MNLM Faculty

The Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management (MNLM) program has an exceptionally strong core faculty.


Nicolas Duquette
Assistant Professor
Duquette’s research employs the tools of economics, politics and history to trace the development and behavior of nonprofit organizations, and he teaches courses in nonprofit management from an interdisciplinary perspective. He currently is researching the adaptations of charities to changes in government grants and tax subsidies, with particular focus on the changes brought by the Johnson-era War on Poverty.

Nicole E. Esparza

Nicole Esparza
Assistant Professor
With a research focus on collaborative networks of organizations and urban inequality, Esparza teaches courses on public policy and management and program evaluation. She currently is studying how social and spatial forces shape the size and growth of the urban nonprofit sector, concentrating on the work of homeless and anti-poverty organizations.


Jim Ferris
Emery Evans Olson Chair in Non-Profit Entrepreneurship and Public Policy
Director, Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy

Ferris teaches courses on philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, public finance and public policy. With a research focus on the shifting roles of the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors in governance and the economy, he currently investigates the changing landscape of philanthropy, foundation strategies for public policy engagement, the efficiency of philanthropic markets, and nonprofit strategy.


Elizabeth Graddy
Vice Dean
Jeffrey J. Miller Chair in Government, Business, and the Economy

Graddy’s research focuses on the role of nonprofit and business organizations in public service delivery, organizational structure and performance, and how information asymmetry and uncertainty affect institutional design and effectiveness. She currently is studying community-based philanthropic organizations in East Asia and the structure and performance of public-nonprofit-business alliances that provide local public services.


Alexandra Graddy-Reed
Assistant Professor
Graddy-Reed’s research is focused on the evolving strategies of grantmakers to be more outcome and impact minded. Grounded in theories of public economics, institutional change, and innovation production, her current research involves evaluating the effect of competition between grantmakers on outcomes to assess if it promotes or deters innovation.


Jack H. Knott
C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair and Professor

Knott has conducted extensive research on how philanthropy and foundations influence public policy and public service delivery, primarily in the areas of healthcare and education. He has investigated the innovation of foundations in the healthcare field compared with federal public policies, as well as on how foundations can partner with government and private business to address social and economic issues.

Shui Yan Tang

Shui Yan Tang
Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor in Public Administration
With a focus on public policy and administration, environmental management, and community-based governance, Tang is Research Director of the Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise. He researches and publishes extensively on issues related to environmental NGOs in the United States, as well as civil society and NGO development in Asia.

In addition, leading scholars and practitioners who teach nonprofit courses at USC Price include:

  • Janet Denhardt
  • Don Morgan
  • Claire Peeps
  • Eric Schockman
  • Trent Stamp
  • Kimberly Tso