an innovative & versatile leader who improves national, state, and local organizations and develops strategic programs among diverse socio-economic sectors. Ramirez’s expertise is in diversity inclusion and leadership, business and community development; and program/policy advice that often leads to systemic change. Meet Alfred: Alfred Ramirez

Linda Spuck is Principle of Linda Spuck Consulting, providing Effective, Actionable Advice to Maximize Philanthropy. She previously served as a Senior Trust Officer at Union Bank, The Private Bank, responsible for serving a wide range of non-profit organizations, private foundations and individuals on trust and estate matters in accordance with sound fiduciary principles. Meet Linda: Linda Spuck

Dace West is the Chief Impact Officer at The Denver Foundation. In her role she serves as senior leadership and oversees the Impact Group, which brings together all the Foundation’s philanthropic activities from work with donors to nonprofit grantmaking. Her portfolio also includes the Foundation’s community leadership efforts, serving as a thought partner, engaging in public policy, and supporting evaluation and research. Meet Dace: Dace West

Emily Young, Ph.D is the Executive Director for The Nonprofit Institute in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. She also serves on the boards of California State Parks Foundation, Environmental Grantmakers Association, International Community Foundation, and Price Scholarships. She has spent over 20 years in various positions in philanthropy, as well as higher education. Meet Emily: