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avatar for Pat Libby

Pat Libby

Univerrsity of San Diego
Clinical Professor & Director, Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research
San Diego, CA

I am a pracademic – someone who continually traverses academia with the spinning-plates-on-sticks reality of running and managing nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.

I am evangelical about the need for citizens to lobby government and have written (with the help of a few friends and former students) a popular book on the topic. The Lobbying Strategy Handbook, published by SAGE in 2012, is a user-friendly “how-to” guide for students and practitioners who are seeking a simple blueprint for learning how to take part in the legislative process. My students have used the framework described in it to pass multiple pieces of legislation in California,and my hope is that it will embolden people throughout the country to make change. The book was born from my experience leading and managing lobbying campaigns in my long-time role as a nonprofit executive director.

My day job is to direct the Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research at the University of San Diego which comprises a master’s program, research center, doctoral specialization and extensive community education programs focused on nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. In creating the Institute, I worked to realize a vision of an academic center that would interweave theory with applied learning. Since the Institute’s inception a decade ago, students have completed more than 700 consulting projects for nonprofits and foundations using this pedagogy.

In addition to my work as an academic, I have served as a senior executive, board member, and consultant to innumerable nonprofit organizations and foundations since 1978. My consulting work today involves working with organizations to recruit executives, train board leaders, think and plan strategically, and find practical solutions to seemingly complex problems.