Press Releases

TitleDeitrick Appointed Director of University of San Diego Nonprofit Research Center
ContactDenise Ward
Contact E-mailwardd, at
Contact Phone(619) 260-4659, ext. 6994

Laura Deitrick has been named director of the University of San Diego’s Caster Family Center for Nonprofit Research at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Deitrick is no stranger to nonprofit research or to USD.

In her capacity as senior researcher for the Center she spearheaded numerous studies including research on the scope of local philanthropy, the economic impact of San Diego's nonprofits, executive transition trends, and is currently completing a forthcoming report on how San Diego's nonprofits are fairing in the economic downturn as well as a national survey on nonprofit employment trends.  Her latest research involved a comprehensive study of local education foundations throughout California.     

“Laura embodies the best of what we refer to as a ‘pracacdemic,’ said Pat Libby, director of USD’s Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research. “She has experience as an effective nonprofit CEO, is a talented professor, and has the wide-ranging methodological expertise needed to conduct break through research on the sector. She has played a major role in the development of the Center and is the logical choice to run it.  In fact, I couldn't imagine anyone better suited. ”

Previously, Deitrick worked for seven years in development and served as the executive director of the Coronado Schools Foundation. She also acted as an independent management consultant to a variety of local nonprofits and served on several nonprofit boards.

"The Center provides me with a terrific opportunity to do the types of research and evaluation projects that are so important to the well-being of the nonprofit sector -- a sector I care about deeply," said Deitrick. "I am also honored to be able to work with our talented SOLES faculty, doctorate students and advisory board members to further the mission of the Center."         

Deitrick holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from San Diego State University, as well as a master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management and doctorate in Leadership Studies with a specialization in Nonprofit/Philanthropic Studies from USD.

The Caster Family Center for Nonprofit Research was launched in 2004 with grants provided by The Westreich Foundation and the Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation. In 2007, the Center received a generous naming contribution from the Caster Family.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego, a Catholic Institution of higher learning chartered in 1949. The university enrolls approximately 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The inauguration this fall of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Education, Law and Nursing and Health Science.


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